The University of Southampton
University of Southampton Institutional Repository

Altered thyroid function and behavioural change in the domestic dog canis familiaris

Altered thyroid function and behavioural change in the domestic dog canis familiaris
Altered thyroid function and behavioural change in the domestic dog canis familiaris

The behavioural patterns of a clinical population of 82 dogs diagnosed with a behaviour disorder were measured in both familiar and unfamiliar environments in order to establish a representative record of their behavioural repertoire. The observed behaviour patterns and clinical diagnoses were then compared to the dogs' thyroid status. In a separate study, the behaviour, thyroid hormones and plasma cortisol titres of 11 dogs with problematic behaviour was monitored for a six-week period during the implementation of behaviour modification programmes. Lastly, the incidence of behaviour disorders in a population of 218 dogs with different profiles of thyroid function was also examined.

A relationship was found between thyroxine and the incidence of aggressive behaviour in dogs; however this relationship indicated that a low level of thyroxine was associated with low rather then high levels of aggression. Reduced levels of thyroid hormone were generally associated with reduced behavioural activity, both directly observed and as reported by owners. Reporting of separation related disorders was reduced in the antibody positive forms of hypothyroidism, probably due to a reduction in overall activity, whilst training disorders and coprophagia were associated with the sub clinical form of hypothyroidism, possibly mediated through stress hormones.

Reduced thyroid function appears to be associated with inactive behaviour patterns, which is consistent with the observation that the principle symptom of hypothyroidism is lethargy. The findings of this thesis do not support proposal that lowered thyroid function is related to aggressive behaviour in the dog. The link between behaviour, thyroid hormone titre and cortisol was explored, but insufficient physiological data was available and this connection warrants further investigation.

Comparisons of diagnoses by three clinicians of 15 cases from the clinical population indicated only 60% agreement, pointing to a need for a more transparent and consistent system for the classification of behavioural disorders in dogs.

University of Southampton
Barlow, Theresa Anne
Barlow, Theresa Anne

Barlow, Theresa Anne (2002) Altered thyroid function and behavioural change in the domestic dog canis familiaris. University of Southampton, Doctoral Thesis.

Record type: Thesis (Doctoral)

Abstract

The behavioural patterns of a clinical population of 82 dogs diagnosed with a behaviour disorder were measured in both familiar and unfamiliar environments in order to establish a representative record of their behavioural repertoire. The observed behaviour patterns and clinical diagnoses were then compared to the dogs' thyroid status. In a separate study, the behaviour, thyroid hormones and plasma cortisol titres of 11 dogs with problematic behaviour was monitored for a six-week period during the implementation of behaviour modification programmes. Lastly, the incidence of behaviour disorders in a population of 218 dogs with different profiles of thyroid function was also examined.

A relationship was found between thyroxine and the incidence of aggressive behaviour in dogs; however this relationship indicated that a low level of thyroxine was associated with low rather then high levels of aggression. Reduced levels of thyroid hormone were generally associated with reduced behavioural activity, both directly observed and as reported by owners. Reporting of separation related disorders was reduced in the antibody positive forms of hypothyroidism, probably due to a reduction in overall activity, whilst training disorders and coprophagia were associated with the sub clinical form of hypothyroidism, possibly mediated through stress hormones.

Reduced thyroid function appears to be associated with inactive behaviour patterns, which is consistent with the observation that the principle symptom of hypothyroidism is lethargy. The findings of this thesis do not support proposal that lowered thyroid function is related to aggressive behaviour in the dog. The link between behaviour, thyroid hormone titre and cortisol was explored, but insufficient physiological data was available and this connection warrants further investigation.

Comparisons of diagnoses by three clinicians of 15 cases from the clinical population indicated only 60% agreement, pointing to a need for a more transparent and consistent system for the classification of behavioural disorders in dogs.

Text
891111.pdf - Version of Record
Available under License University of Southampton Thesis Licence.
Download (15MB)

More information

Published date: 2002

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 464908
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/464908
PURE UUID: 3fd7b576-e87e-46b1-af9f-f9197178d0ec

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 05 Jul 2022 00:09
Last modified: 05 Jul 2022 03:31

Export record

Contributors

Author: Theresa Anne Barlow

Download statistics

Downloads from ePrints over the past year. Other digital versions may also be available to download e.g. from the publisher's website.

View more statistics

Atom RSS 1.0 RSS 2.0

Contact ePrints Soton: eprints@soton.ac.uk

ePrints Soton supports OAI 2.0 with a base URL of http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/cgi/oai2

This repository has been built using EPrints software, developed at the University of Southampton, but available to everyone to use.

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive cookies on the University of Southampton website.

×