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Cornell Vet. 1981 Jan;71(1):3-14.

Epidemiologic features of canine hypothyroidism.


This study investigates the epidemiologic features of 3,206 dogs diagnosed with hypothyroidism (including myxedema) from 1.1 million dogs seen at 15 veterinary teaching hospitals between March, 1964 and June, 1978. Nine breeds found to be at high-risk for hypothyroidism were: golden retrievers, Doberman pinschers, dachshunds, Shetland sheepdogs, Irish setters, Pomeranians, miniature schnauzers, cocker spaniels, and Airedales. Two breed with a significant deficit of risk were German shepherds and mixed breed (mongrel) dogs. Age risk was greatest among younger dogs of high-risk breeds, further suggesting a genetic component to the etiology of this disease. In contrast, low-risk dogs had increasing relative risk through nine years of age. Spayed female dogs displayed a significantly higher risk when compared to intact females. Though not statistically significant, male castrated dogs had 30% more hypothyroidism compared to their intact counterparts. Among the case series were 91 endocrine and hormone-related neoplasms and 198 other endocrine-related disorders. Further studies linking canine hypothyroidism to other conditions, particularly cancer, could provide valuable insight into human disease experience.

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