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Side Effects Of Hypothroid Medication

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Symptoms of hypothyroidism include:

  • various skin disorders, such as odor, greasy skin or dry skin.

Hypothyroidism can also cause behavioral changes such as increased reactivity or aggression.

Side effects of medication can often increase these problems initially, including weight gain, loss of appetite, nausea, diarrhea anddrowsiness. Additional side effects include dry mouth, dizziness, difficulty sleeping, vomiting, rash or personality changes. If your dog has an allergic reaction, you may see swelling around the face or tongue, difficulty breathing or hives. If this happens, consult your veterinarian immediately.

Mild side effects will usually subside after a few weeks or months, and your dog will regain his regular energy level and appetite, just as he had before developing thyroid disease.

How Is Hypothyroidism In Dogs Treated

There is no cure for hypothyroidism. Dogs must be treated for life with thyroid hormone replacement therapy. Two drugs are FDA-approved for replacement therapy for diminished thyroid function in dogs.


Both FDA-approved products are prescription drugs containing levothyroxine sodium as the active ingredient. The tablets are available in different strengths. Your veterinarian will carefully calculate the dose depending on your dogs weight. THYRO-TABS CANINE are given by mouth every 12 or 24 hours and ThyroKare tablets are given every 12 hours, as prescribed by your veterinarian.

The amount of drug absorbed by a dogs body depends on whether it is given with or without food. To minimize variation in absorption, you should consistently give the drug to your dog either with or without food.

You will typically see improvement in your dogs activity level within a few weeks of starting thyroid hormone replacement therapy. However, hair regrowth takes longer, typically at least 4 months. Skin and ear problems also may take longer to clear up and require additional medications.

Uses Of Levothyroxine For Dogs

Veterinarians prescribe levothyroxine to replace depleted thyroxine hormone levels in dogs who have hypothyroidism or other thyroid conditions.

Thyroxine is an important hormone because it regulates metabolism in dogs bodies. When thyroxine levels are insufficient, the body cant convert food into fuel.

This causes symptoms such as weight gain, lethargy, skin infections, poor coat health, and excessive thirst or urination.

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Are There Any Drug Interactions I Should Be Aware Of

Levothyroxine may interact and should be used cautiously with the following medications: amiodarone, oral antacids, tricyclic antidepressants, antidiabetic medications, corticosteroids, digoxin, ferrous sulfate, fiber , ketamine, phenobarbital, propylthiouracil, rifampin, sertraline, sucralfate, sympathomimetics, and warfarin.

Be sure to tell your veterinarian about any medications that your pet is taking.

T3 And T4 Values That Remain Low With A High Dose Of Thyroid Hormone Treatment

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The most common cause of failed T4 therapy is noncompliance by the owner or avoidance of therapy by the animal, where the dog never receives the prescribed level of medication. Diets with a high fiber or high mineral content also limit absorption of thyroid supplements. In addition, there are some dogs which absorb oral thyroid medication poorly in which no underlying problem can be identified.

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Dog Thyroid Medication Side Effects

If your vet diagnoses your pet with a dog thyroid problem, you’ll need to take prompt action in order to ensure that your pet is adequately cared for. Thyroid conditions can lead to a variety of damaging and potentially fatal conditions in and of themselves, not to mention that the symptoms of such a condition might be quite devastatingto your pet’s way of life.

Before you give your pet any number of different synthetic thyroid hormones, like Thyroxin, or other treatment methods and supplements, however, it’s crucial that you work with your vet to understand all of the potential side effects.

In some cases, it will actually make more sense to limit the medication that your dog will receive, particularly if the side effects of that drug are such that they may cause issues for your pet worse thanthose that his thyroid condition will bring about. Some of the most common side effects of dog thyroid medication include the following.

Are There Concerns About Unapproved Levothyroxine Products For Dogs

FDA has serious concerns about unapproved animal drugs, including unapproved levothyroxine sodium products for dogs. Unapproved animal drugs have not been reviewed by FDA and may not meet the agencys strict standards for safety and effectiveness. They also may not be properly manufactured or properly labeled. FDA advises veterinarians and dog owners to avoid using unapproved levothyroxine products.

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Do Dogs On Thyroid Hormone Replacement Therapy Need To Be Monitored

Yes. Your veterinarian will monitor your dogs thyroid hormone levels after starting thyroid hormone replacement therapy to make sure the dose is adequate. If the dose is too low, your dog will not be adequately treated and signs will continue. If the dose is too high, your dog may become restless, nervous, drink and urinate more than normal, and lose weight despite having an increased appetite .

After starting thyroid hormone replacement therapy, your dogs thyroid hormone levels should be initially checked every 4 to 8 weeks. Based on these results, your veterinarian may adjust the dose until your dog is adequately maintained. After that, thyroid hormone levels should be monitored periodically in case your dogs requirement for thyroid hormone replacement therapy changes over time.

Dogs with underlying heart disease that are diagnosed with hypothyroidism should be closely monitored by their veterinarians after first starting thyroid hormone replacement therapy. The dose of heart medication or levothyroxine sodium may need to be adjusted depending on the dogs response to treatment.

What Is Levothyroxine And How Does It Work

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Levothyroxine sodium is a drug approved by the FDA as an oral and injectable prescription thyroid hormone medication that is used to treat underactive thyroid and other conditions. Hypothyroidism is a medical term that refers to any state in which a person’s thyroid hormone production is below normal. This medication replaces or provides thyroid hormone support, which is normally produced by the thyroid gland. Low thyroid hormone levels can occur naturally or when the thyroid gland is injured by radiation/medications or removed by surgery. Having enough thyroid hormone is important for maintaining normal mental health and physical activity. In children, having enough thyroid hormone is important for normal mental and physical development. Levothyroxine is also know as L-thyroxine.

Symptoms of Hypothyroidism

The symptoms of hypothyroidism are depend on the health of the thyroid and the efficient production of the thyroid hormone, but can include:

  • dry, rough skin, and

Levothyroxine sodium is also used to treat other types of thyroid hormone and thyroid disorders and conditions .

Levothyroxine sodium should not be used to treat infertility unless it is caused by low thyroid hormone levels.

Levothyroxine sodium is available under the following different brand names: Synthroid, Levoxyl, L Thyroxine, Levo T, Levothroid, Levothyroxine T4, Levoxine, Tirosint, and Unithroid.

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How Should Levothyroxine Sodium Tablets Be Given

Give Levothyroxine Sodium Tablets exactly as directed by your veterinarian. Do not give this medication in larger amounts or for longer than recommended by your veterinarian. Follow the directions on the prescription label. If you do not understand these directions, ask your pharmacist or veterinarian to explain them to you.

What Are The Signs Of Hypothyroidism In Dogs

Because thyroid hormones affect virtually every cell in the body, its not surprising that dogs with hypothyroidism show signs in multiple body systems. The destruction of the thyroid gland usually progresses slowly, so signs are often gradual and easy to miss at first. Common findings in dogs with hypothyroidism include:

  • Hair loss or thinning of the furthis occurs mainly over the dogs trunk, sparing the head and legs. Often, the hair loss starts on the tail leading to a rat tail appearance. A bald area around the collar is also common. The skin is usually not itchy or red unless theres also a skin infection
  • Skin infectionthe skin is often scaly and smelly due to an excessively oily coat
  • Dull, dry hair coatthe outer hairs can be brittle and break easily, leaving a short, softer undercoat sometimes described as a puppy-like coat
  • Skin thickening and darkeningthis occurs especially in areas of friction, such as the armpit or groin. Often, the skin around the face and head thickens, leading to more skin folds
  • Ear infectionthe ears may be red, painful, and smelly
  • A heart medication called propranolol
  • A behavior medication called clomipramine and
  • The sulfa class of antibiotics.

Sighthounds, such as Greyhounds, Irish Wolfhounds, and Whippets, normally have much lower thyroid hormone levels than other breeds.

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Treatment Of Thyroid Poisoning In Dogs

A pet who has experienced significant toxicity due to thyroid hormones will be hospitalized. Fluid therapy will be commenced to aid in the administration of medications for nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea if needed. Additional drugs could include those meant to regulate signs like a rapid heart rate and uncontrollable tremors, and those which will help to eliminate the excess thyroid hormone from the system.

If veterinary care is sought within the two hour time frame, inducing vomiting may be initiated along with other gastric decontamination measures such as activated charcoal administration. Oxygen therapy will be provided if beneficial at the same time the fluid therapy may be slowly continued and the heart activity will be closely watched.

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What Happens If Hypothyroidism Is Left Untreated In Dogs

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A dog is hypothyroid when their thyroid does not produce enough metabolism-regulating hormones. This deficiency, if left untreated, can lead to a host of other debilitating diseases including corneal ulcers, anemia, and a devastating disease called adult-onset megaesophagus, which will eventually lead to death.

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Are There Any Risk Factors For This Medication

Levothyroxine should not be used by pets with certain heart problems, hyperthyroidism, or untreated Addisons disease. It should be used cautiously in pets with managed Addisons disease, heart disease, diabetes, or that are elderly. If your pet is pregnant or nursing, speak to your veterinarian about using this medication.

What Are The Possible Side Effects Of Levothyroxine Sodium Tablets

If any of the following serious side effects occur, stop giving Levothyroxine Sodium Tablets and seek emergency veterinary medical attention: an allergic reaction . Call your veterinarian if your pet develops any of these serious side effects: sleep problems personality changes fever appetite changes, weight changes. Less serious side effects may be more likely to occur. Discontinue use if your pet experiences: cough loss of appetite dizziness, drowsiness sleep problems dry mouth nausea, vomiting, diarrhea itching or rash. Side effects other than those listed here may also occur. Talk to your veterinarian about any side effect that seems unusual or bothersome to your pet.

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Are There Any Warnings About Using Levothyroxine Sodium

Levothyroxine sodium should not be used in dogs with thyrotoxicosis or in dogs with uncorrected adrenal insufficiency.

The safety of levothyroxine sodium has not been evaluated in breeding, pregnant, or nursing dogs. In pregnant women and rodents, too much exposure to thyroid hormones is associated with defects in the thyroid gland of their offspring.

What Are The Side Effects Of Levothyroxine Sodium

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Reported side effects of levothyroxine sodium include:

  • Skin problems, such as red, inflamed skin
  • Increased drinking and urination and
  • Increased activity level.

FDA encourages you to call your veterinarian if you think your dog is having a side effect from levothyroxine sodium. A side effect associated with a drug is called an adverse event. Adverse events also include a lack of effectiveness and reactions in people who handle the drug. Call your healthcare provider if you have a reaction to levothyroxine sodium.

FDA also encourages you to work with your veterinarian to report any adverse event – in either pets or people – associated with levothyroxine sodium or any product defect such as defective packaging or the drug is off-color. How to Report Animal Drug and Device Side Effects and Product Problems.

Remember to keep the drug in a secure location out of reach of children, dogs, cats, and other animals to prevent accidental ingestion or overdose.

Sometimes, a condition called thyrotoxicosis may develop dogs receiving levothyroxine sodium if:

  • The dose is too high
  • The dog has an underlying illness that affects the bodys ability to break down the drug or
  • The dog is very sensitive to the drug.

Signs of thyrotoxicosis include panting, nervousness, hyperactivity, a rapid pulse, increased drinking and urination, vomiting, diarrhea, and weight loss despite having an increased appetite. Call your veterinarian if you see these signs in your dog.

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What Is Levothyroxine Sodium Tablets

Levothyroxine Sodium Tablets is the active ingredient found in Thyro-Tabs, Soloxine, and Levocrine. Levothyroxine Sodium Tablets is a medication prescribed for dogs and cats to treat conditions associated with hypothyroidism. This medication can be used in cats in those instances where the thyroid gland has been surgically removed. Levothyroxine Sodium Tablets requires a prescription and is sold per tablet.

Side Effects Of Thyroxine Use

When given the appropriate dose, the side effects of oral Thyroxine are rare. Skin reactions can occur, but they are quite infrequent. If given at too high of a dose, your dog may experience thyrotoxicosis. Signs of this may include increased heart rate, appetite, drinking, urination, excitability, panting, and nervousness. Thyrotoxicosis can also occur if your dog has a concurrent illness that effects your dog’s ability to break down the medication , or if your dog is just overly sensitive to Thyroxine.

To monitor your dog’s thyroid level and ensure that are on the correct dose, your vet will want to check your dog’s blood work every six to 12 months. If your dog recently started taking Thyroxine or if they had a dosage change, your vet will want to check blood work four to six weeks after starting the new dose. Thyroxine levels in your dog’s blood will peak four to six hours after the pill is given. So for the most accurate reading, your dog should have his monitoring blood drawn 4 to 6 hours after you give them their pill.

According to the Food & Drug Administration , side effects of Thyroxine can also include ineffectiveness of the medication. That is, if it just isn’t doing what it’s supposed to be doing, or if you yourself have a reaction simply from handling the medication. Speak to your vet if you note either of these adverse effects.

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What Are The Side Effects That Occur With Thyro


and as you scroll down the page you will see info on side effects which can include if there is a high overdose “excitement, tremors and excessive stimulation of the heart”.

In addition some people report the dog does excessive panting.

In general the effects you should see is that your dog feels and acts better and if the dog is having any temperament issues those may improve.

The key with this medication is getting the dose right to help the dog feel better with no side effects.

Hope this helps you!

The side effects and some of the medications this drug interacts negatively with are listed right on that page no links required. The highlighted texts you hover over to see the definition of the words or phrase. You may need to scroll down past an ad to see all the info if you don’t have ad blockers on your PC.

I would say your vet realizes that he or she does not have the best answer for you and that is why you are being referred to a specialist. Internal medicine specialists see more of the tricky cases than a general vet does and so may be able to help you faster with figuring out the problem your dog has.

If your dog is drinking extra as well as urinating more if your dog has not been tested for Cushings disease that is one possible health issue. You can read about it here

which your vet or the specialist may want to investigate with the drug manufacturers.

You are very welcome and you should be able to come back to the question any time.


Recovery Of Thyroid Poisoning In Dogs

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A dog without underlying conditions and who has been treated in a timely manner will have a good prognosis for recovery. Once your pet has been released from the care of the veterinarian, he can return home provided that he has a comfortable, quiet resting place. Continue to monitor him at home and be certain to contact the clinic if your dogs behavior changes in any way that causes you concern. For the future, keep all medications, dangerous substances, household products, and forbidden food out of reach of your pet and if you have in your possession medication prescribed for your dog, follow the instructions very carefully.

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What Is The Ideal Treatment For Canine Hypothyroidism

Levothyroxine is administered orally, at the induction dose of 22g/kg every 12-24 hours. For example, using a dose based on body surface, a 30-kg dog would receive a dose of 500g instead of 660g a 40-kg dog would receive a dose of 600g instead of 880g. Although in North America most dogs are initially treated twice a day, it was recently proven that once-a-day administration of an average dose of 22g/kg is adequate for most hypothyroid dogs.

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