Thyroid Issues

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Symptoms can vary from one case to the other.


- The condition is called autoimmune thyroiditis. The tyroid is attacked by antibodies, these antibodies normally just fight infection.
- Signs typically show between 4 and 6 years old.
- One or more symptoms can show.
  • Behavioral changes: aggression, irritable, anxiety and/or compulsivity
  • Dull and/or Thin Coat
  • Hair loss on around tail and hips and/or limbs
  • Hair Loss in general, "Moth eaten" coat
  • Cold Intolerance
  • Extra "Eye Buggers"
  • Weight gain
  • Skin Infection (Pyodermia)
  • Dandruff
  • Lethargic
  • High blood cholesterol
  • Anemia
  • Slow heart rate (bradycardia) *
  • Cardiac Arrhythias *

Diagnosised: Blood work is taken by your vet after the dog is fasted for 12 hours. If the level of T4 is low, they may do a TSH test to make sure.

Treatment: Treatment is with hormone replacement medication given every 12 hours. The test will need to be repeated in 1 to 2 weeks to make sure the medication is at the right level. If it is still off, try switching brand names before increase the dose. Different brand names aborb differently. Soloxine (link) has been said to aborb well. After the medicine is stable, they are usually retested every 6 to 12 months. Typicaly the dog is on treatment the rest of their life. Within a couple weeks after the medicine is stable, you should start to notice improvement!

* Being a Doberman owner, I was excited when I heard this. Something else but DCM causing the VPCs.... No :( That thought was short lived. What had my hopes up was, that hypothyroidism interfers with the electrical fibers making up the heart. Rhythmic contractions are normally stiumulated by these fibers. From talking with two doctors, they agreed that being hypothyroid can make the heart worse faster, but it has not been known to cause DCM.

Thyroid medicine should be given at lower the lowest dose possible for patients with heart diesease. To much can have more side effects.

If there is not enough thyroid hormones being produced, it affects the metabolic function of most the organ systems. Abnormalities related to the cardiovascular system are not common. There is little evidense that supports one causing the other though.

Some articles:
Hypothyroidism by Mar Vista Animal Medical Center

Improvement in myocardial dysfunction in a hypothyroid dog by Julie A. Flood and John P. Hoover


- the condition is caused by an excess of thyroid hormone. Rarely seen in dogs, more common in cats. Generally caused by a benign (growth) or enlargement of the thyroid gland. Low quality food can contribute, along with viral and bacterial infections. Diet, antibiotics, looking over enviromental exposures may be what your vet will start you off with.
  • Increased water intake and urination
  • Heat intolerance and/or excessive panting
  • Aggresion / Irritable
  • Weight loss
  • Increased appetite
  • Increased heart rate
  • Corse coat
  • High blood presure *
  • Increased heart rate *
* The increase in heart rate may lead to heart enlargement. The heart has to work harder to get the same amount of oxygen to the body. Since the heart is not pumping properly, the heart walls may start to thicken and the heart may enlarge to try and make up for the decrease in oxygen in the blood.

Some articles & Links
Dog Food Analysis

**** Many of us are not vets or even close to an expert on these topics. Many articles have come from hours spent online reading and talking with others while trying to figure out what is best. If you have any questions, or information to add, feel free to contact me at
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