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 HEALTH FORUMS for Spinone Italiano
 Endocrine
 Hypothyroidism by Lisa Boyer, DVM
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Author Previous Topic: New Book about Thyroid Problems by Dr. Jean Dodds Topic Next Topic: Dr. Jean Dodds Research Study  
SpinoneMAX

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 Posted - 02/04/2011 :  3:23:07 PM Show Profile Visit SpinoneMAX's Homepage Add SpinoneMAX to Buddylist
In the November 2010 Versatile Hunting Dog magazine (NAVHDA), Dr. Boyer was asked a question about hypothyroidism and responded with the following information (reprinted with permission of author):

Hypothyroidism is a condition where the body does not produce enough active thyroid hormone. It is the most common hormone imbalance of dogs. Although it would seem like a straightforward problem which could be solved by giving a thyroid supplement, sometimes it is not that simple. The two main causes of hypothyroidism in dogs is an immune-mediated destruction of the thyroid gland and a natural atrophy (shrinking) of the gland. Hypothyroidism is usually seen in middle aged to elderly dogs, but it is seen in young dogs as well. Breeds predisposed to the disease include the Doberman Pinscher, the Golden Retriever, the Irish Setter, the Great Dane, the Dachshund and the Boxer.

Almost all dogs that have hypothyroidism have a history of skin problems or dry, brittle coats. About 1/2 of the dogs wih hypothyroidism are obese. My main concern with hunting dogs is that if left untreated, hypothyroidism interferes with the electrical conduction system of the heart. In approximately 26% of dogs who are affected, abnormal rhythms or slow heart rates can occur. This poses a definite risk for the athletic dog. About 2-4% of hypothyroid dogs also have neurologic problems that can affect movement and comfort of the dog.

For uncomplicated hypothyroidism, the treatment is an inexpensive supplement, given daily for the life of the dog. If effective, your dog should be able to continue hunting and if the supplementation levels are correct, his performance should actually improve if he was showing signs of the disease.

In cases where the pet has another underlying disease, diagnosis and treatment of the hypothyroidism may be complicated and treatment is not always effective. Regular monitoring of the thyroid level is essential once treatment has begun to ensure that the level of supplementation is appropriate.

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