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Hypothyroidism in Dogs and Cats

Hypothyroidism in Dogs and Cats

Herbal nutrition to help address hypothyroidism, to ease hormone imbalances and to help strengthen an under active thyroid gland in cats and dogs.

Natura Petz Organics supplements for hypothyroidism in dogs and cats. canine hypothyroidism

The endocrine system interacts with every organ, tissue, cell and system in the animal body, so maintaining adrenal and thyroid gland health and production plays a major role in supporting balanced whole body wellness. Critical trace nutrients are required by dogs and cats to be able to feed and nourish healthy hormone, gland and cellular response. When the endocrine system and glands become stressed and fatigued, the dysfunction produced can also negatively impact the liver, duodenum, pancreas and kidneys as well as the immune, cardiovascular and digestive systems.

The thyroid gland consists of two small lobes shaped like butterflies, with each located on the side of your pet's windpipe (trachea), located in the neck. The thyroid gland produces thyroid hormones, thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3). The primary function of these hormones is to regulate and maintain your pet’s metabolic rate which in turn affects their overall health and wellness, including cellular health throughout the body. In cases of hypothyroidism, an interruption occurs in the normal production of T3 and T4 hormones. 

Another hormone called the thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) is produced by the pituitary gland and controls the production of the thyroid hormones. If the thyroid does not function properly, it also impact TSH production, and the combination results in negative effects to your pet's weight, heart rate, skin and coat, and digestive and reproductive health.

Hypothyroidism more commonly affects dogs than cats, but can affect both. When hypothyroidism occurs, the thyroid gland under performs, or becomes under active, failing to produce sufficient thyroid hormones that are critical to organs, systems and cells required by the body. The exact cause of hypothyroidism is unknown but it may be related to an auto-immune response in which a dog's or cat's immune system attacks and kills healthy thyroid cell glands, referred to as autoimmune thyroid disease (AITD)

Common symptoms and signs of hypothyroidism include:

Enlarged thyroid gland to the touch

Weight gain



Low energy levels

Dry skin

Hair loss


Slow heart rate


Intolerance to cold

High blood cholesterol



Behavioral changes




Unfocused behavior

Passive behavior 

Certain dog breeds are likely more predisposed to hypothyroidism, including Dobermans, Golden Retrievers, Dachshunds, Miniature Schnauzers, Cocker Spaniels and Airedale Terriers.

Hypothyroidism usually develops in dogs between the ages of 4 and 10 years old. Female unspayed dogs tend to be affected more, likely a direct tie-in to the interruption in reproductive capabilities and the related hormones, although it occurs in both males and females. There is no cure for hypothyroidism but with supplements, exercise and proper diet, pets can continue to enjoy good quality of life and management of symptoms, and potentially, to limit the progression of symptoms. 

Helpful suggestions:

Feed your pet a premium, holistic, raw or well balanced home cooked diet that contains all the essential vitamins, minerals and nutrients, and is free of corn, wheat, soy, colorants, inferior proteins and chemical additives.  

Make sure your pet gets regular exercise.

Boost your dog or cat’s immune system with immune-boosting supplements. Hypothyroidism is an auto immune mediated failure disease, so adding in an immune balancing adaptogenic herb may help address symptoms, may bridge nutritional gaps and cellular failures and may even help slow progression of hypothyroidism.

Take your pet to the vet for annual check-ups and monitor any abnormal physical and behavioral changes.

Herbal Nutrition - (listed in order of relevance and recommendation by holistic vets  - human grade meets/exceeds highest safety criteria for pets)

Herbal nutrition is used to help promote and maintain adrenal health in your animal, and in particular, adaptogenic herbs can perform vital roles in identifying metabolic, physiological, emotional, oxidative and environmental stress and imbalance, and may help nudge your pet's body toward balance, which is critical when hypothyroidism presents.

Herbal nutritional may also help improve thyroid function and symptoms associated with thyroid problems such as hypothyroidism by stimulating proper gland response and metabolic rate, by helping nutritionally bridge interruptions in gland and related hormone production, to help balance an under or overactive thyroid by providing nutritional and cellular support toward normal function, to help promote hormonal balance, to help soothe the endocrine (thyroid, adrenal and pituitary glands in particular) as well as the cardiovascular system; to help maintain normal corticosteroid, fluid and electrolyte levels, which is also critical when an endocrine failure presents, to help strengthen your pet’s immune system toward balanced function, to help maintain body temperature, metabolism, fertility, and growth and to help support overall endocrine system and normal thyroid function.

I AM A ROCK STAR - (learn more) helps to support and nourish the endocrine system; helps support adrenal and thyroid gland health and response to stress and metabolic demand, helps support proper HPA (Hypothalmic Pituitary and Adrenal) gland function, helps support glandular ability to rebuild and regenerate, helps promote hormonal balance, helps regulate stress on liver, kidney and digestive functions by reducing thirst and excessive elimination, may help promote cognitive function and memory performance, may help balance blood sugar levels, may lend support to the pancreas in cases of dysfunction; for natural energy in all life stages of pets, but especially adult, senior and convalescing dogs and cats, may help increase muscle use, ability and stamina, helps provids anti-inflammatory and immune support, and may help maintain overall healthy adrenal, central nervous, digestive, immune and reproductive systems.

Dog & Cat Kryptonite (learn more) helps support hypothalamic-pituitary adrenal (HPA) function, helps enable the body to respond normally to stress and metabolic demands while supporting the glands' ability to rebuild and regenerate, may help support healthy energy levels and vitality, helps promote cognitive (brain) function and memory performance and contains critical trace nutrients and antioxidants which may be important preventatives for cognitive decline; may be especially useful for lethargic, aging or convalescing animals due to its amino acid and protein converting phytochemical content, may help regulate the organs which secrete hormones, including the pituitary, parotid, thyroid and adrenal glands, the pancreas, and the testes; may stimulate the hypothalamus and thyroid glands when under performing; may help support overall systemic endocrine function, including its impact on the central nervous, digestive, immune and reproductive systems; for its support of cognitive (brain) function, particularly in degenerative conditions.

I Feel Good –  (learn more) promotes healthy immune response, reduces all types of inflammation, provides dermal support and growth of healthy cells and tissues in the body’s natural defense mechanism, reduces the histamine trigger for contact allergies, seasonal and chronic allergens, pathogens, skin rashes, infections, hot spots, inflammation, swelling, hair loss, itching and geriatria (dull coat, lethargy), for all types of arthritis, including Degenerative Joint Disease, Osteoarthritis, Osteoporosis, Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) and symptoms associated with rheumatism, including pain, strains, injuries, muscle pain, swelling and lack of mobility; plus contains prebiotics and probiotics useful in balancing digestive health and function and much more. Recognized as one of the most important medicinal plants of the whole world, particularly related to supporting balanced immunity and limiting inflammation and inflammatory conditions.

Gland Candy - (learn more) contains healthy fatty Omega 3 acids used to support healthy body weight, used in the treatment of skin conditions and to promote healthy skin and coat, to support and tone the lymphatic system, to balance glandular activities including the thyroid, adrenal and pituitary glands, including T3 and T4 production, to support and maintain healthy thyroid function and to soothe the thyroid and endocrine system, for allergies, alopecia, allergic dermatitis, moist dermatitis (hot spots), to stimulate tissue repair and for all types of arthritis.

Dogs Love Maca – (learn more) is a highly specialized super food and adaptogenic herb that may help identify metabolic, environmental, emotional and oxidative stress in your pet (may be used for dogs and cats) and may nutritionally help restore whole body balance in cases of dysfunction; used holistically to help address both Cushing's and Addison's as well as hypothyroidism due to its adaptogenic plant actions to bring gland and hormone production into balance; nutritive, contains atural plant phytochemicals which may help nourish gland health, support proper hormonal response throughout the body, may help counteract adrenal fatigue and may be particularly useful in supporting TSH, T3 and T4 hormone production; may encourage cellular health throughout the body related to gland health; may help regulate stress response and helps support proper metabolic rates, along with cognitive, cardiovascular and reproductive support; tonic in nature, may help tone and strengthen all body systems to help achieve optimal wellness, particularly as it relates to building and maintaining energy, focus and overall system balance.

Conventional Remedies:

The diagnosis of a thyroid problem is based on the symptoms, thorough physical examination and review of your pet’s medical history. Baseline T4 Test, Baseline T3 Test, or TSH Stimulation Tests may be performed, which reveal if a dog has low T4 or T3 levels.

If hyperthyroidism is suspected, the diagnosis is based on the symptoms presented, enlarged thyroid gland (large enough that it can be felt), and high T4 levels.

Tests such as a CBC, serum chemistry, and urinalysis are performed if symptoms of other diseases such as kidney failure, liver disease, diabetes mellitus or heart disease are present with hyperthyroidism. Tests such as the T3 suppression test, measurement of free T4 and thyrotropin-releasing hormone stimulation test may also be performed to confirm the diagnosis of hyperthyroidism.



Your vet may recommend the following standard treatments for hyperthyroidism in felines and these include radioactive iodine (I-131), anti-thyroid medication such as methimazole (tapazole) or surgery (thyroidectomy). These treatments may cause liver damage, anemia, hair loss and lethargy, and cats with this problem should be kept away from pregnant women and children.



Treatment of hypothyroidism in dogs involves a daily dose of synthetic T4 hormone known as thyroxine (levothyroxine). Thereafter, follow-up blood tests will be taken in about six weeks to ascertain whether there is any improvement. This is life-long therapy but dogs usually go on to enjoy good health for the rest of their lives.





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