How Much Does Dog Thyroid Medication Cost?


Written by:  Howmuchisit.org Staff
Last Updated:  August 14, 2018

A lot of dogs, unfortunately, are prone to getting hypothyroidism, which, in layman’s terms means your dog’s thyroid gland is unable to produce enough thyroxine — the hormone that is responsible for regulating the dog’s metabolism.  If enough thyroxine is not produced, then your dog may seem lethargic and can result in corneal ulcers, anemia or megaesophagus if left untreated.

Thyroid medication for your dog could be needed for a variety of reasons, including a thyroid gland disorder or thyroid hormone deficiency to name a few, and with multiple brands and types of thyroid medication available on the market, the costs, as with most prescriptions, will greatly vary.

Since there is no known cure, medication will be absolutely necessary to maintain your dog’s thyroid level.

Bruno’s Getting Older 081409F by vmiramontes, on Flickr
Bruno’s Getting Older 081409F” (CC BY 2.0) by vmiramontes

Dog thyroid medication cost

The costs of dog thyroid medication, after being diagnosed, will greatly depend on the vet’s specifications/treatment plan, the medications prescribed and the pharmacy you choose.  With a variety of options on the market, we broke down the most popular options inside the table below along with the costs, but for the most part, be prepared to budget about $10 to $25 a month for the dog’s thyroid medication only.

PrescriptionAverage Cost Found (per tablet)
Levothyroxine (Levothyroxine offers thyroid replacement therapy for dogs with hypothyroidism or related thyroid conditions due to low circulating thyroid hormone. This is FDA approved for dogs only and currently the only FDA medication on the market.)- $0.16 per 0.6 mg
- $0.25 per 1 mg
- $0.09 per 0.1 mg
- $0.10 per 0.2 mg
- $0.13 per 0.3 mg
- $0.14 per 0.4 mg
- $0.15 per 0.5 mg
- $0.18 per 0.7 mg
- $0.19 per 0.8 mg
Soloxine (Soloxine (levothyroxine) is a replacement for the hormone the thyroid gland normally produces to regulate the body's energy and metabolism.)

Brand names include Soloxine (Virbac), Levotabs (Vetus), Synthroid (Knoll), Thyrosin (Vedco), Thyro-Tabs (Vet-a-Mix).
- $0.11 per 0.1 mg
- $0.13 per 0.2 mg
- $0.15 per 0.3 mg
- $0.16 per 0.4 mg
- $0.19 per 0.5 mg
- $0.20 per 0.6 mg
- $0.21 per 0.7 mg
- $0.23 per 0.8 mg
- $0.30 per 1.0 mg

WagWalking.com notes that treatment will require supplements to replace the T3 and T4 thyroid hormones, which cost around $32 monthly.

At the VetDepot, for instance, they offer 18 options, all varying in dosage, with the two brands — Thyro-Tabs and Pala-Tech — ranging from $6 to $30 per 120-180 tablets.  Dosages, according to owners, will be once in the morning and once at night, meaning 120 tablets will last a bit more than 30 days.

Whole-dog-journal notes the standard treatment, which replaces the natural hormone with a synthetic T4 compound can cost about $5 to $10 a month.  The doctor being interviewed recommend 0.1 mg per 12 to 15 pounds twice a day.




The extra costs to consider

As a precaution, your vet will recommend routine blood work, especially in the beginning, to make sure the disease is under control.  Even as time goes on, since your dog needs to be on the medication for life, your vet will want to see your dog one to two times a year to check the thyroid level and adjust the dosages if necessary.  For each visit, plan on budgeting at least $75 to $100 for the visit and the full thyroid panel blood work.

In addition to the medication, while optional, some vets will recommend supplements and/or natural remedies to help with both hypothyroidism and behavior issues.

Treatment

For hypothyroidism, this is typically a lifelong treatment, so it is best to budget the prices mentioned above for the rest of the dog’s life.  Aside from the medication, blood work, in the case of hypothyroidism, will be necessary throughout the dog’s life to measure the thyroid hormone T4 in the blood and adjust the dosage as necessary.  Once the vet deems the medication dosage has stabilized, follow-up visits will be necessary one to two times a year.

As for a thyroid hormone deficiency, your dog, like hypothyroidism, will need to have its blood drawn multiple times in the beginning stages to make sure the hormone levels are normal.  Even as these levels stabilize, your dog will still need to take the medication for life.

If your vet does determine medication is required, it will more than likely contain levothyroxine sodium, which is a synthetic compound that mimics the effects of thyroxine mentioned earlier, effectively helping your dog manage its basal metabolic rate and increase the body’s sensitivity to catecholamines like adrenaline.  As long as the dog takes the medication as per the instructions, most are able to live a long, fulfillable life with little side effects.  At this time, there is no known cure.  The proper dosage will be determined by the severity of the condition, their weight and how well they respond to the drug.

Dog thyroid medication side effects

PetcareRX.com recommends watching out for adverse side effects, including an increase in thirst, hunger and hyperactivity if the dosage is incorrect.  If you were to see any of these signs, you will want to take your dog back to immediately to have them re-adjust the dosage.

Other side effects, as per the FDA, includes no appetite, skin problems, a decrease in activity level, vomiting, diarrhea and/or an increase in drinking.

Breeds at risk

More than 70 percent of the 140 breeds recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC) recognizes hypothyroidism as a major health concern, according to Whole-Dog-Journal.com.  Breeds, according to this list, that are most prone include the English Setter, Polish Lowland Sheepdog (PON), Havanese, Old English Sheepdog, Boxer, American Pit Bull Terrier, German Wirehaired Pointer, Tibetan Terrier, Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever and English Pointer.  Click on the Whole Dog Journal link to see a full list of the breeds.


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