Low Thyroid in Dogs & Excessive Hunger

Written by geraldine fischer
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Low Thyroid in Dogs & Excessive Hunger
Low thyroid in dogs can bring about a whole host of symptoms. (canine portrait image by tim Elliott from Fotolia.com)

According to W. Jean Dodds, D.V.M., an internationally recognised authority on thyroid issues in dogs, low thyroid can bring about a wide range of clinical symptoms. However, low thyroid in dogs, or canine hypothyroidism, can be controlled with medication.


Canine hypothyroidism is a thyroid hormone deficiency in dogs. It can bring about behavioural changes often misunderstood as disobedience. Other symptoms can include changes in a dog's coat, weight, energy level and skin colour as well as skin infections, flaky skin, bleeding and neuromuscular disorders.

Low Thyroid in Dogs & Excessive Hunger
Hypothyroidism can cause aggressive and aberrant behaviour. (yawning dog image by Wouter Tolenaars from Fotolia.com)


Treatment requires that the missing thyroid hormone be replaced with an appropriate dosage supplement under the supervision of a veterinarian.

Low Thyroid in Dogs & Excessive Hunger
Proper dosage can change over time. (capsules in close up image by Alexey Klementiev from Fotolia.com)

Side Effects

Overmedication can cause irritability, hyperactivity, excessive weight loss, rapid heart rate, rapid breathing and excessive hunger.

Low Thyroid in Dogs & Excessive Hunger
Excess thyroid medication can cause severe problems. (excited dog image by Janet Wall from Fotolia.com)


If a dog being treated for low thyroid experiences excessive hunger, or another of the mentioned side effects, its thyroid levels should be rechecked.

Low Thyroid in Dogs & Excessive Hunger
Appropriate doses may need to be adjusted periodically. (child with dog image by Miguel Montero from Fotolia.com)


Excessive hunger, weight loss/gain, energy levels, irritability and other symptoms due to hypothyroidism can be reversed with appropriate levels of medication, which may need to be adjusted periodically in relationship to the dog's weight (see Resources below).

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