Problems of treatment of hypothyroidism in dogs
The content of the article
- 1 What causes hypothyroidism?
- 2 Types and causes of the disease
- 3 How does the disease
- 4 Non-specific symptoms
- 5 Diagnostic Methods
- 6 How to treat
Our pets often suffer from “human” disease, and it is to such pathologies include hypothyroidism in dogs – disease that occurs as a result of reducing the level of hormones produced by the thyroid gland.
Scientists attach great importance to the hormones that are involved in almost all metabolic processes occurring in the body and affect the functioning of all organs. On this basis, we can conclude that the correct hormonal balance – this is one of the factors of good health of the dog.
Let’s look at why dogs suffer from hypothyroidism, consider methods of diagnosis and treatment.
How does hypothyroidism?
The main cause of the disease – a “failure” in the thyroid gland, which is located in the larynx dogs and butterfly looks, consisting of two parts. The pituitary gland leads thyroid activity using special hormones. They are “forced” to thyroid, in turn, produce its own hormones triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4), which regulate the functioning of all organs.
It would seem that the functioning of the thyroid gland malfunctions should appear in case of problems with the pituitary gland, as without his “leadership” it will not work. But veterinary practice indicates that thyroid disease are taking place in dogs with perfectly healthy pituitary gland. Why, then, they get sick with hypothyroidism?
Types and causes of the disease
In dogs, there are several types of this disease:
- Primary hypothyroidism, where thyroid hormones ceases to produce in sufficient quantities.
- Secondary hypothyroidism occurring due to lower thyroid stimulating the pituitary gland.
- Tertiary hypothyroidism, which is manifested as a result of lack of neurohormones of the hypothalamus.
Dogs more than 90% of cases are diagnosed primary hypothyroidism. Of these, almost half is an autoimmune disease – chronic thyroiditis. In this case, the immune system attacks your own dog’s thyroid gland and causes it to produce more hormones.
This increased activity of the glands quickly depletes it, and there is a lack of thyroid hormones, ie hypothyroidism. The remaining 50% of cases of primary hypothyroidism relate to such embodiments of the disease, when there is atrophy shchitovidki for unclear reasons.
Hypothyroidism can be congenital in nature and transmitted in dogs by inheritance, but the percentage of such a process of the disease is very small.
Another cause of this disease can be existence of infectious diseases and endoparasites. Currently, veterinarians have information that prolonged infection with intestinal worms of the dog, the toxins produced by parasites that can affect many organs, including the thyroid gland.
If the dog passes a long and uncontrolled hormone treatment, it can also cause thyroid malfunction operation.
How does the disease
Given the fact that the lack of thyroid hormone has a significant impact on the functioning of all organs of the dog, then the signs of hypothyroidism disease are varied. Moreover, it is necessary to take into account that symptoms of hypothyroidism are often mistaken for other illnesses.
However, there are the classic signs of the disease that indicate thyroid problems:
- an increase in the dog’s weight by 15-20%;
- lethargy and apathy of the animal;
- dandruff and areas of hair loss;
- digestive problems.
Symptoms of hypothyroidism are growing rather slowly for a long time, and at first did not guard the dog’s owner, he can take them for age-related changes or other disease. What symptoms owner should pay more attention to the time to begin treatment for your pet?
First of all, you should focus on the mood and behavior of your pet. If you notice your dog has become a sad and listless, reluctant to walk, less playing and more sleep, it is a reason to take a closer watch on her.
In hypothyroidism impaired metabolism alters the thermoregulatory function of the animal, so the dog begins to quickly freeze on the street and the houses arranged in a warm place.
When saving mode, the power of your pet is suddenly put on weight or they have any swelling on the face? It can also indicate a thyroid disorder.
The characteristic symptom of hypothyroidism is a hair problem. In the dog may appear plots baldness and dandruff.
Seeing these symptoms in your dog, contact your veterinarian competent to diagnosis was correct, and the initiation of treatment was adequate.
In addition to the symptoms that are considered “mandatory” for hypothyroid disease, there are a number of non-specific symptoms:
- Ophthalmology. In hypothyroidism blood amount increases lipolysis products which are subsequently deposited in the small field of corneal lesions and lead to its degeneration. Less often can occur corneal ulceration or inflammation of the eye vasculature.
- The cardiovascular system. Lowering of thyroid hormones can lead to bradycardia, arrhythmia and other cardiac abnormalities.
- Neurology. Hypothyroidism provides various manifestations that affect the functioning of the central and peripheral nervous system. In 70% of affected dogs it is expressed as apathetic or uncharacteristic behavior, as there may be a problem with the vestibular apparatus. Often hypothyroidism may occur paresis or paralysis of facial / trigeminal nerve.
- Dermatology. Dermatologic manifestations of hypothyroidism is most clearly pointing dog owner there is a problem. In pet begin to appear foci of alopecia, initially affecting the back of the nose and tail surfaces, and then they spread to the groin, armpits, abdomen. In this case, the animal is not scratched, that is, hair falls out on its own. On the bald areas of skin pigmentation changes, and it becomes drier, as hypothyroidism atrophy sebaceous gland secretion and production decreases.
- Reproductive system. Suki, patients with hypothyroidism, lose their ability to fertilize or may not bear a full-fledged offspring due to miscarriages. In addition to 10 months increases the period between heats or they did stop, and in males decreased libido.
methods of diagnosis
For a precise statement of the diagnosis of hypothyroidism should be considered test results in combination with the classic symptoms of the disease. At the moment, many veterinary clinics equipment does not permit a full analysis on thyroid hormones. The main method is to determine the total T4 concentration in the blood plasma, and in some cases added to test for thyroid stimulating hormone or TSH.
But on the level of TSH and T4 is common in dogs affected by many factors and their deviation from the norm, can not talk about hypothyroidism incidence of 100%. For example, influenced by certain drugs and anesthesia used in less than 48 hours prior to analysis.
Strong total T4 level change can infectious diseases, cancer, tumors, chronic diseases of the liver or kidney.
For a more accurate diagnosis is necessary to know the level of free T4, which is defined in the blood of dogs by the method of equilibrium dialysis only. Other methods do not make it possible to assess the figure correctly.
To complete the picture is better to conduct additional studies:
- general and biochemical blood test;
- Analysis of urine;
- Ultrasound of the heart.
To evaluate thyroid function only on the basis of laboratory tests is very difficult, therefore, to the doctor – a veterinarian task correctly “read” the results of the analyzes and to compare them with the symptoms of the disease manifest themselves in the dog.
Conducting analysis of ultrasound and thyroid cells is justified only if the animal suspected tumor of the body, hypothyroidism, these techniques are not informative enough.
How to treat
After establishing the diagnosis veterinarian treatment is prescribed, which will be in reception goromonozameschayuschih preparations. Usually use levothyroxine hormone. When properly selected dose and proper medication symptoms disappear rather quickly.
But canine hypothyroidism has its pitfalls. So, if the veterinarian correctly diagnose the disease and appointed levothyroxine dog that does not have hypothyroidism, then after a while the dog may be lost some of the symptoms of the disease, but this improvement will be temporary. With such wrong treatment can be lost precious time for the treatment of other diseases.
The initial dose of levothyroxine is 10-12 mg / kg weight of the dog twice a day. During treatment, periodically do a blood test to monitor the progress of treatment and to adjust the dose of medication and bring the level of T4 to normal if necessary.
Medication in dogs with hypothyroidism will last a lifetime, but the survival prognosis of them are very good. After starting treatment soon disappear main symptoms of the disease – the dog becomes vigorous, active, bald spots start to grow. A full recovery of wool may need 3-4 months.
With an overdose of drugs in dogs develop symptoms opposite to those that were at the time of illness. It can become nervous, aggressive, lose weight, feel very thirsty. In this case, you need to visit the doctor to adjust the dose of medication.
We wish your dogs good health, and you can always count on our help!