By CBS3 Staff

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — January is Thyroid Awareness Month. People have thyroids, animals have thyroids and sometimes they can get out of whack.  A thyroid is a small gland that produces a lot of hormones that control a lot of the body functions, so if that goes out of whack you can find your body going out of whack.

Animal advocate Carol Erickson joined Eyewitness News with some advice.

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According to the American Kennel Club, it’s pretty common in dogs and especially in the mostly middle to large size dogs. Thyroid disease is relatively common in dogs.

It’s called hypothyroidism and the symptoms, it’s mostly all related to the dog’s slowing metabolism. So the dog might be lethargic, gaining weight easily, have cold intolerance, exercise intolerance, or they might just seem dull.

The vet can diagnose this by blood tests and exams and then a simple pill a day can make this condition treatable.

In cats, it’s just the opposite, middle-aged and older cats, many of them, can get hyperthyroidism. And as the name might suggest, hyperthyroidism means an overactive thyroid and signs of that are weight loss even with a strong appetite, increased thirst, urination and they may even have greasy coats or behavior changes.

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If you notice any of these things you need to talk to your vet about why is this happening.

Watch the video for this week’s full segment.

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