I have to give some “breaking news” that I found on the Internet. It proves that miracles happen — especially at Christmastime. Seems the Pruitt family of Fredricksburg, Va., got a Skype message from the Yuba County California Animal Shelter this past week that they had the Pruitts’ dog, which had been missing for eight years!
Now, the shelter is promising to have the dog home for the holidays. How was the dog identified? It had a microchip imbedded in the neck area. If you love your pet, microchip it for identification. I am sure this dog lost its collar sometime in the eight years since it went missing from its home.
All these symptoms could be caused by a hyperactive thyroid, however, they might signal some other condition the veterinarian should check for. In some cases, the hyperactive dog will have a personality change, going from a happy, well-adjusted dog to an asocial animal. The veterinarian will look for excessive secretions of the thyroid hormones thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3), which results in signs that reflect an increased metabolic rate. The doctor also will check the dog’s heartbeat for murmurs or congestive heart failure.
There are three ways to treat the condition: surgical thyroidectomy, use of radioactive iodine or chronic administration of an anti-thyroid drug.
Then there is the opposite problem. If your dog has an iodine deficiency, the thyroid gland will enlarge. This is rare since most commercial dog foods have iodized salt added. Instead, a breeder might discover his female is unable to conceive pups.
I had a dog with this problem and she responded to a thyroid pill each day. Other symptoms of a sluggish thyroid are: weight gain, with no increased appetite. The dog may be less active and reluctant to play or take walks. There often is a change in the coat with the hair falling out in patches, and the remaining hair becoming coarse and dry. There may be coarse wrinkling of the skin over the abdomen. These animals may have trouble maintaining their body temperature and will seek out sources of heat such as registers or radiators. They are reluctant to go outdoors in cold weather and may shiver noticeably.
If your dog has been diagnosed with hypothyroidism, the condition can easily be managed by replacement with either thyroxine or triiodothyronine. By supplying adequate amounts of the prescribed pills, the dog’s condition will improve within two to four weeks. Fortunately, thyroid pills are not the most expensive medicines on the market.