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Hypothyroidism in dogs - Canine Thyroid Disease

Hypothyroidism is one of the most common canine endocrine disease and can be challenging to diagnose but is easily treated.

Causes

- Usually the result of lymphocytic thyroiditis or thyroid atrophy in dogs.
- Congenital thyroid hypoplasia (uncommon).
- Secondary hypothyroidism due to impaired pituitary secretion of thyrotropin.

Pathophysiology of hypothyroidism in dogs (most cases)

- Thyroid gland failure, with reduced secretion of thyroid hormones.
- Decreased active hormone available to enter cells.
- Gradual onset of cliical signs precipitated by insufficient thyroid hormone influence on metabolism, skin, reproductive system and neuromuscular system.
- Incresed pituitary secretion of thyrotropin in attempt to compensate.

Diagnosis

Canine hypothyroidism affects mostly middle-aged dogs and here's a list of predisposed breeds:

- Golden Retriever
- Doberman Pinscher
- Labrador Retriever
- Irish Setter
- Miniature Schnauzer
- Dachshund
- Cocker Spaniel
- Airedale Terrier

Physical Findings

- Alopecia, hyperpigmentation, dull coat without pruritis unless secondary pyoderma is present
- Bradicardia
- Neurologic abnormalities
- Weakness

Treatment Objectives

- Improve skin and coat quality
- Increase activity, decreas weight

The prognosis is good with treatment.

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