Your dog goes in for her yearly check up, and your veterinarian thinks your dog has hypothyroidism. -Travel Animal Doctor
What is this disease, and will your dog be okay?
Hypothyroidism in dogs is a common endocrine problem that occurs in middle aged dogs, often between the ages of 4 yrs to 10 yrs old.
Are you noticing hair loss on both sides of your dog, that does not seem to itch?
If your dog is not eating any more than usual, yet still appears to be gaining weight, it may not just be what you are feeding her. Even if you are only noticing one of these clinical signs, it is important to take your dog to the veterinary office.
A common endocrine disease, called hypothyroidism, causes these clinical signs. Your veterinarian can do some tests to evaluate your pet for hypothyroidism. If your dog has hypothyroidism, your veterinarian will be able to subscribe the necessary treatment for your pet.
If your veterinarian suspects hypothyroidism, a series of tests can be done including what you may hear the veterinarian refer to as measurement of:
- Total T4
- free T4
These tests are obtained by taking a blood sample from your pet and performing the accurate testing. Other diseases can interfere with the thyroid levels in dogs. For this reason, it may be difficult to ascertain whether or not your dog has hypothyroidism through the use of just one clinical test. Other tests that can be used to obtain the diagnosis of hypothyroidism in your pet include imaging of your pet’s thyroid gland, a TSH stim test, and response to supplementation of the thyroid hormone.
Normocytic, normochromic, nonregenerative anemia can be found in around 50% of dogs that are diagnosed with hypothyroidism. This type of anemia occurs with chronic disease in your dog, and can be treated by treating the hypothyroidism. If a dog has hypothyroidism, the cholesterol in the blood is often high. Around 80% of dogs with hypothyroidism will have hypercholesterolemia. Simply put, this is increased cholesterol levels in the blood. The TSH stimulation test is the go-to-test to diagnose hypothyroidism, however it is important to note that TSH is expensive.
Will my dog be okay?
So if your aging dog has hypothyroidism, fear not, it is not the end of the world. – Travel Animal Doctor
Your dog can live a happy and healthy life with just a little bit of extra care.