My Dog Was Diagnosed With Hypothyroidism, Now What Do I Do?

By Species, By Topic, Care & Wellness, Dogs

Hypothyroidism is a common endocrine disorder in dogs. However, managing the disease is relatively simple and involves giving your dog a small pill twice daily as a replacement for the thyroid hormone that it cannot produce on its own. This replacement therapy is typically life-long, but regular monitoring can help to avoid overdosages as well as keep your dog on the proper amount of medication.

The first thing veterinarians must do when determining how to treat your dog’s hyperthyroid problem is to run a few tests.The most common screening test performed on dogs is a serum T4 evaluation. This checks the levels of the T4 hormone, which is exuded by the thyroid. Normal T4 levels fluctuate throughout the day, so there’s a normal range. The thyroid levels in dogs, however, are also affected by other non-thyroid disorders which in turn could possibly decrease the blood value of your dogs T4.

However, using a T4 value is still an excellent starting point for evaluating your dog’s thyroid. If there are concurrent outward signs of being low thyroid, which include: being slow or sluggish (acting older than your dog’s chronological age), skin or hair abnormalities, unexplained weight gain or intolerance to cold, and your dog tests below the range of normal values, then your dog could be a candidate for replacement hormone therapy. Further testing to assure your dog’s thyroid values as well as checking that the signs it is exhibiting are not done to another, the concurrent problem is often warranted. We can evaluate your dog’s clinical history, as well as its laboratory values if your dog was diagnosed somewhere and you wish a second opinion before beginning therapy.

If we start your dog on therapy, the T4 value mentioned above is used to monitor the progress of your dog’s treatment, as well as to take precaution that your dog will not become hyperthyroid (too high thyroid values), which can have severe medical effects as well.

Call CEDARCREST Animal Clinic at 540-943-7577 if you are worried about your pet’s thyroid health.

CEDARCREST Animal Clinic provides medical and surgical care for every stage of your pet's life including preventive wellness care exams and vaccines, spays/neuters, and a variety of specialized care for your dog, cat, avian, or exotic. We are home to the only veterinarian practitioner in Virginia to be double Boarded in Avian and Canine/Feline care and provide care for birds, small mammals, and reptiles of all sorts! Plus, we are home to Virginia's most exclusive dog boarding resort that includes heated floors, an expansive play area, and even webcams so you can watch your pet while you're away. We're located in Fishersville, Virginia, and serve Augusta County and surrounding areas including Waynesboro, Staunton, Harrisonburg, and Charlottesville. 

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