Hyperthyroidism

Hyperthyroidism in dogs is usually caused by excessive production of thyroxine brought on by aggressive thyroid cancer. The tumor interferes with normal functions of the thyroid, which results in secretion of certain hormones, affects metabolism, and leads to visible symptoms.

Symptoms:

  • Excessive weight loss
  • Increased appetite
  • Frequent urination and increased thirst
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Depression
  • Weakness
  • Excitability
  • Enlarged thyroid gland, felt as a lump in the neck
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Irregular heart beat
  • Common Causes: 

    Hyperthyroidism in dogs is usually caused by excessive production of thyroxine brought on by aggressive thyroid cancer. The tumor interferes with normal functions of the thyroid, which results in secretion of certain hormones, affects metabolism, and leads to visible symptoms. An excess of thyroid hormones doesn’t necessarily have to originate in a dog’s thyroid. Another source of thyroid hormones is from hypothyroid medication, which usually includes a synthetic form of thyroxine. An over-correction of low thyroxine levels can sometimes result in hyperthyroidism. Additionally, raw food diets that include an excessive amount of thyroid hormones can also cause the condition. These diets often include gullets, head meat, and animal necks, which contain higher levels of thyroid hormones. Varying a dog’s protein source or avoiding these animal parts can prevent a dog from ingesting too many of these hormones.

    Preventative Measures:

    To help prevent hyperthyroidism, a healthy diet is important. If you feed your dog a raw diet, be aware that certain ingredients such as gullets, animal necks, and head meat contain higher amounts of thyroid hormones, which can trigger hyperthyroidism. You are also advised to switch from a collar to a harness if your dog pulls a lot, as the pulling action could damage the thyroid glands.

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