According to a recent MSU study, the majority of canine hypothyroidism is the result of an autoimmune process known as autoimmune thyroiditis. The body’s immune system develops antibodies against its own thyroid gland cells. As the thyroid gland cells are attacked and destroyed, the remaining cells work harder to compensate. Finally, when the gland is about 75% destroyed, the remaining cells are unable to produce enough thyroid hormone, and the dog begins to display symptoms of deficiency.

Auto antibodies (destructive markers against self tissues) are only found in vaccinated dogs in a landmark veterinary research study done at Purdue University sponsored by the Haywood Foundation.  Autoimmune diseases are much higher in vaccinated populations. Autoimmune disease in one generation can be genetic in the next and this explains seeing pediatric hypothyroidism now occurring at increasing rates .

According to the Manual of Natural Veterinary Medicine, some 95% of the cases of hypothyroidism in dogs are due to the immune mediated destruction of the thyroid gland and not iodine deficiencies.

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Symptoms of hypothyroidism include:

  • lethargy
  • weight gain
  • dull coat
  • skin infections
  • diarrhea or constipation
  • cold intolerance
  • various skin disorders, such as odor, greasy skin or dry skin
  • behavioral changes in aggression
  • behavioral changes in increased reactivity
  • development of furrows on the forehead (skin wrinkling)

If your dog suffers from hypothyroidism, it might be one more reason to take a long look at his vaccination program.