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J Am Anim Hosp Assoc. 2012 Jul-Aug;48(4):278-83. doi: 10.5326/JAAHA-MS-5769. Epub 2012 May 18.

Goiter with vascular anomalies in a litter of Polish Lowland sheepdogs.

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  • 1Section of Internal Medicine, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, USA.


At approximately 4-5 mo of age, three Polish Lowland sheepdog puppies from a single litter of eight puppies presented to their respective primary veterinarians with bilateral subcutaneous masses in their ventral cervical regions. Evaluation, including thyroid function testing, surgical exploration with resection, computed tomography, and angiography, identified the masses as enlarged thyroid glands with severely dilated and abnormal vasculature in the regions of the glands. The dogs were also found to have serum concentrations of thyroid hormones that were below the reference ranges. None of the three dogs showed clinical signs of hypothyroidism, except for the presence of goiter. One dog also had a patent ductus arteriosus that was surgically repaired. All dogs were clinically normal at 2 yr of age. This is the first report of major vascular anomalies associated with goiter in any species. The mechanism is unknown.

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