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Hyperthyroidism In Dogs – Causes, Symptoms, and Treatments for Hyperthyroidism

Quick Reference

What Is Hyperthyroidism?
Causes
Breeds Prone To It
Treatment
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What Is Hyperthyroidism In Dogs?
Hyperthyroidism is a condition that affects the thyroid gland in dogs. The thyroid gland produces a hormone called thyroxine, which helps to control the body’s metabolism. In dogs with hyperthyroidism, the thyroid gland produces too much thyroxine, which can cause the dog to become overweight, have a rapid heart rate, and experience other symptoms such as diarrhea and vomiting.

What Causes Hyperthyroidism In A Dog?
– Benign tumor on the thyroid gland
– Medication taken for Hypothyroidism
– A raw meat diet

What Dog Breeds Are Prone To Hyperthyroidism?
– Airedale Terrier
– Cocker Spaniel
– Dachshund
– Doberman Pinscher
– Miniature Schnauzer
– Golden Retriever
– Irish Setter

Hyperthyroidism Dog Treatment
– Healthier Diet
– Medication
– Thyroid Carcinoma Hyperthyroidism Treatment
>Radioactive iodine therapy
>Radiation therapy
>Chemotherapy
>Prednisone

Hyperthyroidism is an uncommon health condition that many pet owners are unaware of. This is because the symptoms often go undetected until the disease is in its later stages.

Hyperthyroidism is a rare condition in dogs but is common in cats. Thyroid glands are and can be life-threatening if not treated and addressed. This article will tell you about something called “Hyperthyroidism.” It will explain what it is, what signs to watch for if you think you might have it, and how doctors treat it.

Different types of dog breeds

What is hyperthyroidism in dogs?

Hyperthyroidism in dogs is when your pet’s thyroid makes too many hormones, and it becomes a disease.

Your pet’s thyroid gland is in the neck and produces a hormone called thyroxine. The thyroxine hormone is in charge of regulating the body’s metabolism. When there is too much thyroxine, it makes the body work too fast, and this can cause health issues.

Hyperthyroidism is rare in dogs but can be life-threatening if left untreated. Most of the time, it happens to older pets, especially those in their middle age. It happens a lot in bigger dogs, like medium to large breeds. The FDA wrote about it in their article on Hypothyroidism in Dogs and mentioned that there are special drugs approved by the FDA to treat it. [1]

So you know, Hypothyroidism and Hyperthyroidism are not the same thing. They are two different medical conditions, but they’re related, and we will explain how they connect.

Another common cause of Hyperthyroidism is medication taken for Hypothyroidism. Hypothyroidism is a condition where the thyroid gland doesn’t produce enough thyroxine. Doctors give a synthetic form of thyroxine in pill form to compensate for this, which can sometimes lead to Hyperthyroidism. Another possible cause of Hyperthyroidism is a raw food diet. Certain raw foods are naturally higher in thyroid hormones which can cause an overproduction of thyroxine in thyroid glands if not fed in moderation. As explained in Pubmed, this condition is known as Dietary Hyperthyroidism in dogs and is curable.

What causes hyperthyroidism in a dog?

There are only a few causes of Hyperthyroidism in dogs, but the most common is a benign tumor on the thyroid gland. This type of tumor called a thyroid carcinoma, or thyroid tumor, often becomes cancerous and malignant when left untreated.

Hypothyroidism and a diet with lots of raw meat can lead to Hyperthyroidism, [3] but the main reason for it is a tumor in the thyroid gland. This tumor can turn into thyroid cancer and spread to other parts of the body, which can be very dangerous for the pet’s life.

Fun Fact

Dog Zoonotic Diseases are infections that can pass between dogs and humans. Hyperthyroidism in dogs is a hormonal disorder that affects their thyroid gland. 🐾🐶

What dog breeds are prone to hyperthyroidism?

If you notice any of these signs in your pet, it’s crucial to take them to the vet as soon as you can. The sooner the vets find out what’s wrong, the better the chances of helping your pet get better. [4]

Some common dog breeds that are prone to Hyperthyroidism include;

  • Airedale Terrier
  • Cocker Spaniel
  • Dachshund
  • Doberman Pinscher
  • Miniature Schnauzer
  • Golden Retriever
  • Irish Setter
A dog with Hyperthyroidism

Hyperthyroidism in dogs symptoms

Hyperthyroidism is a condition that sometimes goes unnoticed because its symptoms may not be obvious at first. The signs of Hyperthyroidism are like other health problems like allergies, heart disease, or getting older.

A few common symptoms to look out for may show your pet has this condition. These symptoms include;

  • Weight loss (even with no change of diet or appetite)
  • Constant hunger (increased appetite)
  • Increased thirst
  • Increased urination
  • Enlargement of the thyroid gland
  • Panting (rapid breathing)
  • Restlessness
  • Hyperactivity
  • Diarrhea (or increased amount of stools)
  • Vomiting
  • Muscle weakness
  • Shortness of breath (Dyspnea)

Some clinical signs include;

  • Congestive heart failure
  • Tachycardia (fast heart rate)
  • Cardiomegaly (enlarged heart)
  • Heart murmurs

If your pet is displaying any of these signs and symptoms, it’s important to take them to the veterinary hospital for a checkup as soon as possible. The sooner the doctors find out what’s wrong, the better the chances of treating it.

A graph of a dog with Hyperthyroidism

How is hyperthyroidism diagnosed?

To find out if your pet has Hyperthyroidism, the vet will do a checkup and ask questions about their health. They will also run some tests, including;

  • A complete blood count (CBC) can help rule out other conditions with similar symptoms.
  • A biochemical profile to evaluate your pet’s organ function.
  • Urinalysis to check for dehydration or other health conditions.
  • Thyroid hormone levels – The most important test to diagnose Hyperthyroidism is a thyroid hormone level test, also called a T4 test. This measures the amount of thyroxine (the active form of thyroid hormone) in the blood.

If your pet tests positive for Hyperthyroidism, your vet will likely recommend a course of treatment.

Is hyperthyroidism in dogs curable?

Stopping the medicine or changing to a better-balanced diet will cure your pet’s thyroid problems caused by medicine or food.

If your pet has an underlying tumor in the thyroid gland, the condition is often not curable. You can manage the symptoms and extend your pet’s life with proper treatment.

Hyperthyroidism dog treatment

A table of Hyperthyroidism dog treatments

Treatment options can vary depending on the underlying cause of the condition.

Dietary hyperthyroidism treatment

If your pet has dietary Hyperthyroidism, the treatment is to switch to a more balanced diet. Your vet may recommend a healthy diet that is lower in thyroid hormones. In dietary Hyperthyroidism, a study on dogs in Pubmed suggests, you can manage the condition and keep your pet healthy by giving them the right food. [4]

Medication-induced hyperthyroidism treatment

If your pet gets Hyperthyroidism because of medicine they take, the treatment is to stop that medicine causing the problem. In most cases, the thyroid levels will return to normal within a few weeks after stopping the medication. If your pet has been taking the medication for an extended period of time, it may take several months for the thyroid levels to return to normal.

Thyroid carcinoma hyperthyroidism treatment

If your pet has an underlying tumor, the appropriate treatment options will depend on the size and location of the tumor. If the tumor is small and localized, your vet may recommend thyroid surgery to remove the tumor. If the tumor is large or has spread to other parts of the body, surgery may not be an option.

In these cases, your vet may recommend one of the following treatment options;

Radioactive iodine therapy – In this treatment, your pet receives a tiny amount of special iodine that helps them feel better. Iodine enters the thyroid cells and kills them. This treatment is often the most effective option, but it can be expensive and may not be available in all areas.

Radiation therapy – This treatment uses strong energy waves to target the tumor and get rid of the cancer cells. This treatment is often less effective than iodine therapy, but it is less expensive and may be more available.

Chemotherapy – This treatment uses oral medication to kill the cancer cells. This treatment is often less effective than iodine therapy or radiation therapy, but it is less expensive and may be more available.

Prednisone – This is a steroid medication that can help to reduce the symptoms of Hyperthyroidism. It is not a cure, but it can help to make your pet more comfortable.

According to a review on Canine thyroid carcinoma in Pubmed, [5] if the tumor is on one side and can be moved, medical experts recommend taking out the thyroid through surgery. But for dogs with tumors that have spread or are on both sides, they should get either radiation therapy or radioactive iodine therapy. To decide on the most effective treatment, your vet will need to run some tests and get an accurate diagnosis of the condition.

What is the prognosis for dogs with hyperthyroidism?

The prognosis for dogs with Hyperthyroidism depends on the condition’s underlying cause. If your pet has dietary Hyperthyroidism, vets can help them get better by giving them the right kind of food to control the condition. This will lead to an excellent chance of them getting well.

If your pet gets Hyperthyroidism because of the medicine they take, don’t worry! The outlook is excellent, and you can make them feel better by stopping that medicine. If your pet has thyroid carcinoma, the prognosis depends on the size and location of the tumor. [6]

If the tumor is small and localized, the prognosis is good. The prognosis is poor if the tumor is large or has spread to other parts of the body. With proper treatment, most dogs with Hyperthyroidism can live a normal life for at least 1 to 3 years. Keeping a close eye on your pet and taking them to the vet for regular checkups is important.

how to Prevent hyperthyroidism in dogs infographic
Hyperthyroidism In Dogs inforgraphic

Preventing hyperthyroidism in dogs

There is no sure way to prevent Hyperthyroidism in dogs. But, you can help to reduce your dog’s risk by feeding them a balanced diet and avoiding giving them any medication that a vet does not prescribe. You should also take your dog to the vet, so they can identify any potential concerns early.

It is hard and time-consuming to prepare healthy food for your dog. We recommend feeding your pet with prepared food like Royal Canin Veterinary DietCanine Glycobalance Dry Dog Food.

Conclusion

Hyperthyroidism is a serious condition that can be fatal if left untreated. If you think that your dog may have Hyperthyroidism, it is important to take them to the vet as soon as possible. With proper treatment, most dogs with Hyperthyroidism can live a normal life for at least 1 to 3 years.

FAQ

How Much Does It Cost To Test A Dog’s Thyroid?

The cost of testing a dog’s thyroid depends on the type of test performed. A basic thyroid panel, which includes a T4 and TSH test, costs between $50 and $100. A more comprehensive thyroid panel, which may also include a T3 test, can cost between $100 and $200.

Can Thyroid Medicine Hurt A Dog?

Thyroid medicine can hurt a dog if it is not given at the correct dosage. Giving your dog too much thyroid medication can be dangerous! It may cause serious problems like heart issues, shaky muscles, feeling nervous, breathing fast, and make them aggressive. So be careful and follow the vet’s instructions. If you gave your dog too much thyroid medication, you need to take them to the vet as soon as possible.

References

  1. FDA: Hypothyroidism in Dogs—There are FDA-Approved Drugs to Treat It
  2. Pubmed: Dietary hyperthyroidism in dogs
  3. American Kennel Club: Thyroid Disease in Dogs
  4. Pubmed: Dietary hyperthyroidism in dogs
  5. Pubmed: Canine thyroid carcinoma
  6. Pubmed: Canine thyroid carcinoma

Disclaimer

The information provided on this blog is for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for professional medical advice. Always consult with your doctor or other qualified healthcare provider before making any changes to your health regimen. The author of this blog is not a medical professional and does not claim to be able to diagnose or treat any medical conditions. The information provided on this blog is based on the author’s own research and experience, and should not be taken as medical advice.

The author of this blog assumes no responsibility for any errors or omissions in the information provided. The information on this blog is provided on an “as is” basis, and the author does not make any guarantees about its completeness, accuracy, usefulness, or timeliness. If you have any questions or concerns about your health, please consult with your doctor or other qualified healthcare provider.

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