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Canine Hypothyroidism - Signs and Symptoms

As I share Gunner's story, more and more have also shared. Please see my blog on "Hypothyroid Friends" and see all the different breeds and "faces" of this canine disease. Please share and help save a life.

ADDITION : MEDICAL DOSING : Did you know that many feel the maximum dosage should be .1mg per 15lbs of the dogs IDEAL weight? Also, pills should be given 1 hour before or 3 hours after food and 12 hours apart! IF your dog is currently on meds for other issues - further due diligence is required to insure of no conflicts. I would like to say, I AM NOT A VET, but offer this information in case you feel it's worth further discussion with your vet!

What are the signs of canine thyroid disease?

Normal thyroid function affects just about every aspect of a dog’s health, including:

• Maintaining healthy skin and coat • Maintaining proper body weight • Promoting mental alertness and concentration • Fighting infections • Maintaining the body’s temperature • Controlling growth and maturation • Facilitating normal reproduction

Since the thyroid gland regulates metabolism of all of the body’s cellular activities,reduced thyroid function can produce a wide range of clinical signs, including:

Cardiac abnormalities • Slow heart rate (bradycardia) • Cardiac arrhythmia • Cardiomyopathy

Gastrointestinal disorders • Constipation • Diarrhea • Vomiting

Hematologic (blood) disorders • Bleeding • Bone marrow failure • Low red blood cells (anemia), white blood cells, platelets

Ocular (eye) diseases • Corneal lipid deposits • Corneal ulceration • Uveitis • Keratoconjunctivitis sicca or “dry eye” • Infections of eyelid glands (Meibomian gland) • Vogt-Koyanagi-Harada syndrome

Other associated disorders • IgA deficiency • Loss of smell (dysosmia) • Loss of taste • Glycosuria • Other endocrinopathies, including chronic active hepatitis (adrenal, parathyroid, pancreatic)

Alterations in cellular metabolism • Lethargy • Weight gain • Mental dullness • Cold intolerance • Exercise intolerance • Mood swings • Neurologic signs (polyneuropathy, stunted growth, seizures) • Chronic infections • Hyperexcitability

Neuromuscular problems • Weakness • Knuckling or dragging feet • Stiffness • Muscle wasting • Laryngeal paralysis • Megaesophagus • Facial paralysis • Head tilt • “Tragic” expression • Drooping eyelids • Incontinence • Ruptured cruciate ligament

Dermatologic diseases • Dry, scaly skin and dandruff • Chronic offensive skin odor • Coarse, dull coat • Bilaterally symmetrical hair loss • “Rat tail” • “Puppy coat” • Seborrhea with greasy skin • Seborrhea with dry skin • Hyperpigmentation • Pyoderma or skin infections myxedema

Reproductive disorders

• Infertility

• Prolonged interestrus interval

• Lack of libido

• Absence of heat cycles

• Testicular atrophy

• Silent heats

• Hypospermia

• Pseudopregnancy

• Aspermia

• Weak, dying, or stillborn pups

The classical signs associated with hypothyroidism (significant weight gain, lethargy, cold intolerance, poor skin and hair coat) typically occur only after 70% or more of the thyroid tissue has been destroyed or damaged.

TESTING : please demand a FULL COMPREHENSIVE THYROID TEST. A full thyroid panel includes tests that help evaluate Thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), free and total triiodothyronine (total or free T3), free and total thyroxine (free and total T4), and thyroid antibody test. ... These antibodies will either stimulate or harm the thyroid gland and its function.

Many vets will just do a basic T4 test and sometimes it does come back "fine", but when the full panel is done - the full issues can be seen.

Share the story - it could save a life!

Karen Grzenda

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