(Picture Credit: Getty Images)Hypothyroidism in dogs is a disorder where the thyroid gland in the neck doesn’t secrete enough thyroxine, a hormone that controls metabolism. This means that a dog’s body is no longer able to convert food into fuel at an appropriate rate.Age, breed, lifestyle, and exposure to certain substances can all influence the onset of hypothyroidism in canines. Symptoms can range from lethargy and weight gain to seizures and heart problems.Though causes and symptoms may vary, treatment is the same for most dogs. If you see the signs in your dog, then you should consult your veterinarian to find the best treatment options.Here’s what you should know about hypothyroidism in dogs.Causes Of Hypothyroidism In Dogs (Picture Credit: Getty Images)Hypothyroidism can affect any dog, though it’s less common in smaller breeds and more common in several specific breeds that have a predisposition for developing the condition.It can appear due to this predisposition in the following breeds:Airedale TerriersBoxersCocker SpanielsDachshundsDoberman PinschersGolden and Labrador RetrieversGreat DanesGreyhoundsIrish SettersMiniature SchnauzersOld English SheepdogsPoodlesGerman Shepherd Dogs and mixed breeds are usually less susceptible to hypothyroidism. Dogs who develop it typically do so around the ages of four to ten years old.However, breed is not the only factor that leads to hypothyroidism. Spayed females seem to develop the condition more than un-spayed females, though the reason for that is unclear.The condition may also develop due to the following causes:Immune disease (autoimmune thyroiditis)Atrophy of thyroid tissueLack of exerciseTumor on the thyroidExposure to medications such as steroidsAdrenal disorderSymptoms Of Hypothyroidism In Dogs (Picture Credit: Getty Images)Hypothyroidism in dogs affects metabolism, which is necessary for all organs and the entire body to function. Because of this, the symptoms can be quite variable.Here are a few of the most common symptoms:Depression or lethargyChanges in behavior including aggression or anxietyHead tiltingHair loss and thin coatFrequent naps and loss of interest in exerciseDry, discolored, or infected skinWeight gain, obesity, and muscle lossCold intoleranceEar and toenail infectionsSlow heart rateSeizuresHigh cholesterolAnemiaTreatments For Hypothyroidism In Dogs (Picture Credit: Getty Images)Hypothyroidism is treatable in dogs with daily oral drugs. However, this treatment is ongoing for the rest of life once the condition is diagnosed.While the condition isn’t necessary life-threatening, it can significantly decrease the quality of life for a dog who has it. The drug vets usually prescribe is a synthetic hormone called levothyroxine or L-thyroxine, and it doesn’t cost much.Your veterinarian also wish to take preventative measures if thyroid hormone levels are low to stop the onset of full-blown hypothyroidism. For example, they may prescribe thyroid glandulars and the cofactors–tyrosine and iodine–to try and bring thyroid hormone production back to normal.They will also strictly monitor your dog’s blood for signs of progress.Do you have a dog who suffers from hypothyroidism? How do you treat it? Let us know in the comments below!Source

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