Canine hypothyroidism is an endocrine disease caused by a deficiency of thyroid hormones. Known as T3 and T4, they are very important for various metabolic processes in the body.
The disease can occur naturally, due to lymphocytic thyroiditis or thyroid atrophy, or due to the use of certain medications, the first being the most common form. It is also possible that hypothyroidism is congenital, but it is rarer.
A deficiency of these hormones can lead to skin diseases, weakness, increased cholesterol and triglycerides, and anemia. That’s why it’s important for tutors to take pets to the veterinarian whenever they notice something different.
“Hypothyroidism leads to a reduction in metabolism as a whole and to a greater or lesser degree will affect the functioning of all organs”, he explains. Hilka Fatima Frison Mendes Nevesa veterinarian specializing in endocrinology of dogs and cats.
The most common symptoms and most easily identified by tutors are hair loss, skin lesions, lethargy, lack of interest in activities and weight gain. “In some cases it is possible to notice what we call a “tragic face”, resulting from a swelling in the facial region, and the “rat tail”, when the dog’s tail is hairless, resembling that of a rodent”, he says. Jessica Abatzoglou Magnoa veterinarian with a postgraduate degree in homeopathy.
The diagnosis is made through hormonal tests (in dogs it is expected to identify free T4 by reduced dialysis and elevated TSH). In addition, in animals with the disease, it is common to observe anemia, increased cholesterol, liver and gallbladder changes in blood tests and ultrasound. The most predisposed breeds are golden retriever, dachshund, cocker spaniel, rottweiller, beagle and labrador.
The treatment is relatively simple, done through hormone replacement, and usually lasts the entire life of the animal. According to Hilka, this problem requires follow-up by a veterinarian – there are professionals specialized in the endocrine area – it involves periodic clinical reassessments, general blood tests and hormonal control of serum levothyroxine (thyroid hormone present in the bloodstream).