I received a phone call from a patient whose dog had eaten her entire bottle of thyroid medication! She needed authorization for an early refill, but the first thing I needed to know was if her dog was okay – and thankfully, he was.
The patient was taking a natural dessicated thyroid medication.
Armourthyroid, Naturethroid, and NP thyroid are all natural dessicated thyroid. They are derived from porcine thyroid. Since the thyroid is a glandular organ, I can only imagine that it has a very strong and characteristic smell – it probably smells like delicious organ meat to a dog! What the dog thought were tiny treats for him could end up potentially hurting him.
We often think that if something is natural, it can’t be harmful or dangerous. Please do not assume that everything natural is safe, especially for our pets!
Fortunately for my patient’s dog, her low dose of Armourthyroid did not cause any serious problems.
This situation also happened to one of my colleagues who has hypothyroidism. She told me, “My dog ate mine – the vet tried to have me induce vomiting, but said it wasn’t that high of a dose for a dog. She was definitely hyper for a couple of days though.”
Dogs naturally have higher amounts of circulating thyroid hormone so thyroid medication is not toxic but thyroid medication can potentially do a lot of harm. Depending on the health and size of your pet and the amount of medication they ingested, thyroid medication could cause heart problems and death. Thyroid medication can also cause rapid heart rate, aggression, muscle tremors, panting, and nervousness in dogs. It’s always a good idea to call your vet and/or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center Phone Number: (888) 426-4435.
So, remember to keep all your medication away from your pets
Especially medication that might smell appealing to them like natural dessicated thyroid. If you have a high medicine cabinet, this is ideal, since dogs can easily grab and open a bottle that is placed on the counter or table top. It is also a good idea to label your medications, in case you mix up your own bottles with any that your dog may also be taking. Separating and labeling everything will help prevent a mix up of medications.
Dr. Kimberly Brown, ND is a licensed naturopathic doctor and is an expert in naturally balancing hormones. Her specialities include hypothyroidism, adrenal fatigue, perimenopause, menopause, and other hormone imbalances. She is especially interested in helping patients balance their hormones and helping perimenopausal women over 40 stay fit and feeling good. Dr. Kimberly Brown, ND is also a licensed acupuncturist and uses acupuncture to help her patients stay active and pain free.
Has this ever happened to you where your dog got a hold of your medication and ate it? We would love to hear your story, and what happened. Leave a comment below!