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This information is provided by Provet for educational purposes only.

You should seek the advice of your veterinarian if your pet is ill as only he or she can correctly advise on the diagnosis and recommend the treatment that is most appropriate for your pet.

A deficiency of thyroid hormone (or hypothyroidism as it is called) is very common in middle-aged and old dogs. Unfortunately, many owners think the signs are just part of the normal ageing process and don't seek veterinary advice.

As we get older ...and head towards being geriatric, we, and our pets, have a tendency to put on weight, lose hair, develop poor exercise tolerance and even weakness. However, these signs may not simply be due to ageing, they can be due to an underlying disease that could be treated. In dogs thyroid deficiency (hypothyroidism) is one of those disorders. The most common signs of hypothyroidism to look out for include :

  • Lethargy
  • Weakness and poor exercise tolerance
  • Mental dullness
  • Weight gain
  • Hair loss (symmetrical on both sides of the body) on the flanks, neck, thighs and tail. Not usually itchy.
  • Dull, dry, scurfy coat (dandruff). Occasionally itchy.
  • Black pigmentation and thickening of the skin.
  • Abnormal oestrus in bitches (irregular, prolonged bleeding), infertility, abortions and stillbirths, fading puppy syndrome (early post-natal deaths).
  • Abnormal lactation and breast development
  • Reduced size (atrophy) of the testicles in males, poor libido and poor sperm production
  • Low body temperature - so the dog seeks out warm places to lie down.

If you have a dog showing any of these signs and you have not had it examined by your veterinarian....make an appointment today !

If you would like further information about hypothyroidism CLICK HERE to visit the main section on Provet.


Updated October 2013