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Thyroid gland dysfunction is a very common disease in dogs and cats. Hypothyroidism usually occurs in middle-aged, medium to large breed dogs (rarely in cats). It is usually caused by inflammation or idiopathic atrophy (deterioration of unknown cause) of the thyroid gland and results in decreased production of thyroid hormones.

The thyroid gland secretes levothyroxine which contributes to different body functions such as:

  • regulation of body temperature
  • metabolism of fats and carbohydrates
  • weight gain and loss
  • heart rate and cardiac output
  • nervous system function
  • growth and brain development in young animals
  • reproduction
  • muscle tone
  • skin condition

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