When underactive, the thyroid glands, located in the neck cause a condition called hypothyroidism. This insidious disease of middle-aged or older dogs may, in the early stages, appear to an owner to be signs of aging, but with a few of the many manifestations of the disease, it becomes clear that it is not just aging. Some dogs show thickening of the skin of the face, resulting in a change of expression to one of anxiousness. Some dogs gain a great deal of weight and others gain none. Many lose their coats starting on the ventral surfaces of the body and the lower areas of the legs. The undercoat sheds, leaving rough guard hairs. Some females cease to have heat periods and others mate arid abort during the first five weeks of pregnancy. Anemia, if not severe, is usually present.
Dog Hypothyroidism occurs due to the result of autoimmune thyroiditis or the destruction of the tissues of the thyroid gland by the body’s immune system of the dog itself. The butterfly-shaped thyroid gland in the neck region of the dog at first under attack produces huge quantities of the hormone and then ultimately fails to live up to the attack of the immune system of the dog and as a result of this the dog becomes hypothyroid and symptomatic. The disorder called hypothyroidism is further aggravated due to the environmental conditions, the pollutants, and the allergies that may enter the body of the dog through external sources.
Symptoms of Dog Hypothyroidism
The following are the symptoms of dog hypothyroidism.
- You would find the dog to be tremendously lethargic. It would hardly be interested in playing, frequently napping, and getting tired after exercising or long walks.
- The affected dog is gaining excessive weight. Sometimes you would find that the dog is gaining weight despite not undergoing any increase in appetite.
- Excessive incidence of bacterial infection in the skin may also indicate the occurrence of the disease.
- The skin of the dog would also appear to be very dry in texture.
- The dog would also undergo a considerable amount of hair loss and especially in the trunk part of the tail which is termed as rat tail.
- The skin regions that have been exposed to hair loss the thickening of the skin texture and discoloration also occurs.
- The dog would not like to tolerate cold and would prefer warm places to lie down and rest.
- If the dog is clinically examined the dog would be seen to have a low heartbeat rate.
- The dog would also be prone to the incidence of chronic forms of ear infections.
- You would also find that the dog is showing up drastic behavioral changes. The symptoms like increased aggressiveness, tilting of the head, excessive anxiety, and depression would be seen in the dog.
Dog breeds like Golden retrievers, Greyhounds, Dachshunds, Doberman pinschers, Airedale terriers, Cocker spaniels, and similar breeds are quite vulnerable to the disease. The disorder is almost nonexistent among small or toy dog breeds.
See more: Dog Illness Diagnosis
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