Hypothyroidism, or abnormally low blood thyroid hormone levels, usually occurs in intact, middle-aged, and older dogs. Occasionally this disease is seen in young large breed dogs. Hypothyroidism is also commonly seen in spayed and neutered dogs of all ages.
Canine hypothyroidism results when the thyroid gland atrophies (shrinks). Many times this atrophy is associated with lymphocytic thyroiditis, a condition where lymphocytes infiltrate the thyroid gland and disrupt proper functioning. Other times, the atrophy is due to a non-inflammatory process of unknown origin. Few cases of hypothyroidism occur due to thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) deficiency, caused by congenital hypopituitarism in young animals or growth of a pituitary tumor in adult dogs. Fortunately, canine hypothyroidism is a treatable disease, accomplished by administering replacement thyroid hormone on a daily basis.
ThyroKare provides complete replacement therapy when levels of circulating thyroid hormones levothyroxine (T4) and liothyronine (T3) are reduced. ThyroKare supplies levothyroxine sodium, which not only replaces depleted T4 but also acts as a substrate for the process of deiodination, leading to increased levels of T3. ThyroKare administered alone will alleviate clinical signs secondary to canine hypothyroidism; no additional form of thyroid replacement is necessary.