Liquid Medication Developed for Dogs With Hypothyroidism

Levanta is alternative to pills, treating a disorder that slows dogs metabolism.

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A pharmaceutical company has developed a liquid alternative to pills for dogs suffering from hypothyroidism a thyroid-gland disorder that causes lethargy, obesity, coat loss, and dry skin.

Levanta, manufactured by Intervet, is a liquid form of levothyroxine, the medication used to treat the disorder. Hypothyroidism usually affects mid- to large-size breeds such as Golden Retrievers, Doberman Pinschers and Cocker Spaniels. It commonly develops between ages 4 to 10.

Intervet developed the new form of medication after learning through research that 84 percent of dog owners would prefer administering daily liquid medication rather than feeding twice-daily tablets, which dogs sometimes refuse to eat. Levanta can be put directly into the dogs mouth or mixed with food.

When it comes to methods for administering medication, dog owners are looking to their veterinarians for a full range of choices, says Dr. Michael J. Coyne, market development manager for Intervet.

Canine hypothyroidism occurs when a dogs thyroid glands located in the neck decrease production of thyroid hormones, which results in low metabolism. Most cases of hypothyroidism are brought on by a disease in which the dogs own immune system attacks the thyroid glands. Dogs suffering from the condition often become tired easily and have trouble adapting to cold environments, often looking for warm places to lie down.

Thyroxine, a synthetic hormone, is used as treatment for dogs suffering from the disorder.

Posted: Jan. 6, 2006, 3 p.m. EST

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