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Zola and hypothyroidism

Zola and hypothyroidism

Cecilie Hemsen Berg

Zola is a beautiful dog from Sidewalk Specials. She was adopted by Pernille and Rob in 2018 after they had to say goodbye to their previous much loved dog Tilly. Zola quickly settled into the family and loved her new life in a safe and loving environment. In 2021, she suddenly seemed very tired, and she didn’t want to go for walks. Pernille and Rob took her to the vet, and she was diagnosed with hypothyroidism.

hypothyroidism dog

Hypothyroidism is a chronic disease and both medication and diet are an important part of the treatment. Common symptoms of hypothyroidism are: 

  • Low energy level, lethargy
  • Overweight
  • Dry, dull fur
  • Hair loss
  • Chronic infections of the ears and skin
  • Dark pigmentation

In addition to medication, dogs with a low metabolism (hypothyroidism) need to eat food with a lower fat content and high-quality, easily digestible proteins.

hypothyroidism dog

Zola has encountered several obstacles throughout her life as a street dog. “We didn’t know how old she was when we got her, but the vet guessed she was around 5 years old. She was very thin, and she had to be treated for Lyme disease. Luckily, everything went well and we are so incredibly lucky to have her in our lives. All Zola wants is to be loved”, says Pernille.

Pernille, Rob and Zola love spending time outdoors, either hiking in the mountains, going for walks in the forests or jogging along the beach. In 2021, they noticed that Zola was starting to become lethargic and unable to keep up when they went for walks. Her fur became dry and dull. They took her to the vet to do some tests and then came the diagnosis: hypothyroidism. You can read more about hypothyroidism in our blog here.

Diet helps Zola’s hypothyroidism

They were told that Zola had to take chronic medication and change her diet to a prescription diet with lower fat content and easily digestible proteins. After more than a year on the recommended food without any significant changes, Pernille and Rob were looking for another option.

“When we came across Nala Health dog food we agreed with the vet to try it”. The senior and weight control feed suited Zola’s needs perfectly as this recipe has a lower fat content as well as high-quality, easily digestible protein from black soldier fly larvae.

Nala Health dog food

Zola has been eating Nala Health for 2 months and she loves the food. She has regained her energy and is looking forward to joining Pernille and Rob for walks. Hiking up in the beautiful mountains around Cape Town is her absolute preferred outing! Her coat has become soft and shiny, and she is keeping her weight at a healthy level. Pernille has also come up with some extra goodies that she mixes into the food to give some variety. Baked or steamed pumpkin is a favourite.

hypothyroidism dog

Zola means “calm” in the African language Xhosa, and her name fits her personality. She is an incredibly confident and calm dog who quickly settled in with Pernille and Rob. She is very loving, and has never shown fear or nervousness towards other dogs or people, “It’s strange, but it was as if she understood that she had finally come home when she walked through our door. She shows such appreciation and loyalty, which, is incredibly touching”, says Pernille and gives Zola a big hug.