People are often susceptible to hyperthyroidism, and four-legged friends can sometimes develop the disease, too. Hyperthyroidism is an endocrine condition that is characterized by, simply put, inordinate levels of the thyroid hormone -- thyroxine. This can lead to serious issues with the metabolism. Hyperthyroidism is indeed a possibility in canines, but is undoubtedly on the rare side.
Although you might never have even heard the term before, thyroxine has an important and crucial role within a canine's body. It is responsible for managing the pace of a dog's metabolism. If a dog has too much of this hormone, it could bring upon a metabolism that is far too rapid -- not good. This, in turn, can trigger a variety of different metabolic effects -- think extremely swift zapping of energy.
Possible Root Causes
A couple of potential causes are frequently linked to the emergence of hyperthyroidism in canines. One possible cause of the disease is the use of hypothyroidism medicine. Hypothyroidism is much more prevalent in doggies than hyperthyroidism is. The ailment is the polar opposite of hyperthyroidism, and entails inadequate levels of thyroid hormones. Some dogs get hyperthyroidism as a result of managing their previously existing ailment by taking veterinarian-recommended artificial thyroid hormones. Apart from that, thyroid tumors can also sometimes cause canine hyperthyroidism.
If your precious pooch just doesn't seem like himself lately, it could be an indication that he's ill. Be vigilant for any hints of illness, hyperthyroidism or otherwise. Some classic signs of this medical condition are conspicuous weight loss, throwing up, massive appetite, disheveled fur, feebleness, loose stools, frequent urination, agitation, abnormal thirst, antsy behavior, increased heart rate, labored or speedy breathing and lack of interest in previously enjoyed activities. Schedule a veterinary appointment immediately if you notice any of these troubling symptoms in your cutie -- no time for dillydallying. Ignored cases of hyperthyroidism can often be life-threatening, so take the matter extremely seriously.
Veterinarians can often determine whether or not dogs have hyperthyroidism by conducting blood work. Chemical evaluations of the urine also can be useful in these purposes. If a dog does indeed have hyperthyroidism, his vet can decide on the optimal management options for him, taking everything into consideration, from his age bracket to the intensity of his specific condition, for starters. In some situations, surgical extraction of the thyroid gland might be necessary. Radiotherapy is another common management option for dogs with hyperthyroidism.
By Naomi Millburn
Willows Veterinary Centre: Hyperthyroidism
The Merck Veterinary Manual: Hyperthyroidism
Airedale Health Foundation: Hyperthyroidism
Clinical Medicine of the Dog and Cat; Michael Schaer
Clinical Endocrinology of Dogs and Cats; Ad Rijnberk and Hans S. Kooistra
About the Author
Naomi Millburn has been a freelance writer since 2011. Her areas of writing expertise include arts and crafts, literature, linguistics, traveling, fashion and European and East Asian cultures. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in American literature from Aoyama Gakuin University in Tokyo.