Overweight Dogs

Low thyroid function is a factor for some obese dogs.



We have a 4 year old male whippet (Echo) with a severe weight problem that we have been trying to get under control for some 8 months. We have tried many different diets. With some he was so hungry in about 2 hours that he would begin crying and trying to open the food container. We even had to put childproof locks on all the cupboard doors because he would open them looking for food. Could there be a problem with his thyroid? He also at times appears that he has no energy which is not normal for a whippet.



Dr. Nichol:

Good diagnosis. Hypothyroidism (low thyroid hormone) is a likely answer in part because of Echo’s low energy. Other possible explanations for your not-so-streamlined racing dog would include other hormone imbalances like diabetes or cushings syndrome (an adrenal problem).


But don’t go shopping for hormones yet. First get a physical exam. (Sorry to sound like a broken record-remember records?) If your boy checks out well on his exam, your doctor will send off a blood thyroid profile. Results should be available the next day. If he comes up positive once or twice daily tablets should make him right again. But that bit about tearing into the food container: Why not see if you can get him a role in a dog food commercial?