Though they are not at greater risk of hypothyroidism, Beagles in rare cases have the tendency to develop this disease. Notice your Beagle shedding hair? Check it out because it may not be a skin infection caused by fleas and ticks, the shedding maybe because of hypothyroidism. One of the largest endocrine glands in the body is the thyroid gland. Thyroid gland, consisting of two lobes is located at the base of the neck. This gland produces thyroxine, a hormone that regulates the body's metabolic rate.
This hormone controls how quickly the body burns calories and makes proteins. Insufficient production of thyroxine leads to hypothyroidism. Middle to large size breeds are prone to this disease.
But also occurs in Beagles in rare cases. It usually develops in dogs between 4 to 10 years old, more common in neutered animals than in intact ones. A deficiency of this thyroid hormone called thyroxine may result to various symptoms. The dog may experience excessive shedding and hair may be difficult to grow.
Skin abnormality such as too much black pigment in the skin of their groin is also a symptom of deficiency in thyroid hormone. Other symptoms include lethargy or mental dullness, obesity, low tolerance to cold, slow heart rate, high blood cholesterol and anemia. These symptoms when combined together will help you and your veterinarian suspect the presence of hypothyroidism in your Beagles. Hypothyroidism is detected through various tests. These tests are T4 test, T3 test and TSH Stimulation test. The most common test is the T4 test wherein blood sample is drawn and then tested.
This is used to determine the level of T4 thyroid hormone in the blood stream. T3 test is similar to T4 test but is less accurate when hypothyroidism is still in early case. To ensure accuracy, T3 test is often used with T4 test or TSH Stimulation test. TSH Stimulation test is used when results of T3 and T4 tests are in doubt.
Luckily, hypothyroidism is not a life-threatening disease. This disease is treated with the use of synthesized thyroid hormone or thyroxine, available in tablet form. Dosage of this drug varies depending on the severity of the condition. Dosage is usually based on the dog's weight, blood samples and to the dog's response to the drug. Once a dog is placed on thyroxine medication, it should be given for the rest of the dog's life.
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