Could house soiling be one of the side effects of thyroid medication in dogs?
Original Question: My Alaskan Malamute is on medication for a low thyroid condition and she started to use the basement as her washroom, could the medication be causing this behavior? - Anonymous
In cases like these I will often consider reducing the thyroid medication or removing it to see if this behavior goes away but you’re definitely going to want to talk to your veterinarian about that because it really depends on the history as to why the thyroid medication was started in the first place.
As far as the inappropriate elimination occurring down in the basement, I’ve never seen a dog with hypothyroidism or treated hypothyroidism start to have that condition so what I would say is when those things are happening you have to look at medical reasons and behavioral reasons. Medically you have to rule out things like a urinary tract infections and it sounds like you’re doing that by taking the urine sample in. At the same time, the only thing I don’t like is that you’re taking the urine sample in because I prefer to get it directly from their bladder when they’re in the clinic because if you’re catching the urine in a container there’s definitely going to be bacteria in that container so I always perform something called a culture. Deal with those medical things first and then if you’re given the all clear it really becomes a behavioral condition. At ten years old there’s lots of things that could be going on. Medically there could be issues with senility, problems with arthritis and mobility with the stairs so really you’re going to have to rule out the medical problem before you address the behavioral one.
I don’t think the thyroid is playing a role here but it’s not harmful to maybe back up on that medication and do a trial without it and see if this problem resolves. This is very peculiar so I would definitely recommend working closely with your veterinarian about that who originally diagnosed it. Hopefully some of those thoughts come into play as we want to find out really why this has happened and if we know it’s not medical then we can focus on behavioral reasons as the cause.
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