All pet owners want the best for their little friends. They plan exercise regimens, change their diets, and make regular appointments to ensure their pet is in top condition.
Even with all of this preparation and preparedness, owners still might find themselves dealing with some health issues their dog has.
Some dogs are more susceptible to certain illnesses than others. For example, the sheltie has a higher risk than other dogs of getting hypothyroidism due to their genetics and previous skin problems.
If you have a sheltie or plan to get one, keep reading to learn more about hypothyroidism and how it can affect your dog’s skin and overall health.
What is hypothyroidism?
It’s best to understand exactly what hypothyroidism is to know the effect it might have on your dog. First of all, hypothyroidism is an endocrine disorder that affects the thyroid gland by attacking it and making it underactive.
This means that the body will begin to work against itself. The thyroid gland helps to turn food into energy, meaning that your dog will become lethargic if the gland is not functioning properly.
If the hypothyroidism in your dog progresses enough, you will be able to tell through the symptoms they begin to show, so make an appointment with your vet to try and catch this disorder before it gets too far.
To check your puppies’ health status or their DNA checks, please visit the Embark vet website for all the help you may need.
What are the symptoms of hypothyroidism in dogs?
Dog thyroid symptoms are similar to humans, so you might recognize these signs if you or someone you know has struggled with this disorder.
If your dog is suffering from hypothyroidism, you will be able to tell based on its symptoms.
Due to their thyroid being underactive, they will begin to lose energy and become more sluggish. You might also notice that they gain weight because their body isn’t metabolizing their food as well.
You may also see your dog’s coat become thinner and rougher to the touch, there might even be bald spots and patches becoming more noticeable. They will also start to develop dry, flaky, and irritated skin.
Since the thyroid affects almost every part of the body, you will most likely notice a difference in every aspect of your dog’s life, so keep an eye out for any abnormal changes.
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What is dermatomyositis in dogs?
Shelties have a high chance of getting multiple problems, hypothyroidism included. One particular disorder that is exacerbated by the diagnosis of hypothyroidism is dermatomyositis.
Dermatomyositis is a pretty severe skin disorder found in a couple of dog breeds, specifically in shelties.
This disorder is typically diagnosed in the early stages of dogs, most often before the age of one.
The severity can also vary between minor lesions and inflammation to full-blown lacerations on their skin.
If you are worried that your sheltie might have this problem, make an appointment with your vet to discuss any concerns you might have.
Is there a cure for dermatomyositis?
If you see your sheltie struggling with dermatomyositis, your first reaction is to probably start doing everything in your power to fix the problem.
While there is no cure for this disorder, it can be managed to some degree. Dermatomyositis does not affect only the dog’s skin, but it can affect their muscles and the way they chew as well.
If this happens with your dog, you will need to explore easier ways for them to eat without the use of their jaw muscles. Talk to your vet to figure out what will work the best for you and your dog, but mashing up their food can be a good place to start.
Due to the lesions, it is also recommended to keep your sheltie out of direct sunlight to avoid further irritating their condition.
Another treatment option is to use specially made shampoos that will help treat the problem while simultaneously helping to keep the wounds clear of infection.
What is sheltie thyroid skin?
If your sheltie is diagnosed with hypothyroidism and dermatomyositis, you will most likely have your hands full trying to treat their skin problems.
Shelties naturally have sensitive skin, so it should come as no surprise that they can be greatly affected by these disorders.
If your sheltie is unfortunately diagnosed with both at the same time, you will most likely see the first symptoms in their skin.
Dermatomyositis is mainly in the head area and can even affect the esophagus and mouth. Skin problems related to hypothyroidism will typically be on their backs, stomachs, arms, and legs.
You will first notice your shelties hair becoming thinner and dull before it falls out in patches.
The skin underneath will be flaky, inflamed, and possibly bleeding depending on the severity of the problem.
It’s a good idea to take your sheltie to the vet as soon as you notice any problems to see what can be done to help.
Is there a Sheltie Thyroid Skin Treatment?
Unfortunately, there is no cure for hypothyroidism, but it can thankfully be managed. Most of the symptoms of fatigue and thin hair will go away once their thyroid is treated, but other issues might have to be treated individually.
Since there is no cure for this disorder, your dog will have to take an artificial thyroid tablet for the rest of its life. This pill is made of levothyroxine, which will help to support the function of your dog’s thyroid gland and raise it to a normal level.
If your dog struggled with dry skin and weight gain, it may need a little extra help getting back on its feet.
Talk to your vet about what type of diet you should put your dog on, and discuss using some shampoos to treat their dry skin.
Even though they will have to be on medication for the rest of their life, they can still live a completely happy and normal life.
Everyone ultimately wants the best for their pet, but some disorders are simply out of your control.
As seen with hypothyroidism and dermatomyositis, these diseases can affect your dog rapidly and without notice.
Thankfully, there are ways to treat and manage these problems at home without the need for hospitalization.
Shelties have sensitive skin that needs to be watched for any changes that seem abnormal but rest assured that your four-legged friend can still live a normal and happy life.
The best way to take care of your sheltie is to love them unconditionally and help them face any problems they might run into.
Hopefully, this article has helped to calm some of your fears and guide you in the right direction when it comes to the health of your beloved furry friend.