Hyperthyroidism in dogs means the thyroid is overactive (as opposed to it being underactive in dogs with hypothyroidism). Although hypothyroidism in dogs is more common, hyperthyroidism can occur.
The over-active thyroid produces more of the hormone than the dog needs. The hormone the thyroid produces regulates the dog’s metabolism, so too much can lead to excess activity. Symptoms occur such as weight loss despite always being hungry and eating a lot, they drink more than normal and so urinate more than normal. The heart rate can increase. Their body heat can be affected in that they can get too hot.
This increase in the function of the heart and kidneys can lead to their malfunction. A tumour can grow.
Thyroid problems in dogs is more likely to be the hypo variety, the under-function. Because hyperthyroidism is quite rare in dogs, the probable cause has been linked to their diet, for a very different reason than most dietary caused problems.
A diet high in thyroid gland tissue can lead to hyperthyroidism in dogs.
The thyroid is situated just below the larynx, in the neck. So when a dog is fed an excess of the meat from around this area, they may be getting too much of the hormone. Head meat, neck meat, gullet meat, including the bones, can all contain thyroid gland tissue. If a dog is fed an excess of this kind of meat, they can end up with this problem.
The thyroid hormone can also be secreted in the trachea (the wind pipe), in the chest, so meat from this area can contribute.
Many people feeding their dog a home-made diet often buy their meat from a single source. Probably the cheapest source, such as meat that is not used for human consumption. Whilst I am a firm believer in home-made food for your dog, your cat, yourself, you must always ensure it is balanced according to the species.
Feeding your dog the same kind of meat, such as head or neck meat or bones, day in day out, is not only highly imbalanced, it is very boring. How would you feel if you were fed the exact same food every day? Variety also ensures balanced nutrition.
We need to make our dogs diet varied, interesting and balanced. We also need to make our life easy. Most of us have high demands on our time. So setting up a simple process of weekly repetition can keep everyone ticking along nicely.
To this end, I make up different meals every day of the week to ensure balance, maximum nutrition and interest. But every week is the same. So it’s easy for me to buy the food as I remember what is needed, but the dogs are fed a healthy, balanced, interesting diet.
Hyperthyroid in dogs is less likely to occur when they are fed commercial dog food, although a host of other health issues are more likely to occur, for a variety of other reasons. Commercial dog treats can also be the cause.
Fortunately, it is very easy to address hyperthyroidism in dogs by feeding them a balanced diet. This is common for many diseases. Natural dogs health starts with a balanced, species-specific, natural diet. Add to that the holistic modality of homeopathy for all necessary health issues, and you can have a vibrant, happy dog who is likely to live to a healthy old age. And your bank balance will be a lot healthier, too.
If you have noticed your dog exhibiting the signs and symptoms of hyperthyroidism, suspect the diet. If you are feeding a home-made diet, good for you, but change the source and the contents to ensure it is balanced and nutritious.