Like humans, dogs can develop thyroid disease. While many symptoms of canine thyroid disease often develop slowly, others come on suddenly. Fortunately, diseases of the thyroid gland in dogs can be well-managed, however, in rare cases, your dog may become very ill from thyroid disease and may need to be admitted to a veterinarian hospital for treatment. Here are some common thyroid diseases in dogs and how they can be treated:


If your dog's thyroid gland fails to produce enough thyroid hormone, it may have hypothyroidism. This endocrine disorder not only affects the thyroid gland, but it can affect every organ in the dog's body.

Symptoms of canine hypothyroidism include lethargy, constipation, weight gain, increased appetite, and increased shedding. Your dog may also feel cold because hypothyroidism slows the metabolic rate.

Skin rashes and other dermatological changes are also common, so if your dog starts itching or licking its skin, low thyroid function needs to be ruled out. Your veterinarian can run a thyroid panel blood test on your dog to evaluate its hormone levels, and if hypothyroidism is diagnosed, the veterinarian may prescribe thyroxine, which is a type of hormone replacement therapy. Rarely, thyroxine can cause an elevated heart rate, excessive panting, and anxiety, so if your dog exhibits these signs after taking thyroxine, take it to the veterinarian hospital for an evaluation.


When your dog secretes too much thyroid hormone, it may have hyperthyroidism. This disorder may be more likely to require hospitalization than hypothyroidism, as the signs and symptoms may be more dramatic.

They include a fast heart rate, hyperactivity, anxiety, and vomiting. Also signs and symptoms of hyperthyroidism include an increased appetite, increased urination, diarrhea, an increase in thirst, and shortness of breath.

These signs and symptoms are a medical emergency, so if your dog exhibits any of them, bring it to an animal hospital as soon as possible. The most common cause of canine hyperthyroidism is thyroid cancer, and treatment often involves surgery to remove the thyroid gland. 

If your dog develops hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism, it is essential that it gets frequent examinations by the veterinarian. While canine thyroid disease can be well-managed with frequent checkups, poorly managed thyroid disease may be life-threatening. A simple blood test can detect subtle changes in your dog's thyroid hormones, so it is essential that they be detected as soon as possible before the disease progresses any further. For more information, check out places like Sylvan Corner Pet Hospital.