Mention “wiener dog” and odds are the dachshund immediately popped into your head. This short, long pooch makes a loveable companion, but can suffer from various health conditions that make him miserable. One condition common to doxies is hypothyroidism, which can cause secondary health issues if not treated.
Not Enough Hormones
Your doxie is a little guy, but he still needs all his various hormones working at the right levels to keep him fit and healthy. Hypothyroidism occurs when his thyroid gland doesn't produce enough thyroid hormone, which regulates your pooch's metabolism. Too little of this hormone essentially slows down his whole system, leaving him vulnerable to various other illnesses and health issues.
Seeing the Symptoms
Since thyroid hormone controls just about every organ in your little wiener dog's body, deducing he's got hypothyroidism isn't an easy task. Symptoms of this condition manifest in frustratingly vague ways, such as weight gain and lethargy. He may suffer skin problems, an intolerance to cold temperatures and corneal ulcers as his thyroid hormone levels drop. Many symptoms can occur easily with various other illnesses, so don't freak if your doxie seems tired for a few days. Make note of any behavioral or physical differences, and call your vet if you are concerned. Always consult an experienced veterinarian regarding the health and treatment of your pet.
Your pup's body needs thyroid hormone to keep his inner workings working properly, and running on empty isn't good for his ticker. Untreated hypothyroidism can cause heart disease, and even heart failure, in your doxie, as well as high cholesterol levels. The weight gain and lethargy associated with hypothyroidism can lead to outright obesity, creating a strain on his joints and long back. In some cases, treating the hypothyroidism reverses the other symptoms and conditions, putting your pup's metabolism back on track.
Diagnosis and Treatment
A frustrating reality of dog health conditions is that many symptoms overlap, making a diagnosis tricky in cases like this. Your vet will take note of your doxie's physical symptoms and run blood tests to check his thyroid hormone levels. If these come back low, your pup receives a confirmed diagnosis. Treatment involves replacement hormone therapy, in the form of a daily pill given for the rest of your pup's life. How much and how often requires careful monitoring, and is calculated by your doxie's weight.
Always check with your veterinarian before changing your pet’s diet, medication, or physical activity routines. This information is not a substitute for a vet’s opinion.
Jane Williams began her writing career in 2000 as the writer and editor of a nationwide marketing company. Her articles have appeared on various websites. Williams briefly attended college for a degree in administration before embarking on her writing career.