Canine Hypothyroidism is the most commonly diagnosed
hormonal disease found in dogs. The term hypothyroidism simply
means the underproduction of thyroxin, the hormone produced by the
The thyroid gland is located on the trachea (wind pipe) of
the dog, just below the voice box. It exerts its influence on the
dog's body by producing and releasing thyroxin into the blood
stream. This hormone, and thus, the thyroid gland itself, is very
important in controlling growth and development and maintaining
normal protein, carbohydrate and lipid metabolism of the dog.
Hypothyroidism usually occurs between the ages of two to six
years. The most common sign is an increase in body weight.
Lethargy and some form of skin disease (i.e., thin coat, loss of
hair, dandruff, oily skin, increased scratching) are also common
signs of Hypothyroidism.
The treatment is through thyroid hormone supplementation
given orally once or twice a day. Usually thyroid supplementation
improves the clinical signs associated with the disease within
four to six weeks. All the clinical signs of hypothyroidism are
reversible, once treatment is started.