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Beagles- What To Do When They Have Hypothyroidism

Feb 15, 2008
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.

Middle to large size breeds are prone to this disease. But also occurs in Beagles in rare cases. It usually develops in dogs between 4 to 10 years old, more common in neutered animals than in intact ones.

Deficiency of thyroxine or thyroid gland is distinguishable through various symptoms. Excessive shedding and difficulty in growing hair are likely to happen. Excessive black pigment in the skin of their groin is also visible. Other symptoms of hypothyroidism include mental dullness, obesity, low tolerance to cold, slow heart rate, high blood cholesterol and anemia. These symptoms when combined together will be the basis of your veterinarian in diagnosing the presence of hypothyroidism in Beagles.

Hypothyroidism is detected through various tests. These tests are T4 test, T3 test and TSH Stimulation test. The most common test is the T4 test wherein blood sample is drawn and then tested. This is used to determine the level of T4 thyroid hormone in the blood stream. T3 test is similar to T4 test but is less accurate when hypothyroidism is still in early case. To ensure accuracy, T3 test is often used with T4 test or TSH Stimulation test. TSH Stimulation test is used when results of T3 and T4 tests are in doubt.

Hypothyroidism is not a life-threatening disease. This disease is best treated with the use of thyroid hormone or thyroxine. It is available in various brands and comes in tablet form. Dosage of this drug varies depending on the severity of the condition. It is usually based on the dog's weight, blood samples and to the dog's response to the drug. Once thyroxine medication is started in dogs, it should be given for the rest of dog's life.
About the Author
Richard Cussons has created various articles on dogs. Learn useful tips about Beagle training at this site about Beagles.
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