Many people are diagnosed as being “hypothyroid.” Although this disease is rare with the feline population, it can occur quite frequently with canines and the German Shorthaired Pointer is one of the breeds that can develop this metabolic disorder. The thyroid is an extremely important gland in the body which is double lobed and located on either side of the trachea (windpipe). The thyroid secretes a hormone that is responsible for regulating the body’s metabolic rate. If the thyroid isn’t producing enough thyroid hormone, the dog can become “hypothyroid” and this will slow the metabolic rate of the German Shorthaired Pointer. This is not a good thing to have happen to your dog.
The immune system of the dog is significantly involved with the development of hypothyroidism because this system doesn’t work properly and negatively affects the thyroid tissue and kills thyroid cells. At first, the German Shorthaired Pointer’s body retaliates by oversecreting thyroid hormone but the dog’s body will be unable to continue doing so and the lack of sufficient thyroid hormone results in the development of hypothyroidism. The scientific jury is still out on the exact reason for this particular autoimmune disorder, but believe in a genetic predisposition and possible contributory factors of allergies and possibly environmental pollutants.
Some of the symptoms that should result in a vet visit for your German Shorthaired Pointer include lethargy, little food consumption with weight gain. If you notice that your dog doesn’t seem to want to play, sleeps a lot, gets tired more easily when engaging in usual activities please see the vet for examination. If the GSP has hypothyroidism , the dog might also be prone to dry skin, bacterial skin infection, hair loss. The dog’s tolerance for temperature changes particularly colder temperatures may decrease. Some affected animals can end up with chronic ear infections and possibly negative behavior changes which will be easily observed by the astute owner.
When you take your GSP for examination, you will review the obvious symptoms and/or behavior and mood changes with your vet. The vet will draw blood for the test that can determine the level of thyroid hormone in your pet’s blood. If the results of the blood test indicate that your GSP is secreting a less than normal amount of thyroid hormone and is diagnosed with hypothyroidism, the vet will most likely prescribe a synthetic thyroid hormone which your dog will most likely need to continue for the rest of its life. This medication should resolve the problem and you should observe an increase in energy, and more positive mood and behavior changes.