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328 Cranbourne Road, Frankston, VIC, 3199

P: (03) 9789 3444

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What is Hypothyroidism in Dogs?

Posted on: Dec 2 2022

Hypothyroidism is a common disease in dogs that result in an underactive thyroid gland. The thyroid gland is controlled by the pituitary gland, located at the base of the brain, and when the glands are not producing enough hormones, the dog’s metabolism slows down.

hypothryroidism in dogs

This is commonly caused by either;

  • Lymphocytic Thyroiditis, where the immune system decides that the thyroid is abnormal or foreign and attacks it.
  • Idiopathic Thyroid Gland Atrophy, where normal thyroid tissue is replaced by fat tissue.

The Symptoms of Hypothyroidism in Dogs

Every organ in the body is affected when the metabolic rate slows down, so it is common for a dog with hypothyroidism to have one of more of the following symptoms:

  • Weight gain without increase in appetite
  • Tired and no desire to exercise
  • Feels the cold easily
  • Dry, dull hair with excessive shedding
  • Increased dark pigmentation in the skin
  • Increased occurrence of skin and ear infections
  • Hair does not re-grow after clipping
  • High blood cholesterol
  • Slow heart rate

Hypothyroidism is most common in dogs that are 4 to 10 years old and usually affects medium to large-size breeds.

Breeds that are most commonly diagnosed with Hypothyroidism are the Golden Retriever, Cocker Spaniel, Doberman Pinscher, Irish Setter and Airedale Terrier.

How Hypothyroidism in Dogs is Diagnosed

If you suspect your dog has Hypothyroidism or they show one or more of the symptoms above, contact your veterinarian for a full physical examination of your dog, including a thorough medical history.

Your vet will perform a thyroid specific blood test and this will confirm the diagnosis of hypothyroidism.

hypothryroidism in dogs

Treatment of Hypothyroidism

There is good news. Hypothyroidism is not life threatening but it isn’t curable. It does require your dog to be on an oral medication for the rest of its life. This medication is called levothyroxine and it is a synthetic form of the thyroid hormone.

Karingal Vet Hospital – Hypothyroidism in Dogs

If your dog is showing one or more of the typical symptoms and signs of Hypothyroidism, make sure you contact your veterinarian for advice. Please speak to our friendly staff at Karingal Veterinary Clinic in the Mornington Peninsula to make an appointment or book online today.

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328 Cranbourne Road, Frankston, VIC, 3199

P: (03) 9789 3444

The Karingal Veterinary Hospital is open 6 days a week.

Our hours are

- 8am-6pm Monday-Friday,
- 9am-5pm Saturday,
- Closed on Sundays,

* We are closed on public holidays.