February 9 th


Low Thyroid Kills Dogs!

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I cannot believe we got another email from someone wanting us to take a fearful dog  today.

They have seen vets, trainers and called even one famous animal sanctuary who referred them to us!  Well, that sanctuary takes in ~ 34 million dollars a year, so I was a bit shocked, but I am glad they did, because now this dog owner has the info which may save their dog’s life and allow her to stay with her family.

Here is a Facebook note I wrote a long time ago and share often:


I am talking until I am blue in the face. Low thyroid causes >60% of aggression and > 40% of fearfulness in dogs, yet NO ONE MENTIONS IT!  I see thread after thread on Fb with people discussing behavioral problems with impounded dogs and no one mentions thyroid testing. Most dogs are abandoned because of behavior. MANY ARE ILL, not badly behaved.


My sanctuary got a call from a gal in tears because her rescued dog has gotten progressively more aggressive over time. She has been to vets, she called rescues and sanctuaries trying to place him. NO ONE ASKED ABOUT THE DOG’S HEALTH. I did. He also has skin allergies and digestive problems.




She is now going to have Hemopet (http://www.hemopet.org) do a thyroid panel and I am very sure they will discover thyroid disease. A pill twice a day will probably “cure” all his problems and save him from being put to sleep.


Please, get educated and SHARE THE INFO. Please read Dr. Jean Dodds’ new book- The Canine Thyroid Epidemic




Other symptoms:

Clinical Signs of Canine Hypothyroidism


Alterations in Cellular Metabolism

weakness / stiffness / laryngeal paralysis / facial paralysis / tragic expression / knuckling or dragging feet / muscle wasting / megaesophagus / head tilt / drooping eyelids


Neuromuscular Problems

seizures / mental dullness / exercise intolerance / neurologic signs / polyneuropathy / lethargy / weight gain / cold intolerance / mood swings hyperexcitability / stunted growth / chronic infections


Dermatologic Diseases

dry, scaly skin and dandruff / coarse, dull coat / bilateral symmetrical hair loss / rat tail, puppy coat / hyperpigmentation / seborrhea or greasy skin / pyoderma or skin infections / myxedema / chronic offensive skin odor


Reproductive Disorders

infertility of either sex / lack of libido / testicular atrophy / hypospermia aspermia / prolonged interestrus interval / absence of heat cycles / silent heats / pseudopregnancy / weak, dying or stillborn pups


Cardiac Abnormalities

slow heart rate (bradycardia) / cardiac arrhythmias / cardiomyopathys


Gastrointestinal Disorders

constipation / diarrhea / vomiting


Hematological Disorders

bleeding / bone marrow failure / low red blood cells / low white blood cells / low platelets


Ocular Diseases

corneal lipid deposits / corneal ulceration / uveitis Keratococonjunctivitis / sicca or dry eye / infections of eyelid glands (Meibomian gland)


Other Associated Disorders

lgA deficiency / loss of smell (dysosmia) / loss of taste / glycosuria / chronic active hepatitis / other endocrinopathies adrenal, pancreatic, parathyroid

Categories : News


  1. Connee Robertson says:

    I lost one puppy so fast, withing 24 hours..wonder if this was the case..Had another bulldog get sick..and, when we told the vet her nails were growing at an unbelievable rate..he tested her for low thyroid. She had sores all over her body, lost her hair, lost her ability to stay awake..lost a ton of weight..all over night.She is on life long thyroid medication now, and she looks great. We almost lost her and it was so fast..Thanks for posting this info..

  2. Cathy Ritlaw says:

    So sorry about the pup, but glad your other dog was diagnosed… this is my major pet peeve when it comes to dogs… Thank you!

  3. Morgan Griffith says:

    Thanks Catherine for stressing this. Whenever I bring in another dog we go to the vet and I tell them to include thyroid testing in with the blood work. I used to think they did this as a matter of course but found out that is not the case. Insist on it. I want baseline tests on all my dogs.

  4. Meaghan Edwards says:

    I had a dear Scottie who left me at the age of ten who had hypothyroidism. It was only on his ninth year that he was finally diagnosed after years of skin problems 🙁

  5. Cathy says:

    Is hypothyroidism also overlooked in cats? Do cats display the same symptoms as dogs?

  6. Cathy Ritlaw says:

    Cats tend to get hyperthyroid & dogs tend to get hypothyroid.

  7. Cathy Ritlaw says:

    So sorry he had to suffer… most vets are very ignorant of this problem.. I highly rec. Jean Dodds’ new book, “The Canine Thyroid Epidemic”… I got one for us and our vet.

  8. Cathy Ritlaw says:

    Good idea, Morgan! Also, many labs do not do accurate testing. We always send serum to Hemopet. Most vets just do a T4 which is not enough.

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  11. Breanna says:

    It’s really a cool and useful piece of info. I am happy that you
    just shared this helpful info with us. Please keep us
    informed like this. Thanks for sharing.

  12. Hanna Witerek says:

    I’m crying when I’m reading this…I lost my beloved dog over 3 years ago. When he was only 6 weeks old he had a big wound on his skin. He was treated for a bacterial infection with steroids and antibiotics. At the age of 5 months and then regularly he was treated for skin infections. When he was 2 years old I almost lost him because of that and because of steroids. All his body was covered in wounds.He was diagnosed with food allergy and flee allergy. He broke his rear leg when he was only 1,5 year old. Just jumping…He died when he was 4 years old…i’ve put him to sleep when he lost his sight, lost his smell, his heart failed, he had seisures…just when he lost his eyesight he had disgnosed hypothyroidism, but it was too late. Towards the end of his poor life he became aggressive too. And he was an angel dog before that. 4 years of our shared life wasted for vets and suffering. And no vet thought about blood test for thyroid.

  13. Cathy Ritlaw says:

    I am so sorry! It is not your fault, most vets are very ignorant on this matter. My heart breaks for you.

  14. Hanna Witerek says:

    Thank you Cathy. After having read everything here I stopped blaming myself for what my Dog went through, especially for the changes in his behaviour. Although it is very difficult to come to terms with his horrid sufferings when you know that just a blood test done early enough, could have changed everything and we could be still together…

  15. Cathy Ritlaw says:

    There are some things we will always regret, I sure have a few… it’s life, I guess, but very painful.

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