Hypothyroidism - Reptiles
Hypothyroidism can be seen in herbivorous reptiles that are fed a diet deficient in iodine. This is most commonly seen in species that evolved in an volcanic environment such as Galapagos tortoises, as plants that hold large quantities of halogens (such as iodine and bromine) are plentiful in these areas. Problems are often exacerbated by the feeding of plants that actually decrease thyroid gland function, such as cabbages.
Clinical Signs & Diagnosis
The reptile normally presents with large fibrous goitres. When combined with the history and signalment this should be diagnostic. Normal thyroid hormone values are not normally available for the affected species, therefore it is of little use to measure them.
Treatment & Prevention
Iodine supplementation should be given either orally or intravenously approximately once a week.
The condition can be prevented by supplementing the diet with kelp tablets, which are a non-toxic source of iodine.
|Hypothyroidism - Reptiles Learning Resources|
Test your knowledge using flashcard type questions
|Reptiles and Amphibians Q&A 17|
Frye, FL & Williams, DL (1995) Self-Assessment Colour Review - Reptiles & Amphibians Manson
Norton, TM & Jacobson ER (1989) Medical Management of a Galapagos Tortoise with Hypothyroidism Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine Vol. 20, No. 2, Jun. 1989
|This article has been peer reviewed but is awaiting expert review. If you would like to help with this, please see more information about expert reviewing.|
|WikiVet® Introduction - Help WikiVet - Report a Problem|