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Hypothyroidism in Dogs

Puppy being fed by a veterinarian

Overview


Hypothyroidism a disease of thyroid deficiency in dogs. Hypothyroidism is a clinical condition resulting from a lowered production and release of T4 and T3 hormones by the thyroid gland.


Symptoms


Symptoms include hair loss that involves the front of the neck down to the chest, the sides of the body, the backs of the thighs, and the top of the tail. The hair is excessively dry and brittle, and falls out easily. The exposed skin is dry, thick, puffy, and darkly pigmented. Some dogs develop secondary seborrhea.

Other signs of hypothyroidism include weight gain, intolerance to cold, a slow heart rate, absence of heat cycles, lethargy, and a variety of nonspecific symptoms that could be due to a number of other diseases.


Treatment


Hypothyroidism is permanent, but can be effectively treated with daily or twice-daily thyroid hormone replacement therapy. Treatment for hypothyroidism can cost hundreds of dollars. Pet health insurance helps pay for tests and medication when your dog suffers from illnesses.

Cost: $100 to $200 for the tests. Ongoing medications typically cost $10-30 per month.


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Incidence by Dog Breed


This chart shows the incidence rate for each breed for Autoimmune Thyroiditis, which is a primary cause of Hypothyroidism.

Breed % Autoimmune Thyroiditis # of Evaluations
English Setter 26.4 984
Eurasier 21.7 60
Spanish Water Dog 19.3 57
Irish Red & White Setter 16.0 119
Shetland Sheepdog 12.2 1,216
Boxer 11.2 1,167
Dalmatian 11.6 912
Kuvasz 11.2 340
Tibetan Terrier 10.8 74
Welsh Springer Spaniel 8.7 873
German Wirehaired Pointer 9.1 547
Rhodesian Ridgeback 9.3 4,389
English Cocker Spaniel 9.7 103
Spinone Italiano 9.1 187
Tibetan Mastiff 8.3 120
Afghan Hound 7.0 557
Havanese 8.9 463
Irish Setter 8.8 738
Ibizan Hound 8.5 71
Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever 8.3 763
Pharaoh Hound 8.1 123
Beagle 7.4 176
Old English Sheepdog 7.8 449
Hovawart 7.7 65
American Pit Bull Terrier 7.1 99
Giant Schnauzer 6.1 553
Akita 6.5 672
Borzoi 6.2 1,102
American Staffordshire Terrier 6.6 228
Cocker Spaniel 6.5 247
Leonberger 5.5 1,018
Golden Retriever 5.6 3,410
Wirehaired Pointing Griffon 5.9 51
Basenji 5.0 462
Bloodhound 5.7 159
Pointer 5.7 140
Canaan 5.6 126
Flat-Coated Retriever 4.4 181
Standard Schnauzer 4.7 150
Great Dane 3.9 3,582
Doberman Pinscher 3.4 1,699
Keeshond 4.3 445
Portuguese Water Dog 3.0 66
Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen 3.3 91
Hybrid 4.4 385
Scottish Terrier 3.3 184
German Pinscher 3.1 97
Anatolian Shepherd 3.5 171
Australian Terrier 4.1 169
Field Spaniel 3.2 379
Italian Greyhound 1.8 445
Labradoodle 3.7 492
Coton de Tulear 3.5 571
Border Collie 3.6 168
Schipperke 3.3 425
Collie 2.7 332
Bouvier des Flandres 2.7 1,405
Alaskan Malamute 2.8 181
Alaskan Klee Kai 3.1 449
Cardigan Welsh Corgi 3.1 65
Weimaraner 2.2 548
English Springer Spaniel 2.5 238
Mastiff 2.6 1,869
Chesapeak Bay Retriever 2.8 178
Great Pyrenees 1.4 147
Labrador Retriever 2.2 846
Gordon Setter 2.5 157
Black Russian Terrier 1.6 122
Greyhound 0.0 85
Rottweiler 2.0 1,012
Bernese Mountain Dog 1.7 696
Vizsla 2.1 1,165
Belgian Malinois 2.2 137
Poodle 2.1 3,500
German Shorthaired Pointer 2.2 491
German Shepherd Dog 2.1 756
Pomeranian 1.4 146
Bearded Collie 1.2 724
Australian Shepherd 2.1 240
American Water Spaniel 1.9 53
Berger Picard 1.8 56
Bullmastiff 1.8 437
Border Terrier 0.0 59
Chinese Shar-Pei 1.7 174
Shiloh Shepherd 1.3 305
Dogue de Bordeaux 0.5 197
Silken Windhound 1.0 294
Belgian Tervuren 1.0 1,087
Newfoundland 1.3 965
Kerry Blue Terrier 1.1 95
Siberian Husky 1.0 200
Samoyed 1.0 295
Whippet 1.0 102
Norwegian Elkhound 0.9 110
Chow Chow 0.8 241
Irish Water Spaniel 0.4 445
Belgian Sheepdog 0.3 314
French Bulldog 0.5 214
Bulldog 0.0 321
Briard 0.0 86
Dachshund 0.0 63
Cavalier King Charles Spaniel 0.0 109
Irish Wolfhound 0.0 59
Yorkshire Terrier 0.0 55
Shiba Inu 0.0 55
Greater Swiss Mountain Dog 0.0 128
Bichon Frise 0.0 80
 

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