Thyroid disease is the most common endocrine disease in both dogs and humans.
The thyroid gland is part of the endocrine system which produces the body’s hormones. Functionally, the thyroid is a second master gland (the primary master gland is the pituitary). Every cell in the body is affected by thyroid hormone, which accounts for the importance of the thyroid gland for optimum health. Because thyroid hormone affects every cell, the list of diseases associated with thyroid malfunction is extensive and involves every system in the body.
Thyroid dysfunction is a slow, insidious process which begins years before symptoms appear. Autoimune thyroiditis and functional deficiencies of thyroid hormone precursors are the most common causes of thyroid disease. Often these processes can be detected at an early stage, and treatment instituted to arrest- or reverse- the development of thyroid disease. For this reason, we recommend thyroid testing for all dogs at a relatively young age.
80% of the thyroid profiles we run have at least one abnormality. Low T3 is very common and often results from conversion defects due to micro-nutrient insufficiencies.
For a more information, consult Dr. Dodd’s new book, ” The Canine Thyroid Epidemic”.