Acta Vet. Brno 2019, 88: 257-264

The effect of thyroid hormone deficiency on erythropoiesis in dogs

Olga Aniołek

Lazarski University, Warsaw, Poland

Received July 20, 2018
Accepted June 13, 2019

This research aimed to evaluate the effect of thyroid hormone deficiency on the erythrocytic system in dogs. Dogs with clinical symptoms of hypothyreosis such as obesity, hyperpigmentation, and lethargy were selected. The dogs demonstrating breed predisposition to hypothyreosis were incorporated in the analysis: Dachshunds, Retrievers, and mixed-breed dogs. A detailed history was taken and clinical, hormonal, biochemical and haematological blood tests were performed. Peripheral blood samples were taken from 53 dogs. Finally, the dogs with the initial T4 (thyroxine) concentration < 1.3 µg/dl and animals demonstrating clinical improvement after a 2-month therapy with levothyroxine at a dose of 10 µg/kg administered per os two times a day were qualified. The animals between 10 months to 13 years of age were divided into two groups: clinically healthy (control group, n = 35) and dogs presenting clinical symptoms of hypothyreosis (experimental group, n = 18). In this research, the broadly described normocytic normochromic non-regenerative anaemia was not diagnosed in dogs with hypothyreosis. However, a positive correlation between T4 and red blood cell indices such as the average mass of haemoglobin per red blood cell, concentration of haemoglobin in a given volume of packed red blood cells as well as a negative correlation with haematocrit value was discovered in the experimental group after the 2-month therapy with levothyroxine. These results point to the influence of thyroid hormones on erythropoiesis. This observation is partially consistent with other studies, which noted the casual link between the changes in red blood cell system and the function of thyroid in dogs and humans.


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