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Companion Animal Practice
Canine hypothyroidism: diagnosis and therapy
  1. Peter Graham

    Peter Graham graduated from Glasgow in 1989, where he remained as a small animal medicine house officer and then as a postgraduate student and lecturer in veterinary clinical pathology until 1996, when he moved to the Diagnostic Endocrine Laboratory at Michigan State University, USA. In 2002, he became a de facto diplomate of the newly established European College of Veterinary Clinical Pathology and returned to the UK. He is currently managing director of NationWide Laboratories and Cambridge Specialist Laboratory Services. He holds the RCVS certificate in radiology and a PhD for clinical and epidemiological studies on canine diabetes mellitus.


HYPOTHYROIDISM is a common endocrine disorder of dogs that may be both under‐ and overdiagnosed. The cost, ethical and medical consequences of unnecessary lifelong thyroid replacement therapy heightens a veterinary surgeon's responsibility to make confident diagnostic classifications of hypothyroidism or euthyroidism. Failure to recognise and treat hypothyroidism has a significant negative impact on a patient's quality of life. This article discusses the problems associated with diagnosing hypothyroidism in dogs, describes the various laboratory tests available for evaluating thyroid disease and dysfunction, including their respective advantages and disadvantages, and provides guidance on how the results obtained should be interpreted.

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