My Dog has been Diagnosed Hypothyroid

Over the years I have diagnosed many dogs with hypothyroidism. This is a disease in which the thyroid gland does not produce enough hormones. Thyroid hormone is responsible for driving the metabolism of the body. This means that all of the cells of the body rely on this hormone to allow them to function at their normal capacity.

My own dog reminds me how subtle the symptoms of hypothyroidism can be. Marley is eight years old. As many of you know, she has been a running partner as well as a constant companion. She comes to work with me every day. My wife noticed that Marley had become much calmer in recent months. She has always had a great hair coat and we really hadn't noticed any difference. She would be noticeably less eager to run in the mornings. Her weight is normal but it was requiring more attention to feeding amounts to maintain. We felt she was just showing subtle signs of getting older. When my adult sons visited they noticed the change as well.

I have always done yearly dental cleanings under anesthesia and yearly senior panels on Marley. Her Thyroid had always been normal. When we checked this year, she had a low T-4 result. I did some confirmation tests and it turns out that Marley had become significantly hypothyroid.

Fortunately, this condition is easily treated with twice daily medication. She takes her Levothyroxine like a champ. Now for the good part! She became more energetic within the first two weeks of treatment. Now she is anxious to run and her normal bouncy self. We were also amazed at how much thicker her coat became after about six weeks.

The important thing to me is the reminder of how subtle this condition will be. Very frequently the signs appear similar to natural aging. The thyroid is evaluated on our major panels that are recommended on a yearly basis. When pets are being medicated we verify the blood levels on the medication to be sure the dose is correct and recheck it annually.

Hypothyroidism is an easy disease to treat but may often go undetected without routine evaluation.

We welcome your inquiries and invite you to learn more about us and how we can serve all your pet's health needs Phone: (949) 631-2211.

Our Pet Health Mission

Our mission at Newport Harbor Animal Hospital is: "To provide the highest quality veterinary care for our patients and the best service for our clients. Our goal in every case is a healthy pet and a happy client."

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