Heart and Thyroid Meds
Our Heart Conditions group of Pet Care products contains medication for treating congestive heart failure in dogs due to dilated cardiomyopathy and degeneration of heart valves or mitral valve disease. Our Thyroid Medications contain various thyroid hormone products (thyroxine) for treating underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism), including synthetic thyroxine and thyroid gland extracts.
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Congestive heart failure (CHF) is when the heart muscle becomes weakened so that it does not pump efficiently and is a common condition in dogs. It can be due by a variety of causes. Dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) is the most common cause of CHF in dogs, particularly large breeds and some dogs have an inherited predisposition for DCM. It is characterised by dilated or enlarged chambers of the heart, and reduced contraction of the heart muscle, resulting in congestive heart failure. Warning signs of DCM include heart murmur and arrhythmias (abnormal heart beat). CHF can also be caused by degeneration of heart valves, called endocardiosis causing them to become leaky, resulting in mitral valve disease.
Treatment for heart conditions
Heart failure in dogs can be treated by using medications that help improve the efficiency of the heart and increase blood flow; also with diuretics that help remove fluid in the tissues.
The thyroid gland, which sits just below the Adam’s apple in the neck, is an endocrine gland that produces hormones secreted directly into the blood. The thyroid gland produces two hormones; calcitonin, which regulates calcium metabolism and thyroid hormone, which controls many important body functions, including how the body uses energy, regulates temperature, metabolises nutrients, and controls growth and development. Thyroid hormone synthesis is dependent on iodine and a deficiency of iodine can result in a deficiency of thyroid hormone and a swelling of the thyroid gland known as goitre, in which the thyroid tissue grows to compensate for lack of thyroid hormone.
Thyroid hormone exists in two forms. Thyroxine or levothyroxine, also known as T4 and liothyronine or L-triiodothyronine also known as T3. Up to 90% of thyroid hormone secreted by the thyroid gland is T4, which is inactive but is converted to the active form of thyroid hormone T3 when it reaches its target tissue. This conversion takes place in the liver, kidney and other tissues of the body and T3 then interacts with a specific receptor inside the nucleus of cells, to influence the transcription of specific pieces of DNA (genes) to produce proteins needed to manage and control a variety of processes, including carbohydrate, fat, protein and vitamin metabolism.
Hypothyroidism and thyroid hormone
Underactive thyroid, known as hypothyroidism is caused by a lack of thyroid hormone. The most common cause for this is the development of autoantibodies against the thyroid hormone producing cells of the thyroid, a condition known as Hashimoto’s disease. Another common cause is a deficiency in iodine. Other causes include, viral infection, cancer radiotherapy and it can occur temporarily in women after giving birth (postpartum thyroiditis).
Treatments for hypothyroidism
Treatment of hypothyroidism involves hormone replacement for the lack of thyroid hormone. Several sources of thyroid hormone supplement are available, including synthetic thyroxine and thyroid gland extracts.
These hormone supplements need to be taken continually and often for long periods to replace thyroid hormone deficiency that may be lifelong.
Overactive thyroid, also known as hyperthyroidism, is caused by high levels of thyroid hormone or thyrotoxicosis. The most common form of hyperthyroidism is Grave’s Disease or goitre, which is thought to be an autoimmune disease where autoantibodies called thyroid stimulating immunoglobulins bind to the receptor for Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH). This causes over production of thyroid hormone due to loss of regulation of thyroid hormone production. Hyperthyroidism can also be caused by inflammation, a tumour or a virus infection.
Treatments for hyperthyroidism
Treatment for hyperthyroidism involves blocking the production of thyroid hormone to restore normal hormone levels.