Thyroid gland is located at the front of your pet’s neck. It produces thyroid hormones, very essential for the body metabolism.
Hypothyroidism (low thyroid), in dogs is usually inherited in certain breeds. Middle-aged to older dogs are more commonly affected. The clinical signs include dry, scaly or greasy and thin hair coat, excessive shedding of hair or loss in patches, slow re-growth after clipping and skin pigmentation. Some pets are more susceptible to infections of skin or ears and others may be overweight, lethargic, while sleeping a lot at warm places. Some develop abnormalities in heart rate or even few show neurological signs of jaw muscles and often the breeding dogs may be infertile.
To evaluate your dog’s thyroid gland function simple blood tests or other special diagnostic tests including CAT Scan or Ultrasound can be done. For treatment of Hypothyroidism, supplementation of medication orally or more conveniently mixed in food. Usually the first sign of improvement is often an increase in the activity and alertness during the first two weeks of treatment followed by an improvement or change in their hair-coat in 4-6 weeks or longer, depending on the rate of hair growth. We will ask you to bring your pet in for additional blood tests every six to twelve months, to an adequate maintenance dose or adjust as needed.
Hyperthyroidism (too much thyroid) in pets is most commonly diagnosed in Cats and is usually associated with tumors of the thyroid gland. In causes weight loss, rapid heart rate, increased appetite or thirst or diarrhea and they can be lethargic or depressed and often vomiting. Sometimes a tumor in the chest is associated with hyperthyroid in cats besides the tumors of glands in the neck. Therefore, not only the blood tests but also the CAT Scan with Scintography is done to correctly diagnose the Hyperthyroidism particularly, the thyroid producing tumors in the chest. For the treatment, anti-thyroid drugs are given orally and in some cases the surgical removal of the thyroid gland/tumor is necessary. However, for the cure of feline hyperthyroidism, an injection of radioactive medication and monitoring afterwards for few days is done at a specialist referral place.
We at Garfield Animal Hospital care about your pet and this is a part of service that we want to educate you. Please make an appointment with the doctor to discuss further about your pet’s heath condition in general or specific to thyroid. Please call at 562-630-2082 for more info.