Lets talk about the thyroid glands and what they do for your pet.
The thyroid gland is located in the neck and divided into two lobes lying on either side of the windpipe. The thyroid gland serves several important roles in keeping your pet healthy by regulating metabolism, fat and carbohydrates. It ensures normal growth of cells, which have specific roles in the body. The thyroid gland is also important for the consumption of oxygen and regulating heat production. As such, an imbalance of thyroid hormones can affect the whole body and if left untreated it can lead to serious illness.
Thyroid disorders affect both dogs and cats, although in many different ways.
Our feline friends usually suffer from an overproduction or HYPERTHYROIDISM whereas in dogs it is an underproduction of thyroid hormones or HYPOTHYROIDISM.
If you suspect your pet may be affected stay on the lookout for some very common signs and ensure you contact us and come in for a check up. Your pet will undergo a physical examination, a blood test to check and confirm thyroid levels and appropriate treatment started.
Since most cats and dogs with thyroid disorders are older, it is recommended that your pet also have other blood test to assess organ function and make sure they do not suffer from any other underlying problems. As other conditions can develop alongside hypo or hyperthyroidism that may affect the successful treatment and outcome.
Things to be on the look out for:
- Weight loss despite a good or even ravenous appetite,
- a scruffy dull coat,
- vomit and or diarrhea, using the litter box more often,
- changes in behavior such as irritability, anxiety, restlessness and aggressiveness.
- Weight gain,
- lack of energy or, lethargy,
- not wanting to exercise as often,
- changes to the coat and skin such as “rat tail”,
- recurrent infections,
- constipation or diarrhea,
- neurological signs or neurobehavioral changes (aggression, fear, irritability, excitability or submissiveness and changes temperament).
If you see any of these signs in your cat or dog then please make an appointment to see us!