Hypothyroidism is a health disorder that affects a dog's metabolic function because it negatively impacts their thyroid glands. The result is their hormone production gets interrupted which causes all the problems. There are, in fact, two types of hypothyroidism that dogs can suffer from being primary and secondary. However, there are also other forms of the disorder although a lot rarer with congenital and neoplastic types of the condition being breed specific. With this said, primary hypothyroidism can affect a large percentage of dogs and they typically start to show signs of there being something wrong when they are anything from four to six years old.
Sadly, any dog can develop the condition and this includes mixed breeds too. However, studies have established that certain breeds appear to be more predisposed to suffering from hypothyroidism than others and this includes ten pure breeds which are as follows:
With this said, there are other breeds that are known to be prone to suffer from the condition only to a slightly lesser extent and this includes the following:
When a dog develops secondary hypothyroidism, it is because they are suffering from a form of cancer and although rare, some breeds seem to be more predisposed to developing a tumour than others and this includes the following breeds:
When a dog suffers from neoplastic hypothyroidism, it's because they have an abnormal growth that develops on a thyroid gland although it could also be because thyroid tissue has been destroyed which results in an iodine deficiency. The breeds that seem to be more prone to this form of the condition are as follows:
Often referred to as juvenile onset hypothyroidism, this is the inherited form of the disorder and the breeds most likely to develop the condition having inherited it from a parent includes the following:
It goes without saying that responsible breeding is essential, but it's also important to remember that any dog can develop a form of hypothyroidism during their lives, but careful and selective breeding does go a long way in reducing the risk of a dog inheriting the congenital form of the disorder. The good news is that most of the time a dog with the condition can be treated on an ongoing basis although they may have to be on medication for the rest of their lives.
The early the condition can be diagnosed the better because it means that less damage is likely to have been caused to a dog’s other internal organs. The sooner a dog is put on the right sort of medication to manage their condition, the more comfortable they can be made to feel and as such any unnecessary pain and discomfort is avoided. With this said, a vet would need to carry out specific tests to establish which form of hypothyroidism a dog might be suffering from before recommending the best form of treatment which can take a little time.
Once a dog is on medication, they would need to be regularly checked over by a vet to ensure they are responding well to the drugs they have been prescribed. As such regular visits to the vet are essential on an ongoing basis so that more tests can be carried out on a dog when they are suffering from hypothyroidism.