Signs & Symptoms of Thyroid Disorder in Border Collies

Updated February 21, 2017

While border collies are not as likely as some breeds to suffer from a thyroid condition- such as Irish setters, cocker spaniels and Airedale terriers- they are still susceptible to the condition. While your dog can live a normal, healthy life with the right treatment, it is important to recognise the signs and symptoms of thyroid disease in your border collie.


Hypothyroidism is a condition where the thyroid gland is underactive and not producing enough hormones. A border collie, like other dogs with the condition, could exhibit a number of a wide array of symptoms. The most common symptom of hypothyroidism is lethargy. Your dog will appear sluggish and not as sharp as usual. Another common symptom is hair loss or excessive shedding. Border Collies, which are normally very active and alert dogs, will also suffer from weight gain.


However, if your dog is suffering from hyperthyroidism, he will likely be exhibiting an entirely different set of symptoms since his thyroid gland will be producing too many hormones. Your dog will likely suffer from an increased appetite but lose weight. The dog will drink more and also urinate more. He will also suffer from nausea and diarrhoea. Unlike dogs with hypothyroidism, dogs with hyperthyroidism suffer from hyperactivity.

Other Symptoms

Dogs with hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism do share some similar symptoms. Both appear noticeable unwell, with a dishevelled coat. Border collies with both conditions also suffer from heart issues. Dogs with hypothyroidism will have a slowed heart rate and high levels of cholesterol in the blood. Dogs with hyperthyroidism suffer from abnormal heart rates. Usually this rate will be accelerated and in some cases the dog will suffer from a heart murmur.

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About the Author

David Harris is a writer living in Portland, Ore. He currently is the editor-in-chief of the online magazine Spectrum Culture. He holds a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing from Sarah Lawrence College.