Jump to content

Trembling Senior

Guest SusanP

Recommended Posts

Guest SusanP

Our tremoring senior girl Simon's total T-4 is 0.3 (last time it was checked it was 19). We'll get the free t-4 results tomorrow. Hoping it's going to be just a matter of her taking thyroid meds, but if the free-T-4 comes back normal, vet says it could be lots of different things that are causing total T-4 to be low. Am I understanding this all right?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest meandmygreys

Your best bet would be if BURPDOG or HUBCITYPAM sees this..they seem to know all those levels and vet like stuff..PM them if you are able to.



Edited by meandmygreys
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest SusanP

I could have sworn she said 19...? She didn't mention doing the full thyroid panel; we did it a couple of years ago, and that's what the old reading was from. I'll ask...and what does an equilibrium dialysis do--and what is it? A test on blood or ???

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Blood test. You made me go look :lol


I find the comment about the TSH in this particular article interesting as I have read and been told the TSH was disappointing in dogs as it was not as accurate as in people:


Thyroid testing


The image we have of canine hypothyroidism has changed during the last decade. We use to consider it as the most common endocrinopathy in dogs. Most endocrinologists will agree that nowadays, other endocrine diseases such as hypercortisolism, are more frequently observed. In the past, many dogs have been erroneously diagnosed with hypothyroidism. Indeed, evaluation of thyroid function in dogs is not always straightforward. The vague and non-specific clinical signs of hypothyroidism and the fact that numerous factors can influence thyroid function test results are major contributors to the difficulty in diagnosing this disease.


Tests Available to Assess the Thyroid Gland in Dogs


Table. Advantages and disadvantages of the most commonly used tests to evaluate thyroid function in dogs.








Not expensive

Readily available

Normal values allow 'exclusion' of hypothyroidism

Decreased with SNTD

Decreased after administration of certain drugs

A decreased T4 alone does not allow a reliable diagnosis of hypothyroidism (low specificity)




Not expensive


1/4 of hypothyroid dogs have TSH values within the reference range (low sensitivity)

Always use in combination with T4



Is less influenced by SNTD or through drug administration than TT4

The only reliable method includes equilibrium dialysis Not readily available in all countries





Was and still is considered as the gold standard

Bovine TSH is not easily available anymore rhTSH

Expensive 4 to 6 hours lasting test

Anaphylactic reactions were described with bTSH


SNTD: systemic non-thyroid disease




How is hypothyroidism diagnosed?


All diagnosis begins with an examination and taking of a history. Your veterinarian will be looking for clinical signs of hypothyroidism during a thorough physical examination of the dog, and will ask questions about your dog’s health and behavior. If hypothyroidism is suspected, a blood test will be ordered. There are a number of different methods for testing the thyroid. They involve some complicated terminology, but it is important to understand the efficacy of these tests when discussing diagnosis with your veterinarian:

Baseline T4 Test or Total T4 (TT4): This is the most common test. Dogs with a failure of the thyroid gland will have a lowered level of the T4 hormone. However, there are other conditions that can cause the T4 to decrease, so if this test comes back positive for hypothyroidism your vet should recommend an additional blood test, either the T3 Test or the Baseline TSH test.

Baseline TSH Test: Measures the level of Thyroid Stimulating Hormone. In combination with the T4 or T3 test provides a more complete picture of the hormonal activity of your dog’s thyroid gland.

Free T4 by RIA (radio immunoassay): The Free T4 test using RIA techniques does not appear to be more or less accurate than the above TT4 test.

Free T4 by ED (equilibrium dialysis): This test may provide more accurate data on the level of T4 hormone in your dog’s bloodstream.

Baseline T3 Test: In combination with the T4 or TSH test, these two blood tests can give a clearer picture of the hormone levels found in the bloodstream. This test is not reliable when used alone. The T3 Test should always be given in combination with one of the other blood tests.

TSH Response Test: In this test, the veterinarian takes an initial measurement of the thyroid hormones in your dog’s bloodstream, and then injects Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) into the vein. After 6 hours a blood sample is drawn and the level of T4 is checked. If your dog has hypothyroidism, the level of T4 will not increase even after the TSH is injected. This is an expensive test and is being used less often due to decreased production by the manufacturers.

Diane & The Senior Gang

Burpdog Biscuits

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...