How much do you actually know about thyroid problems in dogs? The main reasons I set out to share information on the subject are:
- Skin disease
- Neurological disorders
- Behavior issues
If you're relatively new to the topic of thyroids, you're probably not aware of the connection between these common issues. Or that you should address the thyroid as a component of managing them.
In fact, I believe we should look at the thyroid for ALL chronic inflammatory conditions.
And that’s why I want to talk about how to improve thyroid function. That way you can help prevent and resolve thyroid problems in your dog.
Health Issues Related To Hypothyroidism In Dogs
There are two main types of thyroid diseases.
- Hypothyroidism - this is the most common condition in dogs. It happens when your dog doesn’t produce enough thyroid hormones.
- Hyperthyroidism - very rare in dogs. It happens when your dog produces too many thyroid hormones.
Most neurologic, skin, ear and joint conditions have a significant hypothyroid component. And many go undiagnosed. Dogs with seizures as well as phobias, anxiety, or depression also need to have a full thyroid panel.
The goal is to catch hypothyroidism signs early. This could be the key to intervention for other disease relationships.
I have 20 years of clinical veterinary experience. In that time I have found the most effective ways to understand hypothyroidism disease relationships are:
- Muscle testing
- Prioritization protocols
- Effective dosing therapies
How To Improve Thyroid Function
There are ways to dramatically improve thyroid hormone use and enhance healing. These include ...
- Enhancing critical thyroid cofactors
- Reducing fluoride exposure
- Mitigating EMF exposure
- Regular detoxification (especially from chemicals and heavy metals)
- Treating co-infections
- Low dose natural hormone replacement
And that’s just a few of the things you can do to help a dog with thyroid problems. Let’s look at some of these in more detail.
How Food Affects Thyroid Problems In Dogs
When it comes to improving your dog’s thyroid function, you need to make changes to what your dog is eating and drinking. Some of the first changes you should make (if you haven’t already) are adding ...
- Fluoride free filtered water
- Fermented foods
- Exercise in nature
- High-quality natural foods (start with gluten-free and then identify top inflammatory sensitivities)
These changes can make a huge difference in the quality of life for your dog and overall health and vitality.
You also need to address ...
- The microbiome (the community of bacteria and other microorganisms living in and on your dog)
- Absorption of key nutrients
The gut and the entire microbiome are crucial for the immune system. Taking care of them will help with any underlying infections and systemic inflammation.
The gut and microbiome also directly relate to the degree of brain inflammation. And this can affect behavior and seizures. Science has proven there’s absolutely no separation; leaky gut equals leaky brain.
Even in cases that affect the central nervous system. You still need to address gastrointestinal pain and inflammation. If your dog has ulcers, it can lower tremor or seizure thresholds dramatically. And Helicobacter pylori is a stomach pathogen that may be at play in more cases than we know.
Once you start managing your dog’s digestive tract, food sensitivities will reduce. Some steps that are important for overall health include …
Incorporating some natural fibrous nutrients is also an excellent start:
- Green beans
- Cooked broccoli
- Cooked brussels sprouts
- Celery (also good for eradicating retroviruses – go slowly)
- Cooked spinach
It can also be very beneficial for the prevention of early hypothyroidism symptoms to add small to moderate amounts of …
- Pumpkin seeds
- Flaxseed oil
You also want to research and avoid the top glyphosate containing foods. You may find it surprising that most kibbles are likely contaminated.
Nutrients To Boost Thyroid Health
Your dog needs many nutrients for healthy thyroid function. Deficiencies of any of them could cause thyroid problems.
Iodine is important as it’s the center of thyroid hormone molecules. Earlier I mentioned reducing fluoride exposure. One reason is because fluoride displaces iodine in thyroid hormone production.
I recommend kelp to start adding more iodine to your dog’s diet. You can also try other sources of iodine with better iodine bioavailability ...
- Seaweed (bladderwrack)
- Magnascent iodine
Ferritin is also critical. I recommend whole foods or supplements containing natural heme iron. This includes …
- Standard Process Ferrofood
- Gaia Plant ForceLiquid
Standard iron supplements can be very toxic if your dog has blocked detoxification pathways.
Zinc And Selenium
Just like humans, dogs can have genetic damage that impairs detoxification. Zinc and selenium play vital roles in the conversion of T4 to T3 (thyroid hormones) in the liver. They also contribute to thyroid hormone production.
These are some of the most important trace minerals your dog needs. So, in some thyroid conditions, dogs need selective supplementation. I have seen many zinc deficiencies in pure breeds, especially select large breeds. And most allergy cases are selenium deficient.
There are a lot of discrepancies of best absorbed forms. I find it very individualized when muscle testing.
Vitamin A and exercise may assist with cellular sensitivity to thyroid hormones.
Other vitamins are also essential cofactors for proper thyroid hormone production. This includes vitamins …
Methylated B12 and folate supplementation are also almost always needed for cases related to …
- Gastrointestinal tract
Vitamin K2 plays a role in thyroid health and calcium bioavailability.
Low gastric acid secretions related to hypothyroidism dramatically affect nutrient absorption. To offset this, I suggest strong pancreatic digestive enzymes. Some dogs may even need hydrochloric acid containing enzymes.
When severe cases have stabilized (or for prevention) you may also want to add …
- Fermented foods
- Apple cider vinegar
Thyroid Hormone Support
If there are low T4 or T3 levels, I recommend low dosing with natural thyroid hormone support, such as …
- Armour Thyroid
- WP Thyroid
- USP thyroid
This improves circulation and lymphatic drainage.
How Stress Can Affect Thyroid Care
Remember the thyroid and adrenal glands respond to stress. That means some days your dog may need more or less medication. For example, he may need slightly higher doses at times of …
- Intense family stress
- Heavy exercise
- Physical therapy
Allergic Reactions And Sensitivities
Some animals can also develop sensitivities to certain thyroid treatments. This includes the natural ones. Keep a journal of what you introduce to your dog and when. This is always a helpful idea with chronic disease management.
Clearing Out The Chemicals
Holistic vets agree that traditionally diagnosed canine hypothyroidism is usually autoimmune in nature. There are heavy metal components in vaccines, which drive brain toxicities. But it isn’t just vaccines. Your dog gets bombarded daily by the environment with heavy metals and chemicals.
Urban environments may have a much higher risk because of …
- The levels of atmospheric geoengineering (chemical trails)
- EMF (electromagnetic frequency) exposure
- Limitations of nature exposure for physical grounding
Because of the strong link between the toxin component and autoimmune issues ... all cases need gentle detoxification.
My favorite detoxifiers are milk thistle and homeopathy or homotoxicology drainage. Later, when you stabilize your dog’s thyroid, you can introduce more detoxification. Move slowly and use specific detoxification cofactors to prevent breakthrough seizures.
Other gentle and effective detoxifiers include:
- Thyroid flower essences
- Low potency homeopathy (such as Thyroidinum 6C,12C, 6X or 12X or Calcarea carbonica 30C)
- Glandular supplements (Standard Process Thytrophin PMG or Thyro Complex and other cofactor combinations)
Herbal combinations may be an excellent place to start if there are severe symptoms. Try herbs such as …
- Coleus forskohlii
They can be very beneficial. Mushrooms may also play a key role in immune support and thyroid function.
When detoxing, you also want to ...
- Support general immune function
- Treat co-infections
This is critical as significant symptoms may present when detoxification processes are underway.
And don’t forget about inflammation. It can show up anywhere in or on the body during the healing process. If this happens, don't stop but get experienced advice.
There’s evidence that the cortisol pathway may need support in many hypothyroid cases. I find low doses with a natural hydrocortisone assists the body. And it dramatically improves quality of life for those with inflammatory cascades. Especially in neurologic and skin cases.
The key is to go slow and steady and pay attention ... only you know your pet best.
My #1 Recommendation: EMF Reduction
EMF reduction and mitigation is at the top of the priority list. New evidence shows EMF radiation is not only a primary endocrine disruptor … it’s a key microbiome disruptor as well. And there’s evidence that EMFs also intensify the negative effects of toxins and infections.
That’s why EMF mitigation and earthing practices may be the most imperative factor. Not only for our pets, but for ourselves as well.
I’ve recently found evidence that vibrational therapies may help with thyroid problems and EMF cellular damage. These include ..
- Structured water
- Light therapy
- Pulsed electromagnetic field (PEMF)
And many are having positive results.
Few practitioners are aware of or treating this elephant in the room. But we can’t heal effectively or even digest our food and supplements if we have a constant barrage of chaotic frequencies.
I had a building biologist come to measure frequency levels in my home. He explained most people (even healthy individuals) noticed positive effects by reducing EMF in their bedroom at night.
This is because the magnetic fields are affecting our ability to heal and repair. Even the magnetic fields produced by basic wall wiring. Following this very strong suggestion, I started to turn off my electrical breakers in my bedroom at night. It was the single most important decision I have ever made for my health and the health of all my pets.
To help reduce your dog’s EMF exposure:
- Turn WiFi off at night and when you’re not at home
- Keep your phone at least three feet away from your pets as much as possible (airplane mode or off is the safest)
- Get some grounding by spending time outside at least three times daily, especially before bed
Please learn more about slowly reducing EMF exposure for your dog’s thyroid health. Radiation poisoning is real … and we’re just starting to understand this complex issue. Children, pets and women are typically the most sensitive.
Thyroid symptoms in our pets are our preventive awareness: the canary in the coal mine! Take note, make BOLD changes.
Though I now consider myself a thyroid coach, this has been a journey of discovery. I am eternally grateful to my pets, children and patients for always teaching me to find the true root cause.
Written By Dr Tamara Hebbler
Tamara Hebbler CiHom DVM (“Doctor AMara” reflecting her belief in “I AM” consciousness) has a unique holistic practice in San Diego built on the microcosm of family, with pets at the center. She uses many modalities including nutrition, homeopathy, herbs and flower essences, as well as energy screening and healing techniques. She’s especially well versed in endocrine disorders, gastrointestinal disease, skin disease and musculoskeletal disease, including neuropathy and neuralgia. She has a special interest in treating vaccinosis and autoimmune conditions. Learn more at Healing Hope