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!
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Signs Your Pooch May Have Hyperthyroidism
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.
- Head tilting
- excessive bleeding
- lethargy and mental lassitude
- weight gain
- hair loss
- cold intolerance
- dull coat
- greasy or dry skin
Have Dogs Always Had Hyperthyroidism?
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?
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
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