Thyroid Conditions in French Bulldogs

A French Bulldog at the vet

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What are thyroid conditions in Frenchies?

The thyroid is a gland in your dog’s neck that produces the hormone thyroxine (T4) along with various other hormones.

These hormones play a huge role in your dog’s metabolism and can cause major problems if they’re not produced at normal levels.

The thyroid is like the thermostat of the body.

Hypothyroidism

When hypothyroidism in French Bulldogs occurs when your dog isn’t secreting enough of the thyroid hormones.

Hypothyroidism causes your dog’s metabolism to slow down, which can result in the following symptoms

Symptoms of hypothyroidism in French Bulldogs

  • Lethargy
  • Exercise intolerance
  • Mental dullness
  • Weight gain without a change in appetite
  • Obesity
  • Cold intolerance
  • Changes in coat and skin, like increased shedding, hair thinning, and hair loss
  • Thickening of the skin
  • Reproductive disturbances in intact dogs
    Hypothyroidism generally responds well to medication.

Hyperthyroidism

Hypothyroidism in French Bulldogs occurs when your dog’s body produces too much thyroid hormone. It can increase the metabolic rate to dangerous levels.

While this is quite rare in dogs, it’s commonly seen in cats. When it does affect dogs, it is usually very severe.

Thyroid cancer is the primary cause of hyperthyroidism in dogs.

Symptoms of hyperthyroidism in French Bulldogs

  • Weight loss
  • Hyper-excitability
  • Increased appetite
  • Increased thirst
  • Increased urination
  • Enlargement of the thyroid gland
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • An increased amount of stool
  • Congestive heart failure
  • Tachycardia (fast heart rate)
  • Heart murmurs
  • Cardiomegaly (enlarged heart)
  • Dyspnea (shortness of breath)

Goiters

Goiters are a non-cancerous enlargement of the thyroid caused by genetic defects. They can also be caused by an iodine deficiency

Goiters can be a symptom of congenital hypothyroidism.

They appear more alarming than they actually are.

Autoimmune Thyroiditis

Autoimmune thyroiditis occurs when the immune system attacks the thyroid gland. It can also be a symptom of another disorder such as systemic lupus erythematosus.