Chronic Disease Management

Hypothyroid

Hypothyroid

Hypothyroid is when the immune system decides that the thyroid is abnormal or foreign and attacks it. It is still unclear to veterinarians why this occurs in the first place. Hypothyroidism can be treated but not cured.


When the metabolic rate slows down, virtually every organ in the body is affected. Most dogs with hypothyroidism have one or more of the following symptoms:


  • Weight gain without an increase in appetite
  • Lethargy and lack of desire to exercise
  • Cold intolerance (gets cold easily)
  • Dry, dull hair with excessive shedding and flaking
  • Very thin to nearly bald hair coat
  • Increased dark pigmentation in the skin
  • Increased susceptibility and occurrence of skin and ear infections
  • Failure to re-grow hair after clipping or shaving
  • High blood cholesterol
  • Slow heart rate


Some dogs also have other abnormalities such as:


  • Thickening of the facial skin so they have a "tragic facial expression"
  • Abnormal function of nerves causing non-painful lameness, dragging of feet, lack of coordination, and a head tilt
  • Loss of libido and infertility in intact males
  • Lack of heat periods, infertility, and abortion in females
  • Fat deposits in the corneas of the eyes
  • Keratoconjunctivitis sicca (KCS) or "dry eye" due to lack of proper tear production