Canine Hypothyroidism is a condition in which there is a deficiency of thyroid hormone. This condition primarily affects dogs. It is a rare condition of cats. This condition, if seen, usually affects medium to large breed dogs over 2 years of age. This condition can be inherited.
Signs to watch for:
- Lethargy(very little activity)
- Excessive sleeping
- Appears to be cold all the time
- Gaining weight regardless of diets, very little appetite, etc.
- Hair thinning on body
- Excessive shedding
- “Rat tail” appearance
- Reoccuring skin infections
- Allergies that do not respond well to symptomatic treatment
- Other systemic problems
These signs are not all inclusive and dogs with hypothyroidism usually do not present themselves with all of these signs. Because this condition can mimic other conditions, it is important to have your pet examined if you suspect something is wrong.
This condition can be diagnosed by use of a blood test. Once the condition is confirmed, treatment usually consists of daily oral medication. This treatment is relatively easy and the condition is usually easily controlled. Because this condition can mimic other problems, it is important to confirm it before using thyroid medication. If thyroid supplement is not needed, serious problems can occur.
The staff at de la Houssaye Animal Hospital would be happy to discuss this condition with you further.