What are the signs & symptoms that develop in affected dogs?
Affected dogs may have a proportionate decrease in size compared to littermates or the presence of a goiter.
When do signs and symptoms develop?
A goiter is an enlarged thyroid gland attempting and failing to produce thyroxine. Goiter may be observed as early as 3 weeks of age. Keep in mind, testing clear of this variant does not guarantee that a dog will not develop acquired hypothyroidism later in life. It’s important to have regular veterinary check-ups. Monitoring of a dog's health is key to catching and treating the first signs of age-related hypothyroidism.
How do vets diagnose this condition?
Veterinarians may confirm the diagnosis by measuring increased plasma TSH associated with decreased total thyroxine (TT4) concentrations and free thyroxine (FT4) or via thyroid imaging (ultrasound or scintigraphy).
How is this condition treated?
Hypothyroidism is a lifetime condition, however it can be managed medically. Affected dogs can be treated with hormone replacement (like sodium levothyroxine) and additional treatment for heart disease if needed.
What actions should I take if my dog is affected?
- Early diagnosis, consistent treatment, and regular blood work are key to properly managing this condition.