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#346926 - 02/13/18 12:49 PM Update on Heidi (hypothyroid issues)
Karin Offline
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Registered: 02/11/10
Posts: 908
Loc: San Jose, California
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I thought I'd give an update on Heidi (original link here ). Heidi has been on thyroid medicine for a little over 4 months now and the change has been pretty remarkable. Her appetite is back and she's put on 5 lbs. She plays again and grabs her toys and throws them up in the air like she used to, no more seizure-like activity, and she even seems to have better mobility. She enjoys going for walks again. Her fur is looking much better: softer, thicker, and shinier. And amazingly, there are no more dementia systems, other than occasional bouts of anxiety and sleeplessness. When we take her for walks, people are very surprised when we tell them she is 12 years old.

We got her thyroid levels retested after 3 months through Hemopet. She is on ThyroTabs (.3 mg) twice a day. She's is definitely doing a lot better, but she still seems to be having some anxiety on and off, plus sometimes she wakes us up in the middle of the night because she is frightened. I've read that sometimes they adjust to the medication and require a higher dose, so I wonder if she needs to go to .4 mg).

It looks like her levels are good according to the Hemopet report (attached). The thing I'm confused about is that it seems like the way they're measuring the results is totally different from her first test (done by the vet), which was free T4: 11.4 and total T4: 1.1. The thing I can't figure out is the free T4 on the former lab from my vet was 11.4 the current free T4 from Hemopet is 1.95. That seems like a big difference. Also, the total T4 from the former lab results was 1.1. I'm not sure what that number corresponds to on the new lab. Any advice or insight would be appreciated!

_________________________
Karin and Dave

Heidi, 12-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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#346929 - 02/13/18 07:08 PM Re: Update on Heidi (hypothyroid issues) [Re: Karin]
Shilohsmom Offline
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Registered: 02/11/10
Posts: 1758
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Can't help with the labs, but sure am happy to read Heidi's update groovy I'm so thankful she is doing so well.
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Rosa

Proud Mom to Eli and Kodiak
and never to be forgotten, Shiloh and Shoshi
Every dog deserves to have a human that thinks its the greatest dog that ever lived!

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#346934 - 02/13/18 08:03 PM Re: Update on Heidi (hypothyroid issues) [Re: Shilohsmom]
Wisc.Tiger_Val Offline
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Registered: 01/18/10
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I am sure Lisa can help you better with the results. I thought that different labs can have different results. I think you need to compare the General Range and the reading of each test, not comparing results against results.

Glad to hear that Heidi Bear is doing so much better. penguin_spin
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#346943 - 02/14/18 12:35 AM Re: Update on Heidi (hypothyroid issues) [Re: Wisc.Tiger_Val]
Karin Offline
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Registered: 02/11/10
Posts: 908
Loc: San Jose, California
Likes: 17
Thanks, guys! I'm glad she's doing better too because we were hardly getting any sleep at all for a while!

I am starting to think that I need to get our vet to up her dosage a bit. I was looking at the original thread and saw that other dogs are taking over twice the amount of medicine than she is (and they definitely didn't weight twice as much as her).

It would be great if the anxiety would come down a bit more. Right now, one of the main signs that she is anxious is that she will start digging: the carpet, the grass, or the gravel. She never used to do that when she was younger but in the last two years, it's been a compulsion with her and pretty destructive if I don't catch her in time. If she could get to the point where she wasn't digging anymore and sleeping through the night regularly, it would be wonderful!
_________________________
Karin and Dave

Heidi, 12-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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#346961 - 02/14/18 08:58 PM Re: Update on Heidi (hypothyroid issues) [Re: Karin]
Shilohsmom Offline
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Registered: 02/11/10
Posts: 1758
Likes: 169
Not sure if it would help but you might want to check out CBD oil for her. I remember reading about how it helps with anxiety. Some oils are better than others and if you want please send me a pm and I will find the place that Kris recommends. She's done a lot of research on this and I trust her.
_________________________
Rosa

Proud Mom to Eli and Kodiak
and never to be forgotten, Shiloh and Shoshi
Every dog deserves to have a human that thinks its the greatest dog that ever lived!

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#346962 - 02/14/18 08:59 PM Re: Update on Heidi (hypothyroid issues) [Re: Shilohsmom]
Shilohsmom Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 02/11/10
Posts: 1758
Likes: 169


Edited by Shilohsmom (02/14/18 09:01 PM)
_________________________
Rosa

Proud Mom to Eli and Kodiak
and never to be forgotten, Shiloh and Shoshi
Every dog deserves to have a human that thinks its the greatest dog that ever lived!

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#346963 - 02/15/18 10:38 AM Re: Update on Heidi (hypothyroid issues) [Re: Shilohsmom]
MaxaLisa Offline

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Registered: 01/26/10
Posts: 19487
Loc: Northern CA
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Just out of curiosity, I would be interested in page 2 of the test, since that contains the blood counts. Everything else on the blood looks good, assuming it was fasting, since the glucose was on the low end. The ALT and Alk Phos though are at the higher end, where everything else looks really good. Is she on any other meds?

As said above, you can't compare results from different labs number for number because they each determine their own normal ranges according to how they do their tests. Also, the units may be different, which means that, for example, one is giving you the number in feet and the other in yards. In this case, it seems like the labs might differ by a decimal point on one of them.

The dose does seem low for a GSD, but not bad to start slow so you can monitor effect. The blood tests will give you a ball park range, but her symptoms will be the key to find tuning the dosage if your vet is open to do doing that, rather than going strictly by the numbers. Since you are treating a dog that had symptoms before going into the actual hypo numbers, treatment may be more based on those symptoms than numbers.

Dodds has a guideline for dosage based on weight. It used to be .1mg per 10 pounds, but it is less than that now, I don't recall the current recommendation.

As for the actual values, I forgot what their ratio means, it's not standardly used. T3 is actually the important hormone, and the T4 somehow converts to T3. The T3 is still at the low end, and MOST importantly, there are still symptoms that might resolve, so I would definitely try a higher dose.

I *think* a lot of the conversion takes place in the liver. Max had a problem getting enough T3. We increased the T4 to a point where we saw hyperactive symptoms and his T3 was still really low. But knowing his symptoms of too much was helpful so I knew what to watch for years later.

I am so happy that the thyroid meds have made such a difference, what a relief!

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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

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