The thyroid gland is located in the lower neck. It is divided into two parts called lobes which are positioned either side of the windpipe (trachea). It is here where thyroid hormones important for metabolism, mainly thyroxine (T4) and to a lesser extent triiodothyronine (T3), are produced.
The thyroid hormones influence the function of almost all organs within your dog’s body. They are essential for normal growth and development, and regulate your dog’s metabolism. As such, the symptoms of hypothyroidism are very diverse.
Hypothyroid dogs may become apathetic, weak, sleep more frequently or for longer periods of time, inclined to suffer chills or gain weight without changes to their diet.
The thyroid gland becomes inflamed as a result of the action of antibodies directed against the body’s own tissues, resulting in a decrease in thyroid hormone being produced by the thyroid gland. This stage is referred to as an autoimmune-mediated lymphocytic thyroiditis.