Is Hypothyroidism Genetic in Dogs?

November 18, 2016
American Veterinarian Editorial Staff

Diane Levitan, VMD, DACVIM, from Peace Love Pets Veterinary Care, explains that some dogs have a genetic predisposition to become hypothyroid.

Diane Levitan, VMD, DACVIM, from Peace Love Pets Veterinary Care, explains that some dogs have a genetic predisposition to become hypothyroid.

Interview Transcript (slightly modified for readability)

“Hypothyroidism is a difficult disease because it does manifest itself in several different ways. One of the most important things to understand about hypothyroid[ism] is that there is a genetic predisposition.

We do screen animals at a young age, particularly if they’re breeding animals, to see if they have the tendency to become hypothyroid. That’s [done] by checking a blood test that tells us about autoantibodies in their blood stream, against the thyroid tissue. If they have those autoantibodies, there’s a very good chance — not 100%, but a very good chance – that they will become hypothyroid, and that is a genetic predisposition.

If we find animals that are positive for that, we strongly discourage breeding.”