Discover hypothyroidism in beagles

Hypothyroidism is rare in Beagles. But if you notice a change or irregularity in your dogs skin and hair just like excessive shedding, don’t just think that it is because of skin infection caused by fleas and ticks. Excessive shedding is also the result of hypothyroidism.

One of the largest endocrine glands in the body is the thyroid gland. Thyroid gland, consisting of two lobes is located at the base of the neck. This gland produces thyroxine, a hormone that regulates the body’s metabolic rate. This hormone controls how quickly the body burns calories and makes proteins. Insufficient production of thyroxine leads to hypothyroidism.

Some experts noticed that hypothyroidism is common in neutered dogs than in intact ones. It commonly develops in dogs between 4 to 10 years old. This usually affects middle to large size breeds however, occurs in Beagles in some cases.

Deficiency of thyroxine or thyroid gland is distinguishable through various symptoms. Excessive shedding and difficulty in growing hair are likely to happen. Excessive black pigment in the skin of their groin is also visible. Other symptoms of hypothyroidism include mental dullness, obesity, low tolerance to cold, slow heart rate, high blood cholesterol and anemia. These symptoms when combined together will be the basis of your veterinarian in diagnosing the presence of hypothyroidism in Beagles.

Presence of hypothyroidism is detected through different tests. These tests are T4 Test, T3 Test and TSH Stimulation test. T4 test is the most common test wherein blood sample is drawn and then tested. This is to determine the level of T4 thyroid hormone in the bloodstream. T3 Test is similar to T4 Test but is less accurate when hypothyroidism is still in early case. T3 Test is oftentimes used together with T4 Test or TSH Stimulation Test. TSH Stimulation test is used when results of T3 and T4 tests are in doubt.

Fortunately, hypothyroidism is not a life-threatening disease. Hypothyroidism is treated with the use of synthesized thyroid hormone or thyroxine. This drug comes in various forms and is available in various brands. The dosage of this drug depends largely on how sever the condition is. It is usually based on the dog’s weight, blood samples and to the dog’s response to the drug. Once a dog is placed on thyroxine medication, it should be given for the rest of the dog’s life.