Hypothyroidism in Dogs

By: Dr. Michelle Nguyen Dr. Nguyen


Is your dog overweight? Is your dog not as active as he/she used to be?  Does your dog have skin issues as well (i.e. thinning hair, hair loss, recurrent ear infections, greasy hair coat, etc)?  If any of these clinical signs fit your dog, a veterinary exam and a routine blood panel may provide some answers for you.
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These clinical signs may be consistent with a syndrome called hypothyroidism. This disorder usually occurs in middle-aged dogs between the ages of 2 and 9, and both males and females are equally affected.  Hypothyroidism most commonly occurs due to the disruption or atrophy of the thyroid glands. Fortunately with treatment, long-term prognosis is excellent.

The mainstay of treatment is oral thyroid hormone replacement. Your dog will be on a twice daily oral medication life-long. Luckily, most dogs do very well with oral medications, especially if hidden in pill pockets! The initial diagnosis of hypothyroidism along with fine-tuning the medication dosage will 

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require two to three blood panels.  However once the correct dose of medication is achieved, your pet will only need annual blood work to make sure the thyroid level is within the therapeutic range.

If you think these clinical symptoms fit your dog, we would love to see him/her for a comprehensive nose-to-tail physical exam and possibly blood work. Give us a call at (775) 358-6880.