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Hypothyroidism in Dogs

Author: MayaAndPierson
January 26, 2009


Sephi is seven years old now. I assumed that she slept a lot due to her age so I didn’t think much of it. It’s too bad I disregarded it because worse issues began to develop. Some time last spring, I noticed her skin was flaking more than usual. It wasn’t very bad and I assumed it was just the weather. But over time, it kept getting worse and worse. She began to develop balding spots on her stomach. I took her to the vet and they gave her medicine. The medicine didn’t work so the vet gave something else. That didn’t work either so they sent Sephi to a dermatologist. The Dermatologist gave her some very powerful medicine. After a couple of weeks on the medicine Sephi stopped eating. I was very concerned because Sephi loves food. The only way she would stop eating would be if she wasn’t feeling well. After three days of not eating, I took her back to the vet. They determined that she was having liver problems and that the problems were most likely due to the medication she was on. They kept her overnight and within a couple days after her vet visit, she was eating again. Her skin, however, was still a problem and it was spreading from her stomach to her legs and tail. The vet gave her yet another medication. We stuck to it pretty well, but there were still no changes in her skin. So far I had spent over $1,000.00 on vet bills for Sephi and nothing was working.

Finally, on what seemed like our millionth visit to the vet, the veterinarian came up with what seemed like the most logical reason for Sephi’s problem, and the solution. She suspected that Sephi had Hypothyroidism. Hypothyroidism in dogs can develop in their middle-age or senior years. Certain breeds can be even more susceptible. The symptoms for hypothyroidism in dogs are as follows:

*your dog is sleeping more than usual
your dog doesn’t like cold weather and likes to be in warm places
aggression or other distinct changes in the dog’s behavior
your dog doesn’t have the same endurance for exercise
your dog is not interested in playing
*dry skin
excessive shedding
hair loss or bald spots
darkening of the skin
weight gain
frequent infections involving the skin
pale gums
weakness or stiffness

When I thought Sephi was just being sleepy all the time because she was getting old was actually hypothyroidism in dogs. Sephi didn’t have the aggression, weight gain, constipation, weakness, pale gums, or stiffness, but all the other symptoms applied. The vet gave her medicine to help the hypothyroidism in dogs and within a week or so, Sephi’s energy level increased and her skin was doing noticeably better. Now, four weeks later, her skin is almost completely better and her hair is growing back on the bald spots.

So if your dog is middle-aged, look out for the symptoms for hypothyroidism in dogs. Don’t assume that the extra fatigue or reoccurring skin issues are due to you dog’s aging. Have your vet test for hypothyroidism in dogs. It would be a much less expensive route than the one I took.

Sephi will need to be on medication for the rest of her life. And she will have to be periodically tested to see if the thyroid hormone levels need to be adjusted with more or less medication. But at least she is back to normal!

Check out the following website for more information on hypothyroidism in dogs:

Hypothyroidism in Dogs from

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3 Responses to “Hypothyroidism in Dogs”

  1. Melissa T:

    My dog was acting depressed. She was only seven years old and didn’t want to play anymore, was no longer excited about walks, and slept a lot. Within 10 days of visiting the vet and getting her a prescription for hypothyroidism, she was acting like a puppy again. I think this is very important information to know for anyone who has a middle-aged dog.