Hypothyroidism (under-active thyroid glands) is a fairly common hormonal disorder of both people and pets. The thyroid gland is a paired gland located in the throat on either side of the trachea (windpipe).
Thyroid hormone is necessary for the smooth working of many parts of the body. A shortage of this hormone can cause various symptoms. You may notice weight gain, poor hair coat (often dull), dry skin and excessive shedding. Laziness is also common. Your pet may itch, either as a result of the condition, or associated allergies that are aggravated by inadequate hormone levels. Changes in a pet's immune system may make them more prone to infections. Infertility and heart problems have also been seen to be directly related to hormone deficiency. As the problem gets worse it is not uncommon to think that your pet is "just getting old", especially since thyroid disorders are common in older pets. A lot of this "premature aging" is hypothyroidism.
Some pets have no symptoms at all and the condition must be diagnosed by blood testing.
The doctor will become suspicious of hypothyroidism based on what you tell him/her and the physical examination of your pet. The disorder is confirmed by a simple blood test.
Twice daily supplementation with pills for the remainder of the pet's life can restore your pet's internal systems to full functioning status. Iodine tablets (sea Kelp) are often helpful for thyroid stimulation.
Periodic blood tests are recommended to make sure that the pills are doing their job. It is not uncommon to need to adjust the dosage or type of medication that your pet receives.
There are no side effects from this medication when properly dosed and and the pills will enable your pet to experience a better quality of life!