Discover Hypothyroidism in Beagles

Though they are not at greater risk of hypothyroidism, Beagles in rare cases have the tendency to develop this disease. Notice your Beagle shedding hair? Check it out because it may not be a skin infection caused by fleas and ticks, the shedding maybe because of hypothyroidism.

The thyroid gland is one of the largest endocrine glands in the body. It is consist of two lobes located at the base of the neck. This gland is known for it produces thyroxine, a hormone that regulates the body’s metabolic rate. This hormone controls how quickly the body burns calories and makes proteins. When thyroxine is not produced sufficiently, hypothyroidism occurs.

Some experts noticed that hypothyroidism is common in neutered dogs than in intact ones. It commonly develops in dogs between 4 to 10 years old. This usually affects middle to large size breeds however, occurs in Beagles in some cases.

A deficiency of this thyroid hormone called thyroxine may result to various symptoms. The dog may experience excessive shedding and hair may be difficult to grow. Skin abnormality such as too much black pigment in the skin of their groin is also a symptom of deficiency in thyroid hormone. Other symptoms include lethargy or mental dullness, obesity, low tolerance to cold, slow heart rate, high blood cholesterol and anemia. These symptoms when combined together will help you and your veterinarian suspect the presence of hypothyroidism in your Beagles.

Presence of hypothyroidism is detected through different tests. These tests are T4 Test, T3 Test and TSH Stimulation test. T4 test is the most common test wherein blood sample is drawn and then tested. This is to determine the level of T4 thyroid hormone in the bloodstream. T3 Test is similar to T4 Test but is less accurate when hypothyroidism is still in early case. T3 Test is oftentimes used together with T4 Test or TSH Stimulation Test. TSH Stimulation test is used when results of T3 and T4 tests are in doubt.

Luckily, hypothyroidism is not a life-threatening disease. This disease is treated with the use of synthesized thyroid hormone or thyroxine, available in tablet form. Dosage of this drug varies depending on the severity of the condition. Dosage is usually based on the dog’s weight, blood samples and to the dog’s response to the drug. Once a dog is placed on thyroxine medication, it should be given for the rest of the dog’s life.

Richard Cussons has written various articles on dogs. Discover useful information about Beagle training at this site about Beagles.

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