Levothyroxine for Dogs

If your pet suffers from thyroid issues, he benefit from receiving a treatment of levothyroxine for dogs. This medicine has been used for many years to help support hypothyroidism in pets. Hypothyroidism is characterized as an abnormally low thyroid function and a situation in which the thyroid glands do not produce adequate thyroid hormones to support your pet's body. Read on for a brief overview of how and when to use levothyroxine supplements for dogs.

Levothyroxine Overview

Levothyroxine is a thyroid hormone that is produced naturally in your dog's body. This hormone is one of two primary thyroid hormones. The thyroid glands in your pet's body are located at his neck and are responsible for regulating cell function throughout the vast majority of his bodily systems. Specifically, levothyroxine helps to keep the following organs and systems functional and healthy in your pet's body:

  • kidney
  • liver
  • brain
  • heart
  • hair
  • skin
  • muscle
  • nerves

If your pet doesn't have proper levels of levothyroxine in his bloodstream, he may suffer from a wide variety of different abnormal effects. This is due to a condition called hypothyroidism, and hypothyroidism can be caused for a number of different reasons. Levothyroxine supplements are available through the brand name medicines Soloxine and ThyroTab.

Using Levothyroxine Supplements

The levothyroxine supplements listed above have been specially formulated for use in pets. There are also human formulations of this same hormone in a slightly different form, but these are not beneficial for pets. If your veterinarian determines through blood work and other laboratory tests that your dog is suffering from a lack of naturally produced levothyroxine as a result of his hypothyroidism, he may benefit from treatment of this type.

The exact dosage of levothyroxine that you'll give to your pet will be largely dependent upon his size and weight. The larger the dog, typically the more of the medicine that he'll require. This medicine is typically available in tablets ranging in size from .1 to .8 milligrams.

Side Effects and Other Issues

While dogs with hypothyroidism can experience massive improvement in their overall health as a result of hormone supplementation of this kind, it's vital that you and your vet be sure that your dog is in fact suffering from this condition before you give him these medicines. Furthermore, excessive doses of levothyroxine can lead to tremors, overexcited behavior, and heart palpitations. These side effects are actually relatively common with treatments of levothyroxine, and they can potentially be bad for your dog's overall health. Therefore, it's crucial that you and your vet work together to properly monitor your dog's health.

Monitoring your pet's levothyroxine levels can be done through regular blood tests done at the veterinarian's office. In the case of an atypical allergic reaction to the medicine, you should take your pet in to the vet or to an emergency veterinary medical facility immediately. Unusual and serious allergic reactions are quite uncommon, but may occur in some animals, so it's important to monitor your pet closely.