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Hypothyroidism In Golden Retrievers: Causes & Treatment

Hypothyroidism In Golden Retrievers: Causes & Treatment
Hypothyroidism In Golden Retrievers

The Thyroid gland is a small gland located in the neck. This gland produces hormones that affect and control the rate of temperature and metabolism. When this gland excretes lower levels of thyroid hormones disease known as Hypothyroidism develops. Hypothyroidism affects all breeds, but it is most commonly found in Golden Retrievers and Labrador Retrievers.

What Causes Hypothyroidism In Golden Retrievers?

In 95% of cases, infiltrating cells from the immune system cause Hypothyroidism in Golden Retrievers. These cells enter the thyroid gland in a condition called lymphocytic thyroiditis or autoimmune thyroiditis. However, In some other rare cases, cancer or congenital defects are the cause of Hypothyroidism. In this article, we will further discuss the causes and symptoms of this disease in Golden Retrievers.

Symptoms Of Hypothyroidism

The symptoms of Hypothyroidism may vary from dog to dog, but they are all connected with decreased metabolism.

Here are some of the more common symptoms:

  • Weight gain
  • Obesity
  • Lethargy
  • Thickening of the skin
  • Mental dullness
  • Reduced ability
  • Hair loss 
  • Increased shedding
  • Reduced activity
  • Thining of the tail

In addition, it’s important to know that dogs with a severe case of hypothyroidism can exhibit a condition known as myxedema coma. This potentially fatal condition is accompanied by severe metabolic and heart disturbances and low body temperature.

Diagnosis & Treatment Of Hypothyroidism In Golden Retrievers

There are a couple of methods that can determine Hypothyroidism in dogs:

TSH Stimulation Test

This is the best single test for diagnosing hypothyroidism in dogs.

TRH Stimulation Test

This test evaluates the release of TSH in response to TRH. Therefore, it is usually performed in dogs that have abnormalities in pituitary-releasing hormones.

Thyroid Ultrasound

Antithyroglobulin and Anti-T3, Anti-T4 Antibodies Testing

Antibody testing is very useful in diagnosing early thyroiditis and hypothyroidism, therefore it is a recommended test to rule out hereditary thyroiditis.

Despite all the problems it causes, hypothyroidism in most cases is not a life-threatening condition. It is actually quite easy to treat. The vet will prescribe your dog a manmade hormone called levothyroxine. After that, the dosage is determined based on the dog’s weight and thyroid levels. In conclusion, hypothyroidism is treatable, but incurable disease. Your dog will leave a happy and active life, but it will receive medications for the rest of its life.