Endocrine Diseases - Hypothyroidism

  • Created by: Sarah_SVN
  • Created on: 12-04-19 11:45

What normally happens in the thyroid glands?

Normally T4 is produced by the thyroid glands and converted into T3 (tri-iodothyronine) in all the body tissues. 

This is then used for metabolic processes in the body and growth and development, including hair follicles. 

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What is the pathogenesis of a patient with hypothy

There is a decrease in production of T4, so the bodys metabolic rate is reduced.

More common in dogs - golden retreivers, labs, boxers, great danes and cocker spaniels.

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What are the primary hypothyroidism causes?

Primary = Actual changes to the thyorid glands 

Acquired: Destruction of the thyroid tissue ususally via lympocytic thyroiditis. 90% of all cases.

Congenital: Rare 

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What is the secondary hypothyroidism cause?

Problems with the pituitary glands so reduction in TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone) being produced. 


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What may be an Iatrogenic cause of hypothyroidism?

Following surgical removal of the thyroid glands. E.g. cats who have had hyperthyroidism. 

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How is hypothyroidism diagnosed?

Combination of clinical signs and blood results showing the following: 

- Non regenerative anaemia

- Low T4, elevated TSH 

- Hypercholesteroaemia

TSH stim test may also be required.

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What are the clinical signs of hypothyroidism?(7)

Lethargy and exercise intolerance 

Weight gain but normal appetite



Flank Alopecia 

Thickened pigemented skin 

Neurological deficits

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What is the treatment/nursing care of a patient wi

Keep warm as they cannot increase their own body temperature

Regular monitoring of T4 levels

Synthetic T4 supplementation

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