Thyroid deficiency in dogs is a medical condition also known as hypothyroidism. It is the most common hormone deficiency in dogs. This condition often affects middle aged dogs – those 4 to 10 years old.
This condition is often more common in some dog breeds including the following:
- Golden Retriever
- Brittany Spaniel
- English Setter
- Cocker Spaniel
- Also read treatment of hypothyroidism
Causes Of Hypothyroidism In Dogs
- Lymphocytic thyroiditis or inflammation of the thyroid glands is the most common reason for thyroid deficiency. This happens when the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks the thyroid glands.
- Tumors and other diseases of the pituitary gland.
- Radiation therapy and radioactive iodine treatments.
- Surgical removal of the thyroid gland.
- Some medications may also cause this ailment.
- Also read older dogs health problems
Symptoms of Thyroid Deficiency in Dogs
- Hair can look and feel dry and brittle. It could also fall when touched. Hair loss may also appear at the back of the ears, the throat, and thighs.
- The dog may also have a mottled coat and dry flaky skin.
- Unexplained weight gain even when the pet is not eating too much.
- Pets affected with this ailment will be more prone to secondary infections such as skin ailments.
- Lethargy and malaise could affect the dog. The dog may also tire very easily. This is especially noticeable if usually feisty and active breeds.
- This problem could also affect the pet’s reproduction organs. Males will show no interest in receptive females. Females will have irregular heat cycles. Infertility is also possible. Litter may also be small in number and size.
- Bowel movements can become inconsistent. There would be prolonged periods of diarrhea or prolonged periods of constipation. It is possible for the dog to have alternate diarrhea and constipation but no normal stool.
- Skin pigmentation is also possible.
Treatment of Thyroid Deficiency in Dogs
- The affected dog is treated with daily doses of synthetic thyroxine for the rest of his life.