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#345025 - 08/29/17 02:33 PM Questions about hypothyroidism
Karin Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 02/11/10
Posts: 900
Loc: San Jose, California
Likes: 15
Heidi has been tested many times for hypothyroidism and the values always come out normal, and they did in last week's blood test as well. However, they are on the low side of normal (which our vet didn't think was a problem) and I'm wondering if some of her symptoms could be a result of this. The thyroid values were as follows: T4 was 11.4 (range is 8-40) and total thyroid was 1.1 (range is .08-3.5)

For the last couple of weeks, she has been extremely low energy, to the point of not even wanting to go for a walk. When I try to take her, she'll pull back and want to turn around and go back home (even before we pass the house next door!) She used to love going for walks. I really don't think she has any hip pain because, although her hindquarters are weak, she isn't limping and I don't see her being in pain.

When I checked the low thyroid symptoms, here are some others she's had for a while: very dull, thin coat; loss of appetite (although I read that an increased appetite is more the norm); sleeps a lot more than usual; very low energy (sleeps most of the day). Plus, I just read that seizures can be caused by this and I believe she's had some focal or mild seizure-like activity on and off lately.

Our vet is wonderful, but maybe a bit on the conservative side with blood tests, etc., so I wanted to see what people here say before I pursue it. I saw that there is tons of info about thyroid issues on the site, but it's a bit daunting and I have huge work project I'm trying to finish up on that is going to be due soon, so I was hoping to get some of the great minds here to give me some words of wisdom! Thank you in advance!
_________________________
Karin and Dave

Heidi, 11-year-old GSD
Adopted on 10/14/07 from: German Shepherd Rescue of Northern California (http://www.savegsd.org)

Sheba, GSD/Malamute angel

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#345026 - 08/29/17 09:34 PM Re: Questions about hypothyroidism [Re: Karin]
Cassidy's Mom Offline
Veteran

Registered: 02/10/10
Posts: 1349
Loc: SF Bay Area
Likes: 19
Keefer was checked several years ago and his levels were within normal ranges, but on the lower end. There weren't any particular symptoms we'd noticed, it was a routine senior screening. Our vet thought he'd benefit from thyroid meds, so he's been on it ever since, and his levels a month ago were pretty much dead center normal. The meds are very inexpensive, he gets one pill twice a day, and it's around $40.00 for a two month supply.

Have you discussed putting her on thyroid meds with your vet? Here are Keef's 7/25/17 values with his 6/27/14 values following in parenthesis. The initial results are similar to Heidi's but a bit higher:

Total T4 - 1.8 (1.4)
Free T4 - 23.2 (12.9)

I don't think there would be any harm in trying thyroid meds, at least to see if you notice a difference. Personally, I would ask him to prescribe some for her.

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#345027 - 08/29/17 09:38 PM Re: Questions about hypothyroidism [Re: Karin]
Wisc.Tiger_Val Offline
Member First - Owner Second "The Watcher"

Registered: 01/18/10
Posts: 8659
Loc: Wisconsin
Likes: 255
Karin, do you have the dates and values from previous tests?

I hope Lisa sees this, she is so good with all the values of different tests.
_________________________
Val da Tiger

Fuzzybutt the cat.
Neilla the Big White puppy.

RIP Cheyenne - AKA: Digger, CheyChey Girl, Cheyenne Large and In charge. 2/16/02 - 2/27/16
RIP DeeDee - AKA: DD Poo, Little Bit, Binky (part of the Binky and Booboo team) 6/23/02-6/20/11
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#345029 - 08/30/17 11:45 AM Re: Questions about hypothyroidism [Re: Wisc.Tiger_Val]
Mary Jane Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/16/10
Posts: 2658
Likes: 118
You may also want to try Jean Dodd's Hemopet thyroid tests. They have a larger range of hormones they measure and the standards they use are breed and age specific.

http://www.hemopet.org/hemolife-diagnostics/veterinary-thyroid-testing.html

all the best to you and Heidi,
MJ

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#345030 - 08/30/17 03:10 PM Re: Questions about hypothyroidism [Re: Mary Jane]
Karin Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 02/11/10
Posts: 900
Loc: San Jose, California
Likes: 15
Thanks for the comments, advice, and well wishes, everyone! It's very much appreciated!

I'll try and find her previous blood test results for the thyroid panel and post them.

And thanks for sharing your experience with Keefer, Debbie. His results are so similar to hers. Did you notice any difference in him after he started taking the thyroid meds? What is the name of the medication that Keefer uses?

Thanks again, all!!
_________________________
Karin and Dave

Heidi, 11-year-old GSD
Adopted on 10/14/07 from: German Shepherd Rescue of Northern California (http://www.savegsd.org)

Sheba, GSD/Malamute angel

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#345032 - 08/30/17 09:28 PM Re: Questions about hypothyroidism [Re: Karin]
Cassidy's Mom Offline
Veteran

Registered: 02/10/10
Posts: 1349
Loc: SF Bay Area
Likes: 19
Karin, Keef didn't have any symptoms that we'd noticed prior to going on the thyroid meds so we didn't really see a difference. Not that I can remember anyway, this was 3 years ago. I wouldn't have remembered how long he'd been on them, or what his last test results were, but they were right there along the side of the recent test. The low/normal values were discovered in a routine senior screening and in our vet's experience, even though they're still technically "normal", older dogs can benefit from the meds. Many years ago, he prescribed thyroid meds for Sneaker when she was older and had low/normal results too. It was more of a proactive measure with both of them.

Keefer gets Thyro Tabs, the .8 mg ones. One time when I got a refill it was a different name, but when I googled it, it was basically the same medication just a different brand. I don't think it would hurt to try, and it may very well help.

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#345042 - 09/01/17 01:11 AM Re: Questions about hypothyroidism [Re: Cassidy's Mom]
middleofnowhere Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/22/10
Posts: 2641
Likes: 178
OK I'll wake up here. Barker the Elder 2nd has a thyroid what? abnormality? Anyway, she is on a little blue pill once a day. The symptom I remember was weight gain. And that's been taken care of with the pill. Cheapest medication that dog has, too.

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#345044 - 09/01/17 02:46 AM Re: Questions about hypothyroidism [Re: middleofnowhere]
MaxaLisa Offline

Global Moderator

Registered: 01/26/10
Posts: 19428
Loc: Northern CA
Likes: 254
Just seeing the Heidi threads now, sorry!

I would definitely do a trial of thyroid. You are seeing symptoms (anxiety, seizure like acticity) and have low normal values. I wouldn't even bother with additional testing.

Max was about 75 lbs and took .8 in the morning and .7 in the evening. When we started he was not low but low normal. He was the only dog that my vet treated that didn't have overt signs, but I talked her into it because he was never right. It did help his anxiety some (not as much as I would have liked), but we never realized he didn't have an under coat until it started growing in. It was gorgeous and we had no clue his fur was as bad as it was. Guess we didn't know enough about shepherds at that time.
_________________________
MaxaL (aka LisaT)

Jazmine, mini-mix, 10/18/2011
Max-n-Indy
Max, 5/2001-2/2012, RIP my partner, my Regal Boy
Indy, 5/1997-10/2010, RIP my friend, my teacher

Health Index
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#345046 - 09/01/17 12:10 PM Re: Questions about hypothyroidism [Re: MaxaLisa]
Cassidy's Mom Offline
Veteran

Registered: 02/10/10
Posts: 1349
Loc: SF Bay Area
Likes: 19
Originally Posted By: MaxaLisa
Max was about 75 lbs and took .8 in the morning and .7 in the evening. When we started he was not low but low normal. He was the only dog that my vet treated that didn't have overt signs, but I talked her into it because he was never right.


I'm so glad my vet suggested it and I didn't have to insist because I wouldn't have had any idea that that thyroid meds could benefit seniors that were still within normal ranges. We probably avoided any symptoms by having Keef go on the med several years ago.

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#345056 - 09/02/17 02:08 PM Re: Questions about hypothyroidism [Re: Cassidy's Mom]
MaxaLisa Offline

Global Moderator

Registered: 01/26/10
Posts: 19428
Loc: Northern CA
Likes: 254
I agree about how great it was that the vet suggested it. I actually had to switch vets to get Max treated frown It was a battle. I would hate to have to deal with the other symptoms that would have crept up while we were waiting for it to go low enough on the lab tests!
_________________________
MaxaL (aka LisaT)

Jazmine, mini-mix, 10/18/2011
Max-n-Indy
Max, 5/2001-2/2012, RIP my partner, my Regal Boy
Indy, 5/1997-10/2010, RIP my friend, my teacher

Health Index
K9 TBD info and Tick List Links
http://www.rabieschallengefund.org/

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