Sunday, October 27, 2013

Pet Health Tip #29- Hypothyroidism

Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrievers, and Miniature Schnauzers are the breeds most commonly found to develop hypothyroidism.  The thyroid gland is found in the throat.  Hypothyroidism occurs when the thyroid gland is not producing enough thyroid hormone.  Symptoms of hypothyroidism in dogs are similar to those seen in people.  The dog will have excessive weight gain.  The skin will be dry and flaky.  The hair becomes brittle and falls out easily.  There may be areas of hair loss (alopecia), especially on chest, neck, and body.  Often times the dog will also have a very low energy level.

Diagnosis is through a blood test that measures the level of thyroid hormone and function of the thyroid gland.

Treatment includes hormone replacement therapy.  Dogs do very well on thyroid medication.  The dose of medication needed varies, and your dog will need to have his thyroid levels checked regularly to ensure he is on the right dose of medication.  Once started on the medication, dogs will do very well and can lead long and happy lives.

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