Symptoms of Hypothyroidism
The thyroid gland produces hormones that are instrumental in regulating many processes in your dog's body, the most important being metabolism. Though research indicates that symptoms may begin in adolescence, the symptoms are often subtle and aren't detected until middle to old age.
Symptoms of hypothyroidism vary from dog to dog, but include:
- Weight loss
- Hair loss
- Dry coat
- Excessive shedding
- Cold intolerance
- Exercise intolerance
- Low heart rate
- High cholesterol
- Sudden behavioral changes, such as increased aggression
In serious cases, in which the symptoms go undetected for long periods of time, your dog may suffer from seizures, cardiac irregularities, corneal ulceration, loss of smell or taste and chronic hepatitis
Diagnosis of Hypothyroidism
A definitive diagnosis for hypothyroidism, either form, can only be acquired by a blood test, which measures levels of T3 and T4 in the bloodstream. If these levels are below the normal range, which is quite wide, your dog is hypothyroid. If the levels are too high, he has hyperthyroidism, which is more rare but does occur.
Many experts believe that the normal range is too wide, and if dogs fall outside a more narrow range, they may have thyroiditis that hasn't completely developed yet. Depending on your veterinarian, treatment may start when the levels finally reach outside the normal range or it may begin if your dog shows signs of thyroiditis.
Thyroiditis can be easily treated with medication, which regulates hormone levels in place of the thyroid. However, it can be devastating if left untreated, so visit your veterinarian for a blood test if your dog shows signs of hypothyroidism.
Info from: www.vetinfo.com