Levothyroxine for Dogs Availability Updates

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.

Chewable Levothyroxine for Dogs

Canine Thyroid Chewable Levothyroxine Available at VetRxDirect

One possible substitute for Soloxine, indicated for use in dogs, is Pala-Tech’s Canine Thyroid Chewable tablets. These chewable tablets can be easily given to your dog, and they’ll enjoy to flavor. Checkout ThyroKare Levothyroxine Tablets as another possible substitute for the backordered Soloxine.

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
  • Excess hunger
  • Increased thirst
  • Increased urination
  • Excitability or nervousness
  • Excessive panting

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.

  • Antacids
  • Anti-diabetic agents including insulin and oral agents
  • Cholestyramine
  • Corticosteroids
  • Ketamine
  • Phenobarbital

*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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Hypothyroidism in Dogs: What to Look For

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
  • Weight gain
  • Lethargy
  • Mood changes – depression, aggression and anxiety

Blood work is required to diagnose the condition and determine what level of treatment is required.

Popular Brands of Levothyroxine for Hypothyroidism in Dogs

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.

If you’d like to read more about hypothyroidism, check out this comprehensive article by researchers at Washington State University.

Thank you for reading. We’re here to help you keep your pet healthy and happy!