A guide to treating dog thyroid problems with natural medicine

If your dog is drinking more water than usual, urinating more frequently, eating more food but still losing weight, your dog might have thyroid problems. Fortunately, there are natural remedies that can help treat your dog’s thyroid problems.

Every dog has two, small, butterfly-shaped lobes in their necks. These lobes are their thyroid glands that produce the dog’s hormones. The thyroid produces the hormones T3 (triiodothyronine) and T4 (thyroxine). A perfectly healthy dog has thyroid glands that produce just the right amount of T3 and T4 hormones to regulate the body’s metabolic rate. However, if those glands produce too much hormones or too little, your dog could suffer from hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism, respectively. These thyroid problems are not necessarily life-threatening but they can cause great discomfort to your dog and negatively impact its quality of life. They are common in dogs five years and older. Larger dog breeds, such as Golden Retrievers, Doberman Pinschers, and Greyhounds, have a genetic predisposition towards thyroid conditions, but it is possible for any dog to have thyroid problems. (Related: Can pets have thyroid disease? Dr. Jean Dodds provides answers.)

Symptoms of hyperthyroidism include weight loss, increased appetite and thirst, frequent urination, elevated heart rate, vomiting or nausea, diarrhea, difficulty breathing, restlessness, and an enlarged throat. Symptoms of the much more common hypothyroidism include weight gain, shedding, sensitivity to cold, chronic eye and ear infections, fatigue, weakness, and a decreased heart rate. If you notice any of these symptoms in your dog, it is best to seek treatment immediately as they may also be signs of other conditions.

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Natural treatments for dogs with thyroid problems

There are many natural remedies that can be used to improve your dog’s thyroid function. Here are some possible treatments that may help:

  • Iodine and Zinc. One of the contributing causes of hypothyroidism in dogs is the consumption of a processed, grain-based, high-carbohydrate diet. The problem with this diet is that it lacks the essential minerals the thyroid needs. Make sure that you are feeding your dog a healthy, balanced diet with plenty of iodine and zinc.
  • Bladderwack. Also known as kelp, bladderwack is a seaweed that is an excellent source of iodine. Add bladderwack to your dog’s diet to help control an overactive thyroid.
  • Fenugreek. Aside from having a great flavor, fenugreek can help boost an underperforming thyroid. It can also help treat autoimmune thyroiditis, a condition wherein the body attacks the thyroid tissue. It does this by inhibiting the levels of T3 and T4 hormone that are directly responsible for it.
  • Astragalus. The Chinese herb astragalus can revitalize your dog’s endocrine system and thyroid gland. It can also promote normal blood pressure and blood sugar, and help the body fight diseases.
  • Ginseng. Ginseng boosts your dog’s immune system. It also reduces fatigue and strengthens the body against physical stress.
  • Nettle plants. Once dried or extracted, the plants of the Nettle family Urticaceae can prove beneficial to your dog’s health. Urtica urens is commonly known as “dog nettle” or “small nettle.” It can be used to stimulate circulation and regulate metabolism, thyroid and adrenal function. It is rich in the protective vitamins A, B and C. Urtica dioica is also known as “stinging nettle” and is packed with antioxidant compounds. It can aid in the digestion and absorption of many vitamins and minerals and increase kidney and liver function.

Depending on your dog’s needs, these treatments may vary in levels of effectiveness. It is important to examine your dog’s overall health, but ultimately, you know what’s best for your dog.

If you want to learn more about how to keep your pets healthy, you can read more articles by going to PetHealthDaily.com.

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