Partial Thyroidectomy: Procedure, Risks, Prevention, & More

The dogs have two thyroid glands on each side of their trachea in the neck. Besides, the most common disease in the thyroid glands is hypothyroidism. Nevertheless, a small number of dogs suffer from hypothyroidism. Inopportunely, the canine thyroid tumors are liable to spread, and they are malignant. The ratio is 90 percent. But the detection of the disease makes it treatable.
The common breeds which suffer from thyroidectomy include the Beagle, Boxer, and Golden Retriever. Indeed, thyroidectomy can cause problems in the dog's whole body because of the invasion of the blood vessels. Consequently, partial or complete thyroidectomy is done with a specialist surgeon. Nevertheless, cancer detection can be encapsulated, and a general veterinary practitioner can attempt the surgery.

Thyroidectomy Procedure

The thyroid glands are present beneath the major blood vessels, including the jugular vein and on the side of the laryngeal nerve. Besides, the thyroid tumors will invade the surrounding blood vessels, so the blood screening of the patient is done before the surgery. It is important to know the cancer stage completely and check the advanced metastatic spread in the patient's lungs.

Further, the dogs are taken for the surgical procedure and given pre-emptive pain relief by inducing the anesthesia. For instance, the dogs will be resting on their back, and the dog's fur is clipped from the throat and neck region. More than that, the surgeon will make a linear incision on the neck and the windpipe. Additionally, the muscles overlying the thyroid and trachea are dissected away. Plus, the thyroid gland was dissected and removed entirely.

The muscles are repaired, and suturing of the incision becomes crucial. The dog will be monitored after the surgery to know if there is any swelling or bleeding. Most dogs are allowed after 24 hours to return home and return after the post-operative check after two days. The stitches will be detached after two weeks.

Effectiveness Of The Procedure

If the thyroid tumor is small, there are chances to remove the gland entirely. On the contrary, the larger tumor makes the surgical procedure less complicated. As the cancer cells and the secondary spread will be already occured. For instance, the long-term outlook entirely depends on the surgical procedure that how the thyroid was removed, and what is the average time of the canine patients to survive. However, the average survival time of the patients is 20 months.
Nonetheless, the early surgical removal of the tumor is wholly a patient's choice. On the other side, large thyroid tumors invade the blood vessels more than other treatments because they extend the patient's life. There are options such as radiotherapy or injection with iodine, but they are not much curative. The all-inclusive cost of the procedure is $32,000.00 approximately.

Thyroidectomy Recovery

Most dogs will be recovering at home for utmost success, uncomplicated partial thyroidectomy, and the suture removal is done after 10 to 14 days. The harness should not be used; instead, the Elizabethan collar is the best option. On the other side, some complications can occur. For instance, the bleeding from the blood vessels is invaded to reduce the thyroid levels in the hormone and calcium levels. Another complication that can occur is the laryngeal nerve. It narrows the larynx, which interferes with the dog's breathing ability and makes swallowing tough.


The surgery will be successful once the tumors have a diameter of less than 4 cm. In addition, there are cases when the thyroid is removed, and there are no chances of secondary spreading. Therefore, there are many chances to obtain the cure with the surgery.
Moreover, advanced tumors will have fewer chances to be cured. But it is confirmed that the surgery will increase the dog's lifespan rather than cure it completely.


There are no triggers of partial thyroidectomy. Thus, prevention is not possible at all.