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In Dobermans, hypothyroidism is usually always an autoimmune disorder of the thyroid gland. The mode of transmission and heritability is unknown.

Diagnosis is by a blood test administered by a veterinarian. Michigan State University Veterinary School’s  thyroid panel is generally regarded as the industry’s standard. Medication is given by prescription, and the amount is regulated by additional blood work.  Usually T4 is given, and in some dogs T3 is also needed.

Some Dobermans who register in low- normal range will benefit from thyroid supplementation. Hypothyroidism is one of the more easily treated disorders.


  • droopy eyes
  • “tragic” expression
  • muscle wasting (of head and/or body)
  • lethargy
  • fatigue
  • hyperactivity
  • weight gain (or loss)
  • thinning of hair along back – razor back hog look
  • reproductive seasons disrupted
  • bitches fail to impregnate, and/or carry to term
  • aggression
  • temperament changes
  • frequent link to to adrenal insufficiency
  • allergies
  • hives
  • dry skin
  • vomiting
  • intolerance to cold or heat
  • frequent infections


Behavioural changes with canine hypothyroidism

Symposium on canine hypothyroidism

Dr. Mike on canine thyroid disease

submitted by
Suzanne McDonald
DPCA Public Education Committee