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Friday, May 20, 2011

Thyroid Disease in Dogs

This week we learned that Noah has hypothryoidism. His thyroid gland isn't producing enough hormone for his body.
This isn't my first experience with this disorder and I'm happy to say I recognized the symptoms early enough to get Noah started on treatment before he suffered any permanent damage. Thyroid disease in dogs is relatively common and is fairly easily treated. It's a good idea to familiarize yourself with the symptoms and if you suspect a problem, consult your veterinarian.

 Libby was my first dog to have thyroid problems and I didn't recognize what was going on. She gained a lot of weight and seemed to lack energy. She had once been an extremely active dog, but it became almost impossible for her to walk very far and climbing stairs would make her huff and puff. She'd have to stop half way to rest. Her coat became dry and dull and started falling out. Her skin turned dark and felt cool to the touch. Within a month of starting treatment she had lost the extra weight, grown a soft, fluffy new coat and had all her energy back. She lived to be 15 years old and was chasing squirrels  the day she died.

Monty had a slightly different problem. His thyroid level was in the normal range, but on the very low end of normal. We took a chance and started treating him because of his noise phobia. Prior to treatment Monty would panic at any loud noise. A thunderstorm would cause him to try to climb on my shoulder while shaking uncontrollably and drooling. Monty weighed 80 pounds and to have such a large dog out of control with panic was a difficult  situation for all of us. Within a short time of starting treatment with a low dose Monty could get thru a thunderstorm by just sitting close to me. He would still tremble, but he was in control and was a much happier dog. Because Monty's level was in the low normal range, this was a decision that our vet and I discussed at length and made together.

After her diagnosis of Masticatory Muscle Myositis (MMM), a blood test showed that Samba had a low thyroid reading. We started treatment, but we're pretty sure that her facial paralysis was probably related to the thyroid problem. We've had to adjust her dosage upwards, but now seem to have it at a perfect level for her.

Some of the common symptoms of thyroid disease in dogs is weight gain, lower activity level, lethargy, mood swings, cold intolerance, hair loss or changes in coat becoming dry, dull, brittle.

There are many others and if left untreated this can shorten your dog's life span. Treatment can be as easy as giving a tablet twice a day. The medication is inexpensive, works quickly and you can actually see the changes.

If you're interested in reading more or in checking out the other symptoms, this is an excellent article by one of the authorities on the subject.
http://www.canine-epilepsy-guardian-angels.com/ThyroidDisease.htm

8 comments:

  1. That brief description of Monty reminds me of Gretchen and Sissy's food bowl antics, her car fear, etc. Hmmm... I definitely think I want to see Wondervet one more time before she leaves!

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  2. Intereting. I never realized it could be so prevalent in dogs and it looks like you had plenty of practice. Always good to know the signs to look for. Thanks.

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  3. Thanks for this useful information. I hope things continue to go well.

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  5. That's a very useful information Thanks for sharing it

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  6. I hope Noah is doing well! Our Gibson in on thyroid meds too, discovered just this past summer when his Epilepsy blood tests were run and since some of the symptoms are similar, we ran thyroid tests too. It came back with his thyroid number very low. He's on meds now and doing good! Your info was very insightful and I will be keeping it on hand.

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  7. Thank you for sharing this information. I suspect that one of my dogs has this condition -- I will consult our vet first thing tomorrow!

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  8. Thyroid disorders are considered as some of the most prevalent diseases affecting the canine family and continued to garner the interests of dog breeders and medical researchers. But despite the attention that the diseases have continued to garner over the years, together with the development and enhancements of more accurate diagnosis tests, detection of the disorders is still no easy work. See more http://dogsaholic.com/care/thyroid-problems-in-dogs.html

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