Although hypothyroidism, underactive thyroid gland, is a common ailment in aging dogs of all types, some breeds are especially vulnerable to the health disorder. Yorkshire terriers are among breeds prone to the hormonal ailment.
If a dog has hypothyroidism, his thyroid gland not making enough of the hormone thyroxin. This thyroid hormone has an important job within the body -- managing the pace of metabolism. Yorkshire terriers are not the only dogs who are susceptible to hypothyroidism. Others include Irish setters, Doberman pinschers and golden retrievers, and there are others. The disease is particularly prevalent in canines who are of middle age or older.
Symptoms of Hypothyroidism
Always be cognizant of potential hints of illness in your pet, hypothyroidism or otherwise. Typical symptoms of hypothyroidism in canines are lethargy, loss of fur, lackluster appearance of the coat, weight increase, skin problems and poor cold toleration. If one pooch seems to dread being outside in the winter more than other dogs, hypothyroidism could be the reason.
Multitudinous potential causes are associated with hypothyroidism in dogs. For some dogs, the disease is congenital. In others, the presence of the disease could be an effect of another overarching issue, like cancer. After noticing symptoms of illness, the first step in understanding your Yorkie's condition is to take him to the doctor and confirm or eliminate the disease, via examinations and testing. In doing this, you might just find out the root trigger, as well.
Management options for hypothyroidism are varied, and they often depend on your Yorkie's individual situation. Hormone replacement is a common option for dogs with this condition. Dogs with underactive thyroids often require hormone replacement for the full durations of their lives. If your Yorkie has hypothyroidism, speak in depth with a veterinarian in order to determine what management method is most appropriate for his needs.
Other Conditions Common in Yorkshire Terriers
Hypothyroidism is just one of several medical conditions that routinely affect many Yorkies. Others are cataracts, Legg-Calve-Perthes disease, progressive retinal atrophy, kidney disease, patellar luxation, collapsed trachea and low blood sugar. Keep your precious pet feeling good for a long time by making sure he attends veterinary appointments regularly. If he does have hypothyroidism or any other issue, the quicker the veterinarian can pinpoint it the better.
- The Everything Yorkshire Terrier Book; Cheryl S. Smith
- Veterinary Medical Specialization; W. Jean Dodds
- Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine: Hypothyroidism in Dogs
- Merck Veterinary Manual: Hypothyroidism
- The Yorkshire Terrier Club of America Foundation: Health Issues
- Yorkshire Terriers for Dummies; Tracy Barr and Peter F. Veling
- Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images