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December 14, 2006 at 4:10 am #2833
Hi Dr. Jeff
I’m here to ask about thyroid panel results on two dogs.
Both are Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retrievers. Both are raw-fed, Ellie since September 2000, her son Parker since conception. Ellie has had no vaccines since February 1999, Parker had one parvo at 12 weeks, and one distemper at 15 weeks and no other vaccines since. I do not use flea/tick meds, and my dogs are only chemically wormed when fecals indicate they should be.
Ellie is 9 years old, intact. She is currently underweight, by about 4 pounds, earlier this year she ate a huge piece of suet that fell out of a tree, and she has been highly sensitive to fats and red meats, but pancreatitis was ruled out via blood panel. We repeated the panel two weeks ago and there was nothing of concern. She has been shedding her undercoat in winter weather and she is itchy in her “armpits” and around her neck, although her skin has no eruptions or redness. The spring “moults” for the past two years have resulted in a nearly bald dog, but when her coat comes back in, it is thick and luxurious. Her energy level doesn’t seem any different now than it has at any other time this year. I had a full thyroid panel done through Hemopet at the Antech NY lab. TgAA is 6-Negative, but her T4 is .99 (reference range of 1.0-4.0 ng/dL), and her FT4 is .42 (reference range is .45-2.06 ng/dL). Dr. Dodds says: “TgAA is normal, so her low basal thyroid levels are not due to thyroiditis at this time.” Dr. Dodds recommends Soloxine supplementation for Ellie. She cycles about every 10 months and was last in season in mid-July so should be mid-cycle. Ellie had a panel done via Hemopet in October 2001, T4 was 1.84 (reference range 1.0-4.0 pg/dL) and her FT4 was .57 (reference range .65-3 ng/dL). Dr. Dodds at that point said her levels were “borderline normal, because FT4 is discordantly lower than T4.”
Parker is 4.5 years old, intact male. He is only slightly overweight, by about the 4 pounds that Ellie is under. His coat is beautiful, thick and healthy and his energy level is normal, no itchies. He is bright and attentive to work with. His panel is similar to his mother’s: TgAA is 5, T4 is .59 and FT4 is .69. Again, Dr. Dodds recommends Soloxine supplementation. I do not have a previous panel to compare on Parker.
I have a number of questions.
Do the T4 and FT4 numbers indicate thyroid destruction or dysfunction?
What other causes can there be for low basal thyroid levels if these dogs do not have thyroiditis?
Are these values precursors for auto-immune thyroiditis?
Can the T4 and FT4 numbers be influenced by diet and/or supplementation, other than Soloxine?
Would glandulars and homeopathy be worth pursuing for either dog?
What should I take into consideration before opting for Soloxine? My own vet is a little confused by the results on both dogs and did not immediately say we should go with Soloxine. He was actually surprised that I was asking for thyroid testing on both dogs, as he did not think either dog looked or acted hypothyroid.
Thank you for your time. Deena Mottola said I should post here 🙂
Dalry Duck Tollers
Quesnel, British ColumbiaDecember 21, 2006 at 5:09 am #2840
Dr. Jeff FeinmanKeymaster
1-Do the T4 and FT4 numbers indicate thyroid destruction or dysfunction?
2-What other causes can there be for low basal thyroid levels if these dogs do not have thyroiditis?
3-Are these values precursors for auto-immune thyroiditis?
4-Can the T4 and FT4 numbers be influenced by diet and/or supplementation, other than Soloxine?
5-Would glandulars and homeopathy be worth pursuing for either dog?
Although I can’t address each dog’s specific results (as I’m not your vet), you do pose some general questions that I will try to answer (IMHO).
2-Many (genetic in many breeds and almost any illness).
5-Definitely. Realize though that improving the quantitative fuction of the partially destroyed thyroid glands will take more time than clinically improving the functional symptoms of hypothyroidism.
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