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Can Dogs Have Thyroid Issues? 5 Symptoms


Thyroid disease is caused by a hormonal imbalance, mostly between 4 to 10 years old. However, it is common in some breeds like labrador retrievers, golden retrievers, Doberman pinschers, Irish setters, dachshunds, boxers, and cocker spaniels. In dogs, the thyroid gland is present in the middle of the neck. The main function of this gland is to produce thyroxine, a hormone that helps in metabolism in dogs. When the thyroid gland fails to secrete or make the required amount of these hormones, it causes thyroid disease. Thus, it slows the metabolism in dogs’ bodies.

What Causes Thyroid?

In dogs, 95% of the cases of thyroid are due to two diseases named lymphocytic thyroiditis and idiopathic thyroid gland atrophy. In the first disease, which is the common cause of thyroid, the immune system attacks the thyroid gland. It’s mostly genetic, whereas, in the second disease, fat tissue replaces normal thyroid tissue. The rest, 5%, is caused by thyroid cancer.

What Are The Signs Of Thyroid Issues In Dogs?

Drop In Energy Level

The most commonly noticed symptom that indicates your pet dog’s illness is a change in its behavior and energy level. Suppose you notice your dog is getting more lethargic, tired, inactive; these could be a sign your beloved dog is probably suffering from a thyroid problem. 

Weight Gain Or Loss

Another sign of thyroid problems in dogs is the sudden increase in weight despite having the same diet. Instead, your pet slowly packs on a few pounds despite you feeding him a normal diet. Obesity, if not treated on time, leads to heart disease or a high pulse rate.

Regular Skin Or Fur Issues

Again, one of the common and easily noticeable symptoms of thyroid disease in dogs is excessive shedding of hair leading to rapid hair loss and thinning of fur on the back, legs, and tail. The thyroid also causes skin problems leading to smelly and scaly skin. It also causes dark pigmentation and patches on the skin, which you may easily notice while brushing your dog’s hair.

Intolerance To Cold

If you notice your dog shivering, looking for warm places to sit, avoiding going out for urination, or sitting near the heat ventilator may also be the signs of thyroid disease in dogs.

Vomiting Or Diarrhea

Suppose a thyroid problem is not noticed on time or not medicated timely or properly. For example, suppose the dog suffers from diarrhea and vomiting. In that case, consult your veterinarian to start proper treatment immediately.   

These are the top signs, and if your dog has them, there are high chances that he is suffering from thyroid disease. However, there are many other symptoms that you should take into consideration, such as:

  • It increases blood cholesterol in the dog’s body.
  • It can cause ear infection, which leads to pain, redness, and smell in the ear. 
  • The dog becomes anemic.
  • It causes infertility in dogs.

How Is Thyroid Disease In Dogs Diagnosed?

If your dog is suffering from any of the above symptoms, you should take your dog to a veterinarian. Unfortunately, your dog has to go through some blood tests to diagnose thyroid disease. 

How Is Thyroid Disease In Dogs Treated?

The most relaxing factor about the disease is that it is not life-threatening. Its treatment is also affordable for pet owners. Levothyroxine or L-thyroxine hormones are given in the form of the drug in a specific quantity. Doses may vary from dog to dog according to their symptoms, weight, and requirement in the body by your veterinarian for better treatment. 


Thyroid in dogs is common and not life-threatening. However, you have to be alert at all times and take precautions regardless. Please do not ignore any signs and do not take them lightly. Take your dog for regular check-ups and keep a tab of his health. That’s the best you can do when talking about taking precautions.