What is Hypothyroidism?
Dogs have a gland in their neck called the thyroid gland. It produces thyroid hormone which is responsible for regulating many different bodily functions such as blood pressure, body temperature, and metabolism. Hypothyroidism occurs when the thyroid gland stops producing enough hormone. This disease most commonly occurs in middle aged to older dogs, but dogs of any age can have this hormonal imbalance.
What are the symptoms?
Hypothyroidism can cause many different symptoms such as:
- Weight gain
- Fur thinning
- Skin infections
How will we test for hypothyroidism?
We will test for this disease by assessing the amount of thyroid hormone your dog has in their blood stream. Dogs with hypothyroidism will have lower than normal thyroid levels.
How will we treat this?
We will treat this disease by supplementing your dog with additional thyroid hormone. All dogs respond differently to supplementation, so we will need to retest your dog’s thyroid hormone levels periodically to make sure they are normal. In most cases, hypothyroidism is a lifelong disease and medication will be required for the life of your pet.