Can Dogs Suffer from Hyperthyroidism?

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We know you probably spend a lot of time wondering about how your dog is feeling, what's on his mind, and what he wants, so it makes sense that you'd wonder about what illnesses or diseases he can get, how to prevent them, and how to treat them, too. In case you didn't know, it's entirely possible for your pup to suffer from hyperthyroidism. This can come as a surprise to many doggo owners, as it seems like a human-specific condition. 

Typically, hyperthyroidism is a rare condition in dogs that occurs as an aggressive thyroid tumor - for the most part, this is common in older cats, but it certainly can occur in pups, too. Essentially, hyperthyroidism means that your pooch's glands are working overtime and secreting too much hormones, and keeping them in a constant state of metabolic activity.

The good news is, this is a treatable condition and your pup can still live a happy, long life. If you want to know more about the condition, how to know if your dog has it, and how you can help treat and prevent it, read on! 

Introduction of Can Dogs Suffer from Hyperthyroidism?

Signs Your Pooch May Have Hyperthyroidism

While other doggo conditions can be fairly easy to diagnose (if your pup has the sniffles, he's properly congested) deciding whether or not your dog may have hyperthyroidism is a little bit tougher. It can be a really difficult thing to diagnose in pups, let alone look for signs that are suspect. 

Some signs that your pooch may be experiencing hyperthyroidism can include fatigue and lethargy, a significant weight gain (most commonly noticed), a duller coat, either constipation or diarrhea, skin infections or odor, greasy or dry skin, reproductive problems, or even aggression.

Body Language

If you're unsure if your pup has the symptoms that point to hyperthyroidism, take a look at his body language and watch for the following:
  • Growling
  • Head tilting
  • Cowering
  • Pacing
  • Weakness

Other Signs

If you notice these signs in conjunction with other body signs, it's possible your dog is suffering from hyperthyroidism:
  • excessive bleeding
  • diarrhea
  • constipation
  • infections
  • lethargy and mental lassitude
  • weight gain
  • hair loss
  • cold intolerance
  • dull coat
  • greasy or dry skin

Have Dogs Always Had Hyperthyroidism?

History of Can Dogs Suffer from Hyperthyroidism?
While it's tough to determine the originating date of when we discovered that dogs have hyperthyroidism, many case studies, both recent and a bit more dated, have pointed to the evidence that dogs have suffered from hyperthyroidism for quite some time. More than that, they've pointed to the main cause being diet.

In 2012, a group of dog-tors studied 12 pups that were fed raw foods and noticed that half of them had the symptoms of hyperthyroidism, while the other half didn't have clinical signs. When the dog's diets were changed, and their thyroxine levers returned to normal and the symptoms disappeared.

Later, in 2013, in a case in Austria, two dogs that had thyroxine levels suggesting hyperthyroidism underwent x-rays, and determined that the pups were fed head meat containing thryoid gland tissue, increasing their levels. Changing their diets relieved the symptoms.  

What's the Science Behind Hyperthyroidism?

Science of Can Dogs Suffer from Hyperthyroidism?

To get a better understanding of how to treat your dog for hyperthyroidism, it's important to have a grasp on what hyperthyroidism is. Typically, it's caused by an aggressive thyroid tumor that presses onto the thyroid glands, over-producing thyroid hormone, and causing a state of metabolic hyperactivity that's constant. If left untreated, it can cause kidney and heart failure. 

Many studies suggest that feeding your dog raw food, with parts like animal necks, gullets, and heads, causes many of the issues. It's also possible that it can be a genetic, inherited condition, or even something that can be triggered by environmental chemicals, viruses, repeated osculation, and other immune system challengers. 

How to Train Your Dog - and Yourself - to Deal with Hyperthyroidism

Training of Can Dogs Suffer from Hyperthyroidism?
When it comes to training your pup how to deal with hyperthyroidism, it's important that you focus on training yourself, too. Get your pooch accustomed to the hyperthyroid treatment you'll have to implement in his daily life - that means a new diet, possibly pills, and a regiment of exercise. Train your pup to take pills by hiding them in his food, using it as a treat, playing a throw-and-catch game, or teaching him to take it gently out of your hand.

 Additionally, get your pup accustomed to a daily exercise routine that will help keep the weight off. When it comes to treatment and therapy, make sure your pooch is familiar and comfortable with getting his blood drawn. Typically, that means having a complete blood panel done every six to 12 months. 

On your end, it's important that you're training yourself to abide by the dietary restrictions and requirements that your vet puts in place to curb your pup's hyperthyroidism.

How To React if You Suspect Your Pup Has Hyperthyroidism

  • Work with your vet to develop a hyperthyroidism therapy treatment and regimen
  • Develop a new diet with your vet
  • Take your pup to the doctor as soon as possible to get checked out
  • Take not of your dog's biological signs and body language