Health Care

Please note that these articles do not necessarily reflect the opinions and views of As with all matters relating to your dog, please use your own judgement where appropriate.

Everything you Need to Know About Dog Hypothyroidism

The thyroid is a gland found in your dog's neck. One of its main functions is regulating the metabolic rate. Hypothyroidism is a condition that occurs when the metabolism drops significantly due to the fact that the thyroid gland isn't producing enough hormone. One of the most common reasons why dogs suffer from a hormonal imbalance is because of this condition. Seniors comprise the age group that is most commonly affected. The condition also occurs in certain breeds more often. Some of these include the Great Dane, Boxer, Golden retriever, and Doberman pinscher.

This condition commonly develops because of an immune disorder. The thyroid gland will be attacked by your dog's own immune system. Hashimoto's Disease or autoimmune thyroiditis are two other names for this condition. This condition can easily affect your dog's hair and skin, causing infections, hair loss, and development of a dry coat. It is also relatively common for dogs to experience lethargy and become obese. Some dogs suffer anemia and cardiovascular symptoms such as decreased heart rate and abnormal heart rhythms.

It is also common for dogs suffering from hypothyroidism to experience recurring ear infections. If your dog has hypothyroidism, then he will likely become depressed too. Dogs may start behaving more aggressively, tilting their head, or even having seizures. The vet will need to take a thorough medical history and physical exam in order to diagnose your dog with this condition. If hypothyroidism is suspected by the vet, then he will likely take a sample of blood for testing.

This blood test is useful for various reasons such as checking the level of thyroid hormone. The blood test isn't always accurate since it's common for dogs to have a normal level of this hormone occasionally even through they have the condition. In order to get an accurate diagnosis, other tests will also be conducted.Thyroxine will need to be taken on a daily basis if your dog is diagnosed with this condition. Thyroxine acts as a replacement for the normal thyroid hormone. Frequent vet visits for checkups are also mandatory. It is sometimes necessary to adjust the dosage of medication. As long as your dog keeps taking the medication, he should have little problems in life.

If you want to be a good dog owner, then you should do your best to learn about various diseases and conditions that can affect your dog like osteosarcoma in canines. In case your dog does fall ill, knowing about these different conditions will help you recognize it quickly. Click over to today to start learning about many different canine illnesses.

Submitted by Darrin Swain December 2011.