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The Connection Between Your Dog's Thyroid and Their Skin- is it really a skin allergy?



Your dog's thyroid gland is located in their neck and produces a hormone called thyroxine, which controls a dog’s metabolism. When the gland doesn’t produce enough of this hormone, your dog may begin to experience symptoms of hypothyroidism. This condition is very undiagnosed and it can cause a whole host of chronic disease patterns. Typically in dogs it is considered an autoimmune disease where your dogs immune system attacks the thyroid tissue causing damage to it. While this and skin allergies are obviously 2 different health issues, there are actually a number of similarities between them both. Let’s take a quick look at these firstly:


Similarity in symptoms- both skin allergies and hypothyroidism in dogs can show similar symptoms, such as skin problems. These skin issues can include dry, flaky skin, hair loss, itchiness, and recurrent skin infections and ear infections. This similarity in symptoms can sometimes lead to the wrong or a confused diagnosis. Secondary Infections: Dogs with untreated hypothyroidism often have a compromised immune systems, making them more susceptible to skin infections. This can make it difficult to know whether the infection is related to an allergy or is actually the thyroid issue. Autoimmune Component: Some skin allergies in dogs have an autoimmune component, where the immune system reacts excessively to allergens. And in most cases of Hypothyroidism this is cause from autoimmunity as I mentioned earlier so in these cases, the dysfunction in the immune system that is leading to the hypothyroidism is also potentially leading to the development of skin allergies. AND FINALLY, thyroid hormones have an impact on the overall health and functioning of a dog's skin and hair. When a dog has hypothyroidism, the reduced levels of thyroid hormones can lead to changes in skin texture and coat quality, making them more prone to skin problems and allergies.


While the classic symptoms of hypothyroidism used to be seen as weight gain and hair loss, these days we are seeing a wide range of symptoms and signs that can mimic a large number of diseases so proper thyroid testing should be carried out in dogs with chronic itching especially if the dog is not responding to conventional medications. So we have seen that hypothyroidism and skin allergies do have some similarities, lets look deeper at how the thyroid protects the skin and coat and what happens when things get out of balance.


Thyroid hormones play a crucial role in regulating your dogs metabolism and overall skin health. Hypothyroidism, is characterized by an underactive thyroid gland that doesn't produce enough thyroid hormones (thyroxine, or T4, or T3).


Thyroid hormones are essential for maintaining the hydration of your dogs skin and the normal function of sebaceous glands that produce oil or(sebum). If you dog doesn’t produce enough hormone, this can lead to dry, flaky skin, which becomes more prone to itching and scaling There can be hair loss or thinning of your dogs coat. This might be in patches or all over the dog's body in more severe cases. You might notice a dull brittle coat. Dogs with hypothyroidism often have a coat that appears dull, lacks luster, and can feel dry and brittle. The hair may break easily and not grow back properly after shedding. In addition to any hair loss, hypothyroidism can slow down the regrowth of hair, making it difficult for the dogs to recover from injuries or skin problems. And because the there is a compromised skin barrier due to dryness and decreased oil or sebum production dogs can become more vulnerable to bacterial or fungal infections. Dogs with hypothyroidism are much more prone to bacterial and yeast recurrent infections. Did you know too that while itching and scratching are associated with skin allergy, hypothyroidism can also cause this itching due to the skin dryness and inflammation. And finally secondary skin infections are more common too in dogs with hypothyroidsim So as you can see there is a strong link between the health of your dogs thyroid gland and their skin helping keep it protected and healthy. While skin allergy is very common, you can see that there may sometimes be other underlying problems that are mimicking this including hypothyroidism.


So what can be done here? well the first thing is to make sure you get a proper diagnosis through your vet – blood tests should be carried out to check all thyroid hormone levels as well as any other relevant tests your vet feels are needed in each specific case. Remembering that most of the time this condition is an autoimmune response so if it turns out that your dog does have hypothyroid rather than true skin allergies, we then need to work to treat the autoimmunity. And while I am not going to go into that in this video, this will require balancing both the gut and immune systems as well as giving specific nutrients and herbs to start to heal the thyroid and reduce damage and inflammation. You can check out some of my other videos on autoimmune protocols on my channel. If your dogs skin issue has been going on for along time it can be worthwhile testing the thyroid to rule out this as a cause so you are more sure of what you are dealing with. And if you have a dog with skin issues, thyroid issues or both, then please feel to reach out to me. I would love to hear your comments if you have been struggling with your dogs skin issue and need some help. You can comment below or contact me via my details below- I am also open for bookings.


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