There have been many articles and textbook chapters written on the topic of hypothyroidism. Maybe too many because when that happens, some people jump to preconceived ideas about the disease causes and miss some of the simple and very obvious ones.
One cause of hypothyroidism that is often missed
Most people believe that large breeds are more commonly affected by hypothyroidism (low thyroid hormone production) mainly because of genetics. Others point to poor quality, processed food or vaccines which cause a weakened and overwhelmed immune system to turn on its own tissue - in this case, the thyroid gland.
While the factors mentioned above definitely play an important role there is another serious cause. Trauma to the thyroid gland caused by collars.
The thyroid gland is located at the front portion of the throat right in front of the Adam’s apple (anatomically the laryngeal cartilages) which makes it very prone to injuries by dog collars.
The harder the pressure of the collar on the thyroid gland and the stronger the dog is, the greater the risk of thyroid injury.
When the thyroid gland is injured, inflammation follows which triggers the immune system to produce antibodies to the inflamed tissue of the thyroid gland. These antibodies attack and the immune system removes thyroid gland cells which results in lack of production of thyroid hormone.
Why larger dogs are more likely to be hypothyroid
It is common knowledge that larger dogs such as Labs, Golden Retrievers, German Shepherds, Dobermans and Rottweilers are predisposed to hypothyroidism. These dogs are also stronger pullers than smaller breeds and their collars can cause more serious damage.
How can you prevent thyroid trauma?
- Use the Healthy Dog Tool to put your dog on the optimal diet and supplements based on their health and age.
- Use the Perfect Fit Harness and Gente Leash to minimize the risk of thyroid gland trauma.
- Get rid of retractable leashes because their 'break and stop' system creates intense jerks that cause additional trauma.
Items referenced in this article.
Dr. Peter Dobias, DVM has 30 years of experience as a veterinarian. He graduated as a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine in 1988 in the Czech Republic and obtained the Canadian Certificate of Qualification in 1995. He is currently licensed in the European Union, and his unique approach to healing and nutrition helps holistically minded dog lovers worldwide.
Dr. Dobias strongly believes that disease prevention, natural nutrition and supplements, the right exercise and a drug free approach to medicine can add years to your dog's life.
As a formulator of his all-natural vitamin and supplement line and co-inventor of natural, chemical free flea and tick control, FleaHex® and TickHex®, his unique healing system and products currently hold the highest independent five star customer rating. For more information click here.
Any general recommendations that Dr. Dobias makes are not a substitute for the appropriate veterinary care and are for informational and educational purposes only.