Managing Canine Hypothyroidism with Levethyroxine

Levothyroxine is one of the hormones that is produced by your pet's thyroid glands. These glands are located in your dog's neck and help to regulate a variety of bodily functions. The thyroid has been linked to brain, heart and kidney function, and it also helps to control your pet's metabolism and skin quality. If the thyroid does not produce hormones as it should, a condition called hypothyroidism can develop. Hypothyroidism is characterized by abnormally low levels of levothyroxine in the blood, and may lead to a number of different negative effects.

If your pet suffers from hypothyroidism, you can help to manage his symptoms and control his disease with a supplement of the levothyroxine hormone.

Prescription Levothyroxine

Levothyroxine hormone supplements are available in a variety of forms. ThyroTabs and Soloxine are two of the most commonly prescribed brand name drugs containing levothyroxine. These medicines are not available without a veterinarian's prescription. They are both available in tablet form and can be included along with your pet's meals.

Determining if Levothyroxine Treatment Is Appropriate

Before you consult with your vet about using levothyroxine to treat your pet's symptoms, it's important to ensure that he is suffering from hypothyroidism and not another disease that presents similar signs. Your veterinarian will examine your pet for visible signs of hypothyroidism, such as lethargy, hair loss, coat quality loss and weight gain. If he suspects that hypothyroidism may be behind your pet's symptoms, he will continue with a series of blood tests in order to measure the levels of levothyroxine that occur naturally in your pet's system.

Having diagnosed hypothyroidism based upon multiple levothyroxine readings and your pet's response to hormone supplements, your vet will recommend a treatment method based upon your dog's condition and prior health record.

Treating Hypothyroidism with Levothyroxine

The exact dosage of levothyroxine supplement that your dog requires depends upon a number of factors. Generally, veterinarians will use the information that they have gathered about a dog's natural ability to produce levothyroxine in combination with the dog's weight and age, in order to devise a dosage. It's important to follow your vet's recommended dosage as closely as possible. He will also require that you bring your dog for frequent blood samples so that he can monitor the effects of the treatment.

Side Effects and Other Considerations

Levothyroxine treatments can lead to certain side effects. An excess of levothyroxine hormone may lead to excitement, heart palpitations and other adverse reactions. Additionally, levothyroxine supplements may interact with a variety of other drugs in your pet's system in order to produce further negative effects. For this reason, it's important to inform your veterinarian of any other drugs or medicines that your pet is currently taking, before beginning a levothyroxine treatment plan.

Hypothyroidism can be a dangerous and debilitating disease. Fortunately, levothyroxine supplements can dramatically improve your pet's day to day life. It's important to take the necessary precautions while your pet is on this medicine in order to ensure that his hormone levels remain in proper balance.