April 12, 2024

What Should You Know About Canine Hyperthyroidism?

Thyroxine is one of the hormones that the thyroid glands produce. The overproduction of these hormones by the glands in hyperthyroid canines brings various metabolic problems. Canines can get hyperthyroidism, even though it is a condition that affects them very rarely. When it happens, your dog might experience some severe health problems as a result. Rapid action is required to achieve the best outcomes from treatment for hyperthyroidism, which presents a severe health risk.

What functions does a dog’s thyroid serve?

The thyroid in your dog’s neck produces a host of crucial hormones that help control your dog’s metabolism and body temperature.

What is hyperthyroidism?

A pet can experience weight reduction, anxiety, diarrhea, and other symptoms when its body overproduces the thyroid hormone. Typically affecting older animals, hyperthyroidism is most likely induced by a combination of circumstances.

What canine hyperthyroidism symptoms are there?

Several dogs will show almost no symptoms in the early stages of the condition or may only have a bump on the underside of their neck. When symptoms become apparent, they may include:

  • Cardiomyology (enlarged heart)
  • Change in bark
  • Depression
  • Diarrhea
  • Difficulties swallowing
  • Dyspnea (lack of breath)
  • Enlargement of thyroid
  • Excessive water intake
  • Facial swelling
  • Frequent urination
  • Gagging and vomiting
  • Heart murmur
  • Hyper-excitability
  • An increased amount of stool
  • Increased appetite
  • Swelling under neck
  • Weight loss

How is hyperthyroidism in dogs diagnosed?

An appropriate blood test that spots thyroid hormones can quickly and readily identify hyperthyroidism. Your dog may have a tissue sample removed and examined under a microscope if the doctor discovers a lump in the neck region. Further examinations at advanced facilities, like River Oak Veterinary Hospital, may be needed if a tumor is found to determine its extent.

What treatment options are there?

Depending on the seriousness of the individual case and the underlying factor, there are three main types of treatment utilized to deal with hyperthyroidism in dogs.

Drug Prescription

The synthesis of thyroid hormones is suppressed by medication when a pet owner selects a non-invasive treatment. The problem usually vanishes by preventing the body from producing more hormones in the pet. A vet internist can manage hyperthyroidism with the aid of medicines. However, if thyroid carcinoma is to blame, several variables, such as the stage at which it is discovered, will affect the likelihood of recovery. Book an appointment with reputable facilities like the River Oak Veterinary Hospital for your dog’s treatment.


When a thyroid tumor in a dog is surgically removed, the outcomes are usually excellent as long as it’s easy to move, is less than 4 cm in size, and has not yet migrated to other sections of your pet’s body. The procedure entails the animal surgeon‘s total removal of the thyroid gland, albeit this is often only done when more than one gland creates problems. This way, the body retains one functioning thyroid gland. The opposite condition, hypothyroidism, may develop if both thyroid glands are removed. 

Close Monitoring

Other treatment methods are more extensive, requiring monitoring of animals and their prolonged stay in a vet clinic. Depending on the stage of thyroid cancer, the size of the tumor, and the degree to which neighboring tissue is affected, other therapies, including chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and iodine therapy, may also be utilized, either alone or in combination.

What is the prognosis for canine hyperthyroidism patients?

The prognosis for dogs with thyroid cancer or hyperthyroidism is favorable when detected and treated early. With the correct care, many dogs can live for one to three years with a good quality of life. Surgery is curative when a benign tumor is present. Treating a malignant thyroid tumor might be difficult and depend on several aspects. However, dogs might develop hypothyroidism after a thyroidectomy, characterized by low thyroid hormone levels. To treat hypothyroidism, dogs need a long-term thyroid supplement.