The best available technology for early detection of autoimmune thyroiditis in dogs is a sensitive assay for THYROGLOBULIN AUTOANTIBODY (TgAA). A commercial kit for TgAA analysis is manufactured by Oxford Laboratories (Product Number: VT 10), and is available to veterinary laboratories worldwide. The TgAA assay is recommended by the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) for its canine thyroid registry. In the United States and Canada, veterinarians can have blood tested by an approved veterinary laboratory. This OFA registry records and stores data concerning the incidence of autoimmune thyroiditis. This enables more complete genetic counseling and provides data for research purposes. This test is recommended for all dogs that will be used in breeding programs or those with a history of thyroid disease.
Canine Autoimmune Thyroditis is genetically transmitted. The most conclusive study is being performed by Nachreiner and Coworkers at Michigan State University (Conaway, DH, Padgett, GA, and Nachreiner, RF: The Familial Occurrence of Lymphocytic Thyroiditis in Borzoi Dogs. Am J Med Genetics 1985;22:409-414.)
Other studies report the familial patterns of inheritance of the disease as well. One recent report of a large study in beagles was reported in the Journal of Veterinary Pathology (Benjamin SA, Stephens LC, Hamilton BF, et al. Associations between lymphocytic thyroiditis, hypothyroidism, and thyroid neoplasia in beagles. Vet Path 1996;33:486-494.)