Hypothyroidism is not a condition that is exclusive to humans; the autoimmune disorder is quite common in dogs, too. Unexplained weight gain, fatigue and dry skin may be signs that your dog has developed an underactive thyroid, which can lead to excess weight since the thyroid controls metabolism. A simple blood test will reveal to your veterinarian if thyroid supplementation is necessary. He or she may prescribe Soloxine, which can help to relieve your dog's symptoms. Unfortunately, like many medications, Soloxine is not without its side effects.
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What is Soloxine?
Soloxine is the brand name for levothyroxine, and is specially formulated to treat hypothyroidism in dogs. Soloxine is a prescription medication manufactured by Virbac, and only available through a licensed veterinarian. Soloxine is produced in tablet form; containing a synthetic dose of crystallised levothyroxine sodium, also known as L-thyroxine.
Changes in Behavior
Your dog may experience changes in behaviour while taking Soloxine. For instance, there is a possibility that hyperactivity may occur due to the increased stimulation of the thyroid gland. This change is usually only temporary, and often dissipates when the medication is adjusted. Further blood tests will determine if your dog is receiving too much Soloxine. If so, the dosage of the medication will be decreased.
Increased Heart Rate
Increased heart rate is always a possibility when taking medications that pep up the thyroid. At times the racing heart beat may accompany exhaustion and panting. This is especially true in older dogs, and those that already have a diagnosed heart condition. It is important to note that if your dog is taken Soloxine, he must be monitored regularly by a trusted veterinarian. Too much Soloxine can cause cardiac complications, and blood tests are needed routinely when beginning the medication to determine the dosage that is best for your pet.
Thirst and Urination
Excessive thirst and urinating more often than usual may be a sign that your dog is taking a dosage of Soloxine that is inappropriate for his condition. It is important to consult with your vet, and report any changes that your dog may be experiencing after starting a new medication regiment. An increased frequency in urinating, and spending more time at the water bowl than usual is a side effect of too much Soloxine. The situation needs to be addressed immediately before a complication such as dehydration sets in.
Missing a Dose
If you forget to give your dog his daily dose of Soloxine, give it to him as soon as you remember. But, it is important to note that you should never "double up" on the medication. Otherwise, you run the risk of levothyroxine overdose. It is also important to remember that like other drugs, Soloxine should not be taken along with other medications, even if they are over the counter, without first consulting your veterinarian.
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