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Canine Thyroid Treatments

Dog health problems are perhaps the best studied in veterinary science as they have been close companions to human beings for centuries.



Dogs are susceptible to a variety of infectious diseases that are caused by microorganisms such as bacteria, virus, fungi which may pass on from one dog to another or through mosquito or tick bites. Canines are subject to a variety of diseases like hepatitis, distemper, herpes virus and influenza. Autoimmune disorders and genetic conditions can also afflict dogs just as they do humans, thyroid conditions are not uncommon among dog health problems.



Dogs, just like humans can suffer from thyroid problems, either hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism. Dog thyroid symptoms include fatigue, weakness, lethargy, unusual weight gain without eating as much, dull, dry and flaky skin, a variety of skin infections, vomiting, diarrhea, an intolerance to cold, reproductive issues (particularly infertility), bad odor of the skin and sometimes unwarranted aggression. This disease is usually inherited and can be a problem if one intends to breed the dog.



While the cause of this condition is still unknown, it sometimes occurs when the immune system of the dog decides to attack the thyroid gland. Thus the gland either increases or decreases the production of the thyroid hormone and this affects the metabolic rate of the body.

Treatments are best decided upon in consultation with the dog’s veterinarian. Hormone replacement medication is sometimes suggested and this shows an improvement in the animal’s condition in a week or two. By the fourth to fifth week, the coat starts getting better and regains its lost luster and sheen. Sometimes the thyroid is affected if the dog suffers from a cancerous tumor and once the tumor is treated through surgery, chemotherapy and radiation, the thyroid gland works normally. But tumors have a tendency to grow at a fast rate in dogs and chances of survival post surgery would depend on the size and extent of its growth. If hypothyroidism is detected in the dog, the veterinarian is likely to place it on a course of synthetic thyroid hormone. The amount as well as frequency of intake of this medicine will depend upon the severity of the condition. Once the dog is put on this medication, its weight is monitored regularly and blood samples are drawn to adjust the dosage of medication. This type of dog thyroid treatment will have to be sustained for the rest of the dog’s life.

 
  Submitted on May 7, 2010