Hypothyroidism in pets is a more common pet health concern than you may think. In fact, the number of dogs and cats affected by this condition is quite large. Thyroxine is a hormone that is normally produced by your pet's thyroid gland. This hormone is necessary for normal growth and metabolism. When the thyroid does not produce enough thyroxine, hypothyroidism is the result.
How Hypothyroidism Affects Your Pet
Hypothyroidism is not necessarily a dangerous condition and can be controlled rather easily. However, there can be some problems when hypothyroidism results in other health problems, which can, in themselves, become serious. If you do not seek treatment for a pet with hypothyroidism, it will become easily chilled and display various skin problems. If skin problems persist and are not treated promptly, infections can result. Additionally, animals with this condition often lose their energy and become overweight, which is a bad combination. Obesity can lead to many serious problems including high blood pressure, high cholesterol and heart disease.
Common Symptoms of Hypothyroidism
Symptoms of hypothyroidism can often be confused with other pet health problems such as food allergies, skin allergies or dietary deficiencies. However, if you take extra care to notice any of the following warning signs that your dog or cat may be displaying, you should take it to a veterinarian immediately. Common Symptoms of Hypothyroidism in Pets: Lack of Energy/Lethargy, Weakness, Confusion/Forgetfulness, Weight Gain/Obesity, Hair Loss and Poor Hair Growth, Dry and/or Dull Hair, Scaly or Flaky Skin, Chronic Skin Infections, Chilling Easily, Head Tilting (rare), Seizures (rare) and Fertility Problems (rare).
Treatments for Hypothyroidism
There are several treatment options for dogs and cats suffering from hypothyroidism. However, you need to keep in mind that this is a life-long condition and as such, treatment must be life-long as well. If you choose to obtain treatment from a veterinarian, the vet will prescribe replacement hormonal medication and a special diet for your pet. Another method that has proven to be highly effective in treating this condition is through the use of herbs. Kelp can help to replace iodine, which is often deficient in animals with hypothyroidism. Siberian Ginseng can help your pet regain its energy level. Finally, Urtica urens can help return the thyroid and metabolism back to their normal functioning.
While hypothyroidism can occur in both cats and dogs, it is most common in canines. Additionally, it is more commonly found in medium and large breeds than in smaller breeds. It also occurs more often in altered dogs and those that are between four and ten years of age. Some of the breeds that are the most vulnerable to hypothyroidism are as follows: Doberman Pinschers, Cocker Spaniels, Irish Setters, Poodles, Golden Retrievers, Boxers, Great Danes, Miniature Schnauzers, Old English Sheepdogs and Dachshunds.
When adding a dog or cat to your family you want to make sure your pet is happy, healthy and protected. During its lifetime your pet is exposed to many illnesses and diseases and some breeds are affected by a congenital disease which is a condition existing at birth. At these moments when your pet is ill or maybe needs surgery, you want to be protected for the unexpected and high veterinarian costs.