Thyroid disease, to many is just a problem for humans, but this can also occur in pets, too.

Even though thyroid issues can be treated in dogs and cats, it can still be a challenging thing to take in. The following write-up is to have a better understanding with what goes on when companion animal has a thyroid issue. Usually, a thin cat and a fat dog alarm about their thyroid gland.

So, to begin with, it is important to understand what the thyroid’s function actually is. Located in the neck of an animal, it produces a substance called hormone thyroxine or T4. There are other hormones also produced by the thyroid, and these hormones are the main reason food is metabolized in an animal’s body. This way, an animal can get its energy from food and the rest of the body’s functions can work naturally. When the thyroid is not functioning properly, the body can’t digest properly, and the animal will start to have problems.

Hypothyroidism is the problem when the thyroid does not function appropriately. The thyroid does not release enough hormones, and in the process, the metabolism of a dog, cat, or other animals. begins to slow down. Hypothyroidism is actually most common in dogs compared to cats, lizards, snake, and birds that live in a household setting. However, even though this is the case with dogs, this can happen in other animals, too. Fortunately, medication can definitely help with this problem in the long run.

Hypothyroidism primarily occurs, in almost all the cases, when the thyroid gland is completely destroyed in the body, which usually happens when problems like idiopathic atrophy and lymphocytic thyroiditis occur within the thyroid gland. Idiopathic atrophy is when a disease occurs on its own. In worst case scenarios, hypothyroidism can cause congenital issues, like heart defects, infections, and tube defects, as well as cancer in a domesticated animal.

If an animal has hypothyroidism, there are quite a few symptoms to look out for. First off, an animal’s organs can be affected negatively. Other difficulties that can arise, are seen as slowing down of the animal’s metabolism. Common symptoms of hypothyroidism include obesity, trouble with cold weather, changes in skin and/or hair colour, reproductive problems, and much more.

Risk factor for hypothyroidism is dependent on the breed of an animal. Dogs, for example, above twenty kilos have a higher risk of developing hypothyroidism compared to smaller dogs. Likewise, some breeds carry higher chance of hypothyroidism including Irish Setters, Dachshunds, Golden Retrievers, and Cocker Spaniels, among others. When it comes to cats, breeds like Siamese, Tonkinese, and Burmese are most susceptible to hypothyroidism.

Other Hypothyroidism Diseases: There are even more specific hypothyroidism diseases that can occur in pets. Autoimmune thyroiditis happens when the thyroid gland gets attacked by the immune system. In dogs, it commonly occurs in breeds like Beagles, Doberman Pinschers, Akitas, and many other types.

Hyperthyroidism, on the other side, takes place when a domesticated animal’s thyroid produces excessive hormones. This can bring the metabolic rate of an animal to treacherous levels.

In such case, cats actually have the higher risk for hyperthyroidism than dogs. However, when it does affect dogs, owners should treat this with the utmost seriousness because thyroid carcinoma type of cancer can form from hyperthyroidism. This cancer on the thyroid gland when persists, the lymph nodes will become swollen, a dog may have a harder time breathing, and they might even have trouble swallowing water, food, and/or pills. 

When an animal has hyperthyroidism, an owner may see a few or many of these symptoms: loss of weight, vomiting, diarrhoea, excess stool volume, heart failure, and shortness of breath to name a few.

Goitres is another thyroid issue that animals may have. In this ace, though thyroid enlarges, but it is benign. Traditionally, goitres impact birds and domesticated animals, due to iodine deficiency that occurs when an animal eats substances that are goitrogenic. This means that there is too much iodine in an animal’s diet.

Traditionally, goitres is a genetic abnormality in animals, or a side effect of using antibiotics earlier in life to counteract infections. Also, goitres can arise as a congenital hypothyroidism problem in dogs like Toy Fox Terriers.

Do not jump to any conclusions before you have all the answers.

Overall, when diagnosed early, pets will be in good shape moving forward, so look for the signs and do not hesitate to contact your veterinarian. This would assure a long life for the pet with good memories because they were taken care of at the right time.


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