Endocrine

This is a Hormones condition.

Congenital Hypothyroidism

What is CHG?

This a medically manageable condition that arises from an inherent inability to produce the hormone thyroxine. Congenitally hypothyroid pups are usually lethargic and overweight with a characteristic "tragic" facial expression due to increased water retention in the facial folds. Abdominal hair loss, as well as a characteristic goiter, which is actually an enlarged thyroid gland attempting to produce thyroxine (to no avail), are also common. Thyroxine plays a role in early life skeletal and nervous system development, so congenitally hypothyroid pups can present with dwarfism of the long bones and spine as well as delayed mental development. Hypothyroidism is a lifetime condition and can be managed medically with thyroxine supplementation. In rare cases of untreated hypothyroidism, dogs can enter a condition known as myxedema coma, where lethargy can progress to a comatose state complete with a reduced heart rate, breathing rate, and low body temperature. This is an emergency situation that requires intensive care but can be prevented with early diagnosis and treatment.

What are the signs & symptoms that develop in affected dogs?

Congenitally hypothyroid pups are usually lethargic and overweight with a characteristic "tragic" facial expression due to increased water retention in the facial folds. They may also present with dwarfism of the long bones and spine as well as delayed mental development. Abdominal hair loss, as well as a characteristic goiter, which is actually an enlarged thyroid gland attempting to produce thyroxine (to no avail), are also common.

When do signs and symptoms develop?

Signs first develop in puppyhood and continue throughout their lives if untreated.

How do vets diagnose this condition?

Genetic and laboratory testing along with clinical signs are used to diagnose this disease.

How is this condition treated?

Hypothyroidism is a lifetime condition and can be managed medically with thyroxine supplementation. If untreated, dogs can enter a rare condition known as myxedema coma, where lethargy can progress to a comatose state and have a reduced heart rate, breathing rate, and low body temperature. This is an emergency situation that requires intensive care.

Discover Your Dogʼs DNA Story

Embark Dog DNA Test for Breed Identification

Breed Identification Kit

Breed ID Kit

Learn about your dogʼs breed, ancestry, and relatives.

$129

LEARN MORE

Breed + Health Kit

Breed + Health Kit

Learn about your dogʼs breed, health, traits, ancestry, and relatives.

$169

LEARN MORE