Hypothyroidism in dogs: 66 cases (1987-1992)

Panciera DL.

Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 1994;204:761-767.

Sixty-six dogs with hypothyroidism were identified from dogs examined over a 5-year period. Hypothyroidism was diagnosed only if the dog had a low, resting serum thyroxine concentration and serum thyroxine concentration was not higher than the lower limits of the reference range 6 hours after IV administration of bovine thyrotropin. The prevalence of hypothyroidism was 0.2%. Neutering was determined to be the most significant gender-associated risk factor for development of hypothyroidism. Neutered male and spayed female dogs had a higher relative risk of developing hypothyroidism than did sexually intact females. Sexually intact females had a lower relative risk. Breeds with a significantly increased risk, compared with other breeds, were the Doberman Pinscher and Golden Retriever. The most common clinical findings were obesity (41%), seborrhea (39%), alopecia (26%), weakness (21%), lethargy (20%), bradycardia (14%), and pyoderma (11%). Low voltage R-waves were found on 58% of ECG. Clinicopathologic abnormalities included hypercholesterolemia (73%), nonregenerative anemia (32%), high serum alkaline phosphatase activity (30%), and high serum creatine kinase activity (18%). Serum total triiodothyronine concentrations were within reference ranges in 15% of the hypothyroid dogs. Response to treatment was good in most dogs, but those with severe concurrent disease or neurologic abnormalities were less likely to respond with complete resolution of clinical signs.