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In Memory Of Pets Newsletter
February 2003

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February 2003 Newsletter
Volume III Issue 2-03

Hypothyroidism in Dogs

The most common hormone problem encountered in dogs is hypothyroidism. It results when the thyroid gland does not secrete an adequate quantity of thyroid hormone called thyroxine. Many internal organs are affected, and the resulting problem depends on which organs are most affected.

The thyroid gland is a small gland is located at the throat, near what might be termed the
Adam's Apple. It has two lobes and can be felt with careful palpation. The role of the thyroid gland is to take iodine and convert it into the 2 main thyroid hormones: thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3). T4 and T3 then circulates through the bloodstream and affect the metabolism of every cell in the body. To control the level of these hormones the hypothalamus and pituitary secrete compounds called releasing factors. In the case of the thyroid gland, they secrete a releasing factory called thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH). It is the amount of TSH circulating in the blood stream that tells the thyroid gland much thyroxine to secrete. In a refined feedback mechanism between the hypothalamus, pituitary and thyroid gland, the cells of the body get just the right amount of T4 and T3.


Thyroxine affects many internal organs so a deficiency can have various symptoms. Classic symptoms include mental dullness, lethargy, obesity and heat seeking behavior,
although many hypothyroid dogs do not have any of these symptoms. Early diagnosis is beneficial because a dog can have this disease and not show symptoms for years. In every disease that is treated, the sooner treatment is started, the better.

Hair is thin along the truck and dull
Hair easily fall out
Shedding is often
Skin is cool to touch
Skin be darker than normal and have a leathery feel
Skin maybe greasy
Inflamed due to secondary bacterial or fungal infections
Mood swings
Head tilt
Muscle weakness
Facial paralysis
Loss of smell and taste
Reduction in tear production in the eyes
Constipation and vomiting
Abnormalities in heart strength, rate and rhythm
Abnormal heat cycles
Low Sperm count
Sugar Diabetes

Once diagnosis is determined for hypothyroidism, supplementation with thyroxine is treatment for life as prescribed through your veterinarian. Medicine is given every 12 hours. A thyroid level needs to be checked initially at one month to make minor adjustments. The thyroid pill should be given 4-6 hours prior to recheck blood test. It is then checked every 6 months in order to refine the dose, because the body does change in the amount of thyroxin released by the thyroid gland. As pets age, their cells vary in their need for thyroxine.

In the first week of treatment many dogs will become more alert and more active. Within a month improvement in problems related to metabolic change will be noted and within 4-6 weeks, skin improvement will be noticed. Overdose can include excess drinking, urinating and restlessness and increased appetite. If you notice any of these symptoms, contact your veterinarian

In Memory Of Pets In the News:

In Memory of Pets was honored by an article in the "New Hampshire Sunday Foster's Citizen":

Please Note:

As always your Veterinarian is the best source of information and
treatment for questions or problems that may exist.

If you have any suggestions or comments or would like to add to
our "Monthly Newsletter",

please e-mail:

Carole Miller
John Mingo

"Our Thank You To All"

WE want to thank all our volunteers and special folks who have shared their
open feelings in support and caring in responding to others in our "Guest Book"
and our "Message Board" and for the continued support for all that
In Memory Of Pets has to offer from our hearts..

Bless all who come to "In Memory Of Pets" in sharing loving feelings
for their beloved ones.

John, Carole and Staff

* Should you wish to make a contribution you may do so to:
In Memory of Pets
278 Cedar Road
Hershey, PA 17033
Attn: Kenneth L. Miller Secretary/Treasurer

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Ken Miller
E-Mail>> Ken Miller