Until recently, there were a variety of levothyroxine medications on the market for dogs with hypothyroidism. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued warning letters to 6 manufacturers of unapproved levothyroxine products, which had not been reviewed for safety and efficacy by the FDA. The manufacturers were warned to stop production and marketing of the products. Because of this, Thyro-Tabs Canine is the only FDA approved drug for hypothyroidism in dogs and is currently the only medication available. Letters were issued to the manufacturers of Thyrosyn, Soloxine, Levocrine, Thyromed, Thyroid Chewable Tablets, Thyrokare, Thyroxine L, Thyrovet, Leventa. More information about the FDA and the letters can be viewed on their website. Thyro-Tabs Canine is manufactured by Lloyd, and is a levothyroxine medication.
Thyro-Tabs For Dogs
Levothyroxine is a replacement for the hormone T-4, which is naturally produced in the body by the thyroid gland to regulate metabolism and energy. When the body is unable to produce enough thyroid hormone on its own because of an imbalance, an enlarged thyroid gland, or other medical conditions and treatments, it is called hypothyroidism. Hypothyroidism in dogs can be found with a blood test or by signs and symptoms involving metabolism, energy, nerve and muscle function, skin and haircoat. Veterinarians often prescribe levothyroxine for dogs with hypothyroidism for hormone replacement. You can find more information about Thyro-Tabs by the FDA and can find it available on the VetRxDirect website.
What is Soloxine for dogs and what is it used for?
Soloxine, also known as a generic levothyroxine, is used to treat hypothyroidism, or low thyroid hormone. Naturally, the thyroid gland produces hormones that allow the body to maintain a normal rate of metabolism. Sometimes, these hormones are not made in the amount required by the body to function normally. This can be called hypothyroidism, or low levels of hormones, or hyperthyroidism, or high levels of hormones. Symptoms of hypothyroidism include tiredness, slow movement, constipation, weight gain, skin and hair changes, and others. Generic Soloxine, also known as generic levothyroxine, is a medication used to replace these missing hormones. It is a cheaper levothyroxine for dogs. Too much levothyroxine, however, can cause hyperthyroidism, or too much thyroid hormone, often seen as unexplained weight loss, hyperactivity, and rapid heart rates.
Why does a dog have thyroid problems?
Dogs can have thyroid problems similar to humans. Most often, thyroid problems are caused by the dog’s body attacking its own thyroid gland. This can lead to the underproduction of the necessary hormones to maintain normal metabolism. This can lead to dogs having poor hair growth or coat changes if they develop hypothyroidism.
Tests needed to diagnose and monitor hypothyroidism in dogs
Blood tests are used to assess if a dog has thyroid problems. The veterinarian will test for the total T4 level. T4, also known as thyroxine, is one of the hormones produced by the thyroid gland. If the level is within normal range, the dog does not have hypothyroidism. If the level is low, this may be due to hypothyroidism, but it may also be due to other diseases. Veterinarians can perform more specific tests to assess if your dog have hypothyroidism. The FT4 test, or free thyroxine test, can be a more accurate measure of the thyroid function. Free thyroxine is the hormone that is going to enter cells in your pet’s body and maintain normal metabolism. Total T4 levels can not show how much free T4 is available and may not accurately show what is going on in your pet’s body. Other blood tests may also need to be performed by your veterinarian to rule out other causes.
Once your dog has undergone treatment or replacement therapy using Soloxine, levothyroxine for dogs, they need to be monitored to ensure that adequate levels of hormones are being maintained. It may be necessary to monitor blood levels monthly in order to assess if the dose needs to be adjusted. Longer time frames may be needed to ensure that the body has adjusted to the new dose of levothyroxine and to ensure they are at a steady blood level of the medication. After maintaining steady thyroid levels, monitoring may be less frequent as determined by your veterinarian. Follow-up appointment are crucial to the success of levothyroxine treatment and the maintenance of steady thyroid hormone levels.
How do thyroid problems in cats differ from those in dogs?
Cats can also have thyroid problems, but they most often have hyperthyroidism. Hyperthyroidism in cats can also be treated. Overproduction of thyroxine in cats causes an increase in metabolism which can lead to weight loss, anxiety, diarrhea, and other symptoms. Hyperthyroidism can be treated by using radioactive iodine or removal of the thyroid gland. Both of these treatments can lead to hypothyroidism, so other treatment options are available, such as methimazole transdermal gel. Contact your veterinarian regarding possible hyperthyroidism in your cat.
Can levothyroxine for humans be used in dogs? Can you substitute products?
When comparing the strengths of levothyroxine in humans versus the levothyroxine used in dogs, there can be a vast difference in the strengths. Humans often require less levothyroxine needed to treat hypothyroidism. Dogs absorb and metabolize levothyroxine differently than humans. As a result, they may need higher doses than seen in humans.
Canine Thyroid Chewable Levothyroxine Available at VetRxDirect
Many products are available for the treatment of hypothyroidism, and they are not all the same. Substitutions may be permitted if formulations are similar and on the order of your dog’s veterinarian. Ask your veterinarian before substituting any medications or supplements.
Common Side Effects of Levothyroxine in Dogs
When being administered properly, there should not be side effects from levothyroxine. Levothyroxine for dogs will help maintain normal metabolism. Adverse effects are seen when too much levothyroxine is used. These include the following:
Rapid heart rate
Excitability or nervousness
Contact your veterinarian if you notice these adverse effects. The veterinarian may adjust the dose of the medication. Do not change how you were instructed to give levothyroxine for dogs without consulting your veterinarian.
Levothyroxine for Dogs Drug Interactions
Like medications used in humans, there can be medications that interact causing changes in how the medication is acting on the body within dogs. Before starting your pet on any new medication or supplement, contact your veterinarian to see if it will interact with your pet’s current medication. Below are a few drugs that interact with generic levothyroxine.
Anti-diabetic agents including insulin and oral agents
*This list does not contain all medications that may interact with generice levothyroxine and the Soloxine substitute. Contact your veterinarian regarding any changes in your dog’s medications.
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One day you notice it: your furry companion is a little less furry and a little less companionate. In fact, he seems pretty “down” and lethargic. That combination of symptoms might point to a common clinical condition called hypothyroidism.
The thyroid gland, located in your dog’s neck, produces hormones that control key bodily functions including metabolism, growth, reproduction, oxygen consumption and immunity. If the butterfly-shaped thyroid doesn’t function well – or stops working all together – your dog can suffer from a variety of symptoms that can harm your dog’s health and reduce his quality of life. (The condition is relatively rare in our feline friends who are more susceptible to hyperthyroidism.)
What types of dogs get hypothyroidism?
Larger dogs that are between 4-10 years old are more prone to the condition. Some breeds are more likely to have hypothyroidism including: Doberman pinchers, Golden retrievers, Great Danes, Irish Setters and Airedale terriers.
What are the causes of hypothyroidism in dogs?
Changes in the thyroid gland can cause hypothyroidism. In some cases, an immune system disorder attacks the gland causing it to overproduce thyroid hormone and then become totally depleted. In other cases, age and biological processes stop the thyroid gland from producing enough hormones.
What are the symptoms of hypothyroidism?
Look for a combination of these symptoms:
Thinning or loss of fur on the trunk of the body
Thickening, darkening skin
Mood changes – depression, aggression and anxiety
Blood work is required to diagnose the condition and determine what level of treatment is required.
How is hypothyroidism in dogs treated?
Dogs with hypothyroidism require hormone replacement therapy for the remainder of their lives. Fortunately, there are many excellent hormone replacement medications that regulate canine hormone levels and help the body function normally. We stock many of the leading thyroid medications.
As always, the first person you should talk to about your pet’s condition and any required treatments is your veterinarian.
Located in the throat bellow the larynx, the function of the thyroid is to produce hormones that regulate the metabolism. When the endocrine organ fails to deliver the necessary hormones to the body, whether because of old age or atrophy, the patient will most likely suffer a series of unpleasant symptoms. The condition is quite common in man’s best friend, the humble canine.
The chronic disease is most frequently seen in large, middle-aged dogs of any breed. However, a few of the larger breeds, such as Sheepdogs, Golden Retrievers, and Irish Setters are disproportunately affected by it. Let us take a moment to review the most common symptoms of the disorder.
Most dogs that are diagnosed with hypothyroidism suffer from one or more of the following symptoms:
Lethargy and listlessness
Unexplained weight gain
Frequent ear infections
Extreme sensitivity to the cold
Pimples or acne
In some cases the dog’s gastrointestinal, neuromuscular, cardiovascular systems may be compromised, which increases the risk of the following symptoms:
Irregular heart rhythms (arrhythmias)
Risk Factors of Hypothyroidism in Dogs
As we mentioned, hypothyroidism occurs most often in middle-aged, larger dogs, but it may also strike canines that are of medium size. It can and often does result in behavioral changes and a decline in physical activity. There is no known cure for the chronic condition, which means it will affect a pooch for his entire life. If you observe any of the aforementioned symptoms, it is imperative that you take him to see his veterinarian.
Diagnosis of Hypothyroidism in Dogs
Because there are so many symptoms that are common to other diseases, it can be difficult for even an experienced veterinarian to diagnose the disease. The most effective way to make the correct diagnosis is with blood screening and a full physical. All dogs that suffer from hypothyroidism have depressed hormone levels. That said, a low-normal level does not necessarily mean that your dog has the disease, which means he should not be treated for it. Overtreatment and improper diagnoses are not at all uncommon.
Treatment of Hypothyroidism in Dogs
Although it is a permanent condition, hypothyroidism can be managed effectively with thyroid hormone replacement therapy. Most dogs respond well to the treatment and are able to lead healthy, happy and full lives, as long their owners provide daily medications and closely monitor their pet’s appearance and behavior.
Medications for Hypothyroidism in Dogs
Soloxine is available at VetRxDirect.
A popular prescription medication prescribed specially for hypothyroidism in dogs is Soloxine. Sold in tablet form, levothyroxine directly treats the problem of the disease, i.e., low thyroid levels. Dog owners must remember to always read the label carefully and to administer Levothyroxine as directed by their veterinarian.
Canine Thyroid Chewables
Because most dogs like to chew on things, Levothyroxine is also available in chewable tablets. Safe for dogs of all ages and breeds, the medication must be administered at least once a day, or as prescribed by your dog’s doctor. If possible, try to give him his medication at around the same time each day. And never give him more than directed and double the dose if you happen to miss a day.
generic Levothyroxine tablets
Often the most inexpensive option, generic tablets are no different from those sold in fancy packages by major drug makers, which makes them a popular alternative. After all, hypothyroidism is permanent and when prescription levothyroxine must be administered for several years, the costs can really add up.
Where to Find Levothyroxine for Dogs?
Since it is such a common disorder, most veterinarians keep Levothyroxine on hand. But veterinarian’s don’t normally offer deep discounts or have sales.
Properly licensed and accredited online pet pharmacies in the U.S. can legally sell and ship medications to your door. All they need is a prescription from your veterinarian after you order your pet’s medication online.