Did you know that one of the most commonly over-diagnosed diseases in dogs is hypothyroidism?
And that this disorder can be difficult to diagnose because its symptoms can mimic those of other medical conditions.
If your dog is exhibiting signs that could indicate a thyroid problem, your veterinarian may recommend a thyroid test to check for the presence of low levels of thyroxine (T4), a hormone produced by the thyroid gland. But how much does a thyroid test cost for a dog?
The cost of a thyroid test for dogs can vary between $50 to $150, depending on your location and the different types of tests your vet may need to perform in order to accurately diagnose the problem. In some cases, your vet may also run a urine test to rule out other potential causes.
This article will help you understand why a thyroid test is important for diagnosing hypothyroidism in dogs, as well as how much it costs. So if you’re worried about your pup, be sure to check out this helpful guide.
Thyroid Gland and Hypothyroidism in Dogs
The thyroid is a gland in the neck that helps control the body’s metabolism. When there is a problem with the thyroid, it can lead to a condition called hypothyroidism. This is a condition in which the dog’s body does not produce enough thyroid hormone, leading to a slowdown in the dog’s metabolism.
What Are The Causes of Hypothyroidism in Dogs
The most common causes of hypothyroidism in dogs are:
This is surprisingly a common condition in dogs, with around 50% of all diagnosed cases of thyroid disorder being caused by this hereditary disease. The autoimmune system mistakenly identifies the thyroid cells as foreign and attacks them, leading to inflammation within the gland.
It is a thyroid disorder in dogs that gradually deteriorates the cells within the thyroid gland, causing other 50% of all dog thyroid disorders. It is generally a slow-onset condition, and its effects can become more pronounced over time as the affected dog’s thyroid cells continue to deteriorate.
Symptoms of Hypothyroidism in Dogs
Symptoms of hypothyroidism in dogs include:
- Weight gain
- Lethargy and depression
- Hair loss
- Dry and itchy skin
- Decreased appetite
- Slowed heart rate
Dogs with hypothyroidism may also show signs such as anemia, high cholesterol levels, and elevated white blood cell count.
Diagnosis and Treatment of Hypothyroidism in Dogs
To diagnose hypothyroidism in dogs, a veterinarian will usually perform a physical examination and run blood tests to measure hormone levels. A veterinarian may also recommend an ultrasound to get a better look at the thyroid gland.
If the diagnosis is confirmed, treatment involves giving daily supplementation with thyroid hormones. The goal of treatment is to restore the dog’s energy levels and improve skin, hair, and other symptoms.
In addition to hormone supplementation, dietary changes may also be necessary to help the dog maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Thyroid Test Cost for Dogs
Thyroid tests are used to diagnose thyroid gland diseases in dogs. A complete thyroid panel cost typically ranges from $50 to $150. The tests measure the number of thyroid hormones (thyroxine and triiodothyronine) in the bloodstream.
This helps veterinarians determine if your dog has hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism, two common types of canine thyroid disease.
However, the standard thyroid hormone test typically includes a complete profile of tests, such as:
- Thyroxine (T4)
- Triiodothyronine (T3)
- Thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH)
- TgAA (Thyroglobulin Autoantibodies)
Depending on your pet’s specific condition, the cost of a thyroid test can vary.
The Average Cost of a Thyroid Test
At the University of Missouri, the Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory offers average prices for diagnostic tests on dogs. These tests include thyroid panels and urinalysis.
- Thyroid Panel 1 costs $48
- Thyroid Panel 2 costs $62
- Complete Urinalysis at $22
What Are The Factors That Affect the Cost of Thyroid Test
Factors that typically influence the cost of a thyroid test include the veterinarian and lab fees for collecting and analyzing your pet’s blood sample, as well as any additional tests or treatments prescribed by the veterinarian. Some veterinarians may charge more or less than the average range depending on their location and the complexity of the test.
Does Pet Insurance Cover the Costs of Thyroid Testing?
Pet insurance can be beneficial for unexpected conditions such as thyroid issues in dogs. Thyroid problems often emerge suddenly and without warning, so it’s important to ensure that you have coverage if your dog gets sick or injured.
Testing and treatments for thyroid disorders are costly, but pet insurance can help to offset those expenses with reimbursement of eligible medical costs. Being prepared can help ensure that your pet receives the care they need without breaking the bank.
Final Thoughts on the Cost of the Thyroid Test
A complete thyroid panel usually costs between $50 and $150. Depending on the type of test, your pet’s specific condition, and any additional tests or treatments prescribed by the veterinarian, the cost of a thyroid test can vary. Before having a thyroid test done for your dog, discuss all the potential costs with your vet, so you’re prepared for additional fees.