What is hyperthyroidism ?
Hyperthyroidism is the condition in which the thyroid gland produces too much thyroid hormone thyroxine (T4). Thyroxine is an important hormone which ensures that all kinds of metabolic processes are carried out in the right way. When too much thyroxine is produced, it will lead to an accelerated metabolism with all kinds of consequences. Hyperthyroidism is a rare condition in the dog and is much less common than hypothyroidism in which too little thyroid hormone is produced.
What are the symptoms of hyperthyroidism ?
Dogs suffering from hyperthyroidism may have the following symptoms :
– weight loss despite huge appetite
– drink a lot
– Pee a lot
– increase the heart rate
– digestive complaints such as diarrhea
What is the cause of hyperthyroidism ?
In 90% of cases, the cause of hyperthyroidism is a malignant tumor of the thyroid gland (adenocarcinoma) that causes the increased production of thyroxine. Another cause is the group of dogs treated with thyroxine in connection with an underactive thyroid gland (hypothyroidism) and where the dose is too high.
How do we diagnose hyperthyroidism ?
We make the diagnosis on the basis of the clinical symptoms and especially on the blood level of the hormone thyroxine.
What is the treatment of hyperthyroidism ?
Because a malignant tumor is often the cause of hyperthyroidism, the treatment consists of surgical removal of the thyroid gland. Optionally, a combination with chemotherapy can be chosen.
What is the prognosis of hyperthyroidism ?
Because the cause is often a malignant tumor that is frequently spread, the prognosis is moderate.