What is Hyperthyroidism?

Hypothyroidism results from an under-active thyroid gland producing too little thyroid hormone. It is seen most commonly in middle-aged to older dogs. Affected dogs gain weight, become easily fatigued, sleep for longer periods of time, are often dull in their attitude and may seek a warm area in cold weather.  Their hair coat becomes dry and loses sheen, the color dulls and the hair may become very sparse.  Clipped hair may not regrow. Affected dogs may become prone to skin infections and poor wound healing, as well as other internal health problems.


Diagnosis of hypothyroidism depends on taking blood samples to measure thyroid hormone levels. In some cases, diagnosis can be difficult and repeated testing is necessary.

Treatment and Monitoring

Treatment of hypothyroidism consists of administering synthetic thyroid supplementation in the form of twice daily pills.  The treatment of hypothyroidism is lifelong as the condition will not cure itself.  Blood monitoring is necessary to determine that your pet is on the proper dose of medication.  Once the proper dose has been established, then we recommend twice yearly monitoring.  Signs of a reaction to the thyroid medication would include vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, lethargy, or restlessness.  

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