On Monday, the Associated Press reported that the US Department of Defense had discovered that the dog that died at the Pentagon on April 12, 2017, had been euthanized for a genetic disorder called hypothyroidism, which has been linked to increased mortality in older dogs.
A US military spokesperson told the AP that the military was not aware of any previous instances of this occurring, and said it was “reviewing all of the information” regarding the death.
But it’s not clear how the death occurred.
We contacted the Defense Department for comment, but have not heard back.
As of Monday afternoon, the Pentagon had not responded to multiple requests for comment.
A dog euthanizing in the US military is a rare occurrence.
In 2015, the Department of Veterans Affairs announced that there had been four cases of euthanasia for hypothyrosis in the military.
According to the VA, hypothyrosinemia, or hyperthyroidism (the inability to produce enough thyroid hormone to properly regulate thyroid function), can be caused by a variety of factors, including: a family history of thyroid disorders, such as hypothyroxinemia and hypothyroglobulinism; a history of medical or surgical conditions that have impacted thyroid function; or the treatment of an underlying medical condition.
There is no known cure for hypothesis, which can be fatal.
This article has been updated to include comment from the US Defense Department.