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.
Reptiles and Chelonia possess a thyroid gland which secretes thyroid hormone. If insufficient hormone is secreted hypothyroidism occurs
The thyroid hormones are responsible for many activities in the body including :
Hypothyroidism is reported to occur most frequently in captive herbivorous chelonia particularly giant land tortoises but it also occurs in smaller specimens and in reptiles eg Green Iguanas.
Causes include :
Signs of hypothyroidism include :
Treatment 1 - iodine deficiency can be corrected by iodine supplementation as :
The dose rates that have been recommended for iodine supplementation is 2-4mg/kg by mouth every 7 days *, however authors differ in their recommendations, and one advises that a supplement containing 6-10mg of iodine/kg of supplement should be given with every meal*
Treatment 2 - thyroid hormone replacement therapy
The dose rate of levothyroxine that has been recommended for reptiles is 20 micrograms/kg by mouth on alternate days *
* For most reptiles the pharmacokinetics of drugs and precise nutritional requirements have not been evaluated, so these are guidelines only. Also, most drugs are not licensed for use in reptiles, so care is needed.
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