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Thyroid diseases in animals with vital mushrooms accompany naturally

In dogs and cats, functional disorders and also cancer can be treated very well with vital mushrooms

19 December 2021
Petra Remsing – veterinary practitioner

The thyroid gland is located near the larynx, to the right and left of the esophagus. In both dogs and cats, scattered thyroid tissue is often found in areas outside the thyroid gland, usually in the trachea or heart. This tissue is predominantly hormonally inactive.

The most important thyroid hormones are T3 and T4. These are formed in the thyroid gland from the amino acid tyrosine. The body needs iodine to produce thyroid hormones. T4 owes its name to the 4 iodine atoms. It is called terajodothyronine, better known as L-thyroxine. In the case of T3, triiodothyronine, only 3 iodine atoms are bound to the molecule.

The thyroid gland produces the thyroid hormones in stock. These are then stored on the protein molecule thyroglobulin. This hormone depot is sufficient in humans to maintain thyroid function for two months.

Special features for dogs and cats

Cats often show hyperthyroidism, while dogs tend to be more hypothyroid. Dogs have higher thyroid hormone metabolism, higher iodine metabolism and also higher iodine turnover than humans. They also have a higher iodine content in the blood, as over half of the iodine is released back into the blood by the thyroid gland. They do not have effective iodine storage.

Relative to humans, they show a higher iodine requirement and are tolerant of iodine oversupply but intolerant of undersupply.

Despite this fact, permanent iodine overuse can promote autoimmune hypothyroidism. Insufficient iodine supply leads to hypothyroidism due to iodine deficiency.

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Hypothyroidism - hypothyroidism

Dogs often suffer from hypothyroidism. In cats and horses, this disease is very rare. Depending on where the cause of the disease lies, a distinction is made between primary, secondary or tertiary hypothyroidism.

Tertiary hypothyroidism is a dysfunction of the hypothalamus. There is a deficiency of TRH the thyrotropin releasing hormone.

If the dysfunction is in the pituitary gland’s control circuit, it is called secondary hypothyroidism. Thus, there is reduced or absent stimulation by TSH. Secondary hypothyroidism is rather rare and occurs in only 5% of all cases.

The vast majority of dogs suffer from primary hypothyroidism, here the cause is a dysfunction of the thyroid gland itself. In these animals, elevated TSH levels are found in the blood, while T4 levels are decreased.

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Possible causes of hypofunction

Different causes can be considered for hypothyroidism, with the majority of animals suffering from thyroiditis (inflammation of the thyroid gland). This is an autoimmune condition in which the destruction of thyroid tissue follows a progressive course. The signs of insufficiency only become visible when more than 75% of the thyroid tissue has been destroyed. In this disease, goiter does not occur.

The inflammation causes destruction of the thyroid gland. Causes can be, for example, tuberculosis or mechanical trauma to the neck. These are often injuries from collars or bite wounds. If thyroglobin from the thyroid gland enters the blood as a result of this injury, a defensive reaction of the body and an autoimmune reaction occur. Autoimmune thyroiditis can also be caused by hormonal changes such as castration, by vaccinations, or by iodine deficiency and iodine excess.

Harmful influence of cortisol

Another cause is organ atrophy and degradation of the thyroid gland. The thyroid follicles shrink and decompose and the thyroid tissue is replaced by fatty tissue. Stress and atrophy of the organ in older animals are often seen as triggers. When exposed to stress, various hormones are released that alter numerous bodily functions. One is cortisol.

The increased cortisol level inhibits the new formation of thyroid hormones. This can lead to symptoms of hypothyroidism. In addition, dogs with hypothyroidism are unable to adequately break down cortisol, which further prolongs periods of stress.

Hypothyroidism develops very slowly; clear symptoms only become visible when 90% of the thyroid tissue has already been destroyed.

Symptoms of hypofunction

The first symptoms of hypothyroidism are immune deficiency and various allergies. It also causes skin and coat problems with itching. The animals often have kidney problems and diabetes. In the blood count, liver profile abnormalities are found in bile acid and gamma-GT. Two-thirds of the dogs also have elevated cholesterol levels.

Each animal is unique!

Our experienced team will be happy to advise you in detail and free of charge on all matters relating to the health of your pet:

Hyperthyroidism - Hyperthyroidism

Hyperthyroidism is the most common hormonal disorder in cats and one of the most common diseases in older cats. It occurs in animals over 6 years of age. The triggering factors are not yet known. There is no race or gender predisposition. In 98-99% of all thyroid diseases in cats, hyperthyroidism is caused by an adenoma (benign tumor). A goiter is formed, which is palpable in 96% of all animals. The thyroid gland in a healthy animal is not palpable.

The symptomatology in this disease is different and varies between mild and serious cases. In most animals, multiple organ systems are affected.

The most common symptoms of hyperthyroidism

  • Weight loss with muscle weakness and tremor (tremor)
  • Cardiovascular symptoms such as palpitations (tachycardia up to 360 heartbeats/minute), heart murmurs, or heart failure with pulmonary edema
  • Hyperactivity with a nervous facial expression
  • Polyuria and polydipsia occur in 75% of the animals
  • Vomiting, diarrhea and increased feces
  • Oily seborrhea (greasy skin/hair), unevenly distributed alopecia (hair loss).

Dogs suffer comparatively rarely from hyperthyroidism. Most canine thyroid tumors are carcinomas that are follicular or parafollicular in origin. The tumors are usually large and firm, they grow invasively and have a high tendency to metastasize. Most often, metastases form in the local lymph nodes and in the lungs, but also in other organs. Usually predominantly middle-aged and old dogs get sick, especially frequently boxers, beagles and golden retrievers.

Symptoms of thyroid carcinoma

  • Swelling on the neck
  • Cough and voice disorders (dysphonia= voice disorder)
  • Heavy breathing
  • Polyuria and polydipsia
  • Weight loss and pain

About 20% of carcinomas are hormonally inactive. These are cold knots. As they grow, they destroy thyroid tissue and lead to hypothyroidism. Many thyroid cancers go undetected, especially when no symptoms are present.

Adenomas (benign tumors) rarely occur in dogs. So-called toxic adenomas are an exception.

Vital mushrooms for thyroid disease

The vital mushroom Agaricus blazei murrill (ABM)

The intake of ABM is very good for the regulation of the immune system. It dampens the overshooting TH1 response and lifts the TH2 response, ending the destruction process. This stops the chronic inflammation. Its intake has a positive effect on the antioxidant systems. It contains superoxide dismutase (SOD) and thus has an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effect. It also has anti-cancer effects.

Cordyceps strengthens kidney energy

The regulating effect of cordyceps refers especially to the adrenal gland. It has a particularly positive effect on stressed animals, balancing the release of stress hormones. Cordyceps, like Reishi, is an adaptogen and allows the body to respond adaptively to changing environmental conditions. This minimizes potential damage from prolonged stress responses and helps maintain adaptive strengths in chronic stressful situations.

The exhaustion phase is delayed or avoided. It also has a relaxing, calming and mood-lifting effect. Taking cordyceps strengthens kidney energy, increasing vitality and vigor. Its intake increases natural killer cells and stimulates the immune system via Peyer’s plaques. Cordyceps has a stimulating effect on the body’s SOD and on gluthation peroxidase. This minimizes oxidative stress and protects cells from damage.

The medicinal mushroom Reishi reduces oxidative stress

The Reishi has a balancing effect on the hormone balance. It particularly regulates thyroid hormones. This vital mushroom has a stress-regulating effect on the nervous and hormonal systems. Its intake has a positive effect on the antioxidant systems. It has an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effect. Its polysaccharides stimulate glutathione S-transferase. This reduces oxidative stress and cell damage.

Its triterpenes have an anti-inflammatory effect. As an adaptogen, reishi allows the body to respond adaptively to changing environmental conditions and minimizes potential damage from prolonged stress responses. In addition, this medicinal mushroom helps to maintain the adaptive forces in chronic stress situations and the exhaustion phase is delayed or avoided. Like the ABM, it has the ability to regulate the TH1 / TH2 immune response.

Cordyceps and Reishi are used for both hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism, as these two vital mushrooms have an adaptogenic effect and have a balancing effect. If it is an autoimmune disease or thyroid carcinoma in dog, the ABM is also given.

For mushroom powders there are many suppliers

You will find trustworthy suppliers with controlled organic cultivation in Germany, but unfortunately also less recommendable importers of cheap goods. Read what is important when buying.

Note: The described effects are based on the intake of medicinal mushroom powder prepared from the whole mushroom. Please consult your pet therapist before use.


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