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Hypothyroidism Diagnosis In 10 Yo


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I want to try to keep this brief, although I always fail miserably at it. Neyla has been "off" the last couple of weeks, not wanting to take walks, briefly some strange bruising, really goopy eyes - things just didn't seem right. So I took her in for a checkup and blood work. A day later, her weird "episodes" started again (old posts here and here), which many people have said sound like post-ictal behavior, but don't follow any seizures. One person in those threads had mentioned her dog had something similar and was fine after going on meds for hypothyroidism, but I ignored it b/c Neyla's thyroid has always been normal.

 

Today the vet called and her T4 is 0.3 (her last blood work I have, in 2007 - I can't find 2008's right now - it was 1.2)! We'll follow up by getting a full panel, but in the meantime, I have a couple of questions:

 

Is it common for dogs to develop hypothyroidism in their old age (Neyla is 10 now)? I know it happens in people, but don't know how common it is in dogs and specifically greyhounds.

 

Is there an easy way to tell the difference b/w plain old hypothyroidism and ht caused by an illness? For instance, if it were caused by another illness, would only her T4 be low and her other values would be normal? Or would there be other things we'd look for? The vet mentioned that her WBC count was low, but she only left a voicemail and she didn't leave the actual value. Neyla's WBC count always seems to run low based on previous blood work and I know it's also typical for greys to have slightly lower WBC counts anyway so unless it's even lower than normal, I don' t think there's cause for concern there.

 

Has anyone had their dog suddenly develop a low T4 and what did it turn out to be from? Would love any input. I do plan of course to talk to my vet tomorrow and will also do some research online, but always need my trusty GT input. Thanks!

 

 

***Update 7/23***

The MSU panel results came back today.

Free T4: 4 (8-26)

Free T3: 3.1 (4.5-12)

TSH: 18 (0-37)

Thyroglobulin antibody: normal 4 (0.35)

Everything else is within normal range

 

Interpretation is that these values are normal for a greyhound, further supported by normal TSH and lack of antibody presence. It definitely doesn't look like hypothyroidism to me, but does the free T3 seem reasonable to ppl or is this possible evidence of a sick thyroid?

 

Either way, I am so stumped with what is going on with Neyla. Hypothyroidism would have fit. I don't know where to go from here. :dunno

 

I haven't talked to my vet yet, I finally just asked them to fax the darn results b/c I'm leaving town, but my actual vet isn't in today so I won't discuss with her until after Grapehounds.

Edited by NeylasMom

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Jen, CPDT-KA with Zuri, lab in a greyhound suit, Violet, formerly known as Faith, Skye, the permanent puppy, Cisco, resident cat, and my baby girl Neyla, forever in my heart

"The great thing about science is that you're free to disagree with it, but you'll be wrong."

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T4 is meaningless. It is meaningless. Repeat after me: T4 is meaningless.

 

It's annoying that more vets don't understand that.

 

T4 can fluctuate from hour to hour and day to day. It can be 0 in the morning and 2.8 in the afternoon and .5 in the evening. It is not a useful test for diagnosing anything.

 

If your dog has symptoms of hypothyroidism, by all means get a full panel from MSU, with fT4 by equilidbrium dialysis and TSH. That will distinguish true hypothyroidism most of the time.

 

If your dog has no symptoms, ignore the T4 and save your $ for a time of greater need.

Star aka Starz Ovation (Ronco x Oneco Maggie*, litter #48538), Coco aka Low Key (Kiowa Mon Manny x Party Hardy, litter # 59881), and mom in Illinois
We miss Reko Batman (Trouper Zeke x Marque Louisiana), 11/15/95-6/29/06, Rocco the thistledown whippet, 04/29/93-10/14/08, Reko Zema (Mo Kick x Reko Princess), 8/16/98-4/18/10, the most beautiful girl in the whole USA, my good egg Joseph aka Won by a Nose (Oneco Cufflink x Buy Back), 09/22/2003-03/01/2013, and our gentle sweet Gidget (Digitizer, Dodgem by Design x Sobe Mulberry), 1/29/2006-11/22/2014, gone much too soon. Never forgetting CJC's Buckshot, 1/2/07-10/25/10.

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The way I understand it is, they cannot diagnose hypothyroidism by the T4 alone. They need to do a complete thyroid blood panel. Dylan just had his T4 come back at 0.2 and it was 1.4 in 2007. Dr. Couto explained that it may mean nothing, but you must get a TSH, T4 and Free T4 done. I know Michigan State does a complete thyroid panel which is where Dylan is having his thyroid panel sent. His blood draw is tomorrow. Good luck! Let us know...

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I'm aware that a low T4 alone doesn't mean she's hypothyroid. Note that in my original post I said we would followup by getting a full panel. And yes, I will use MSU, which is the lab I've always insisted on for our foster dogs.

 

What I'm looking for is the answer to my other questions in the event that the full panel does confirm the diagnosis or that the low T4 combined with other things might be indicative of another illness, and if so, what those things might be so I can make sure my vet checks them. I'm very familiar with hypothyroidism in greyhounds (and the misdiagnosis of it), I'm not as informed on it in seniors or as a result of other illness. Looking forward to any responses to those questions, thanks!

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Jen, CPDT-KA with Zuri, lab in a greyhound suit, Violet, formerly known as Faith, Skye, the permanent puppy, Cisco, resident cat, and my baby girl Neyla, forever in my heart

"The great thing about science is that you're free to disagree with it, but you'll be wrong."

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I believe that a full panel should be able to tell the difference between a dog that is hypothyroid or a dog that is euthyroid sick. Does that help??

 

 

edited cause it's been a longggggday and I can't spell--gezz it wasn't even a long response :rolleyes:

Edited by tbhounds
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Gee suddenly developed the symptoms for low thyroid around 9 1/2. She had horribly itchy skin, became very listless, just laid around a lot, more than normal. I had her checked for everything that could cause the itchy skin and such and came up with no answers. Had her thyroid checked and low and behold her thyroid was low. She started on thyroid meds and she's doing great now. She never tested low when she was younger.

Judy, mom to Darth Vader, Bandita, And Angel

Forever in our hearts, DeeYoGee, Dani, Emmy, Andy, Heart, Saint, Valentino, Arrow, Gee, Bebe, Jilly Bean, Bullitt, Pistol, Junior, Sammie, Joey, Gizmo, Do Bee

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What I'm looking for is the answer to my other questions in the event that the full panel does confirm the diagnosis or that the low T4 combined with other things might be indicative of another illness, and if so, what those things might be so I can make sure my vet checks them.

 

Ah, gotcha. :)

 

If the fT4 is low, the other data on the panel should help you determine whether it's due to thyroidal illness or something else. Unfortunately, if it's something else, the panel can't tell you what it might be. Most any kind of illness or stress can cause a low T4 reading.

 

Here is some good info: http://www.animalhealth.msu.edu/Sections/E...roid_Canine.php

Star aka Starz Ovation (Ronco x Oneco Maggie*, litter #48538), Coco aka Low Key (Kiowa Mon Manny x Party Hardy, litter # 59881), and mom in Illinois
We miss Reko Batman (Trouper Zeke x Marque Louisiana), 11/15/95-6/29/06, Rocco the thistledown whippet, 04/29/93-10/14/08, Reko Zema (Mo Kick x Reko Princess), 8/16/98-4/18/10, the most beautiful girl in the whole USA, my good egg Joseph aka Won by a Nose (Oneco Cufflink x Buy Back), 09/22/2003-03/01/2013, and our gentle sweet Gidget (Digitizer, Dodgem by Design x Sobe Mulberry), 1/29/2006-11/22/2014, gone much too soon. Never forgetting CJC's Buckshot, 1/2/07-10/25/10.

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Guest Energy11

We JUST got back Curfew's Phenobarb levels, and his bloodwork today. HIS T4 was on the low end, .5. I have requested A FREE T4 to be done. According to my former vet/friend, with whom I have been communicating with most of the evening, HE says a FREE T-4 is the best way to determine low thyroid. So, it has been requested.

 

Good Luck, and maybe you need to request a FREE T-4, as well. D

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Now we're talking ;) Sorry if I sounded cranky in my response, have not had much sleep the last couple of nights with Neyla waking me up. And I am just now eating dinner. Tired and hungry + Jen = :shakefinger

 

 

Thanks, I totally forgot they had all this info on their site.

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Jen, CPDT-KA with Zuri, lab in a greyhound suit, Violet, formerly known as Faith, Skye, the permanent puppy, Cisco, resident cat, and my baby girl Neyla, forever in my heart

"The great thing about science is that you're free to disagree with it, but you'll be wrong."

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You didn't sound any crankier than I did :lol , tired and crabby Batmom didn't read your first post carefully. Duh. Apologies.

Star aka Starz Ovation (Ronco x Oneco Maggie*, litter #48538), Coco aka Low Key (Kiowa Mon Manny x Party Hardy, litter # 59881), and mom in Illinois
We miss Reko Batman (Trouper Zeke x Marque Louisiana), 11/15/95-6/29/06, Rocco the thistledown whippet, 04/29/93-10/14/08, Reko Zema (Mo Kick x Reko Princess), 8/16/98-4/18/10, the most beautiful girl in the whole USA, my good egg Joseph aka Won by a Nose (Oneco Cufflink x Buy Back), 09/22/2003-03/01/2013, and our gentle sweet Gidget (Digitizer, Dodgem by Design x Sobe Mulberry), 1/29/2006-11/22/2014, gone much too soon. Never forgetting CJC's Buckshot, 1/2/07-10/25/10.

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It can be caused by other things, and usually those other things come along with their own symptoms.

Example, Misty's thyroid tested really low, and the ONLY symptom she had was losing her nails.

She was also 2 months later, maybe a little sooner, dx with Cushings. Once her cortisol level was stabilized, her thyroid returned to normal.

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Missing my little Misty who took a huge piece of my heart with her on 5/2/09, and Ekko, on 6/28/12

 

 

:candle For the sick, the lost, and the homeless

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Well it looks like the free T4 my vet ordered (she ordered it before even calling me and told the lab who had Neyla's blood to run it) won't be in until tomorrow rather than today. I did confirm that everything else on the blood chem was normal. WBC count was 3.4, which is normal for Neyla. So we're on hold until tomorrow when we see what the free T4 says. We still plan to draw blood again and send for a full panel w/MSU if it's low as well. I'll report back tomorrow - results should be in at 2 but who knows when she'll call.

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Jen, CPDT-KA with Zuri, lab in a greyhound suit, Violet, formerly known as Faith, Skye, the permanent puppy, Cisco, resident cat, and my baby girl Neyla, forever in my heart

"The great thing about science is that you're free to disagree with it, but you'll be wrong."

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The free T4 my vet ordered before we talked came back. Neyla's value was 8, normal range is 8-30ish (can't remember the upper end), so we're going to go ahead with the MSU panel when I can get her in for another blood draw and see what comes up. So basically more waiting. I'm hoping maybe I can get her in tomorrow, but it may have to wait until next week. :( I know, boring update, but I wanted to try out my new GT Supporter features. :blush

gallery_12662_3351_862.jpg

Jen, CPDT-KA with Zuri, lab in a greyhound suit, Violet, formerly known as Faith, Skye, the permanent puppy, Cisco, resident cat, and my baby girl Neyla, forever in my heart

"The great thing about science is that you're free to disagree with it, but you'll be wrong."

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... I know, boring update, but I wanted to try out my new GT Supporter features. :blush

 

:lol

 

Hope you can get if figured out, Jen. Turbo sends butt-sniffs and says he'd gladly play with Neyla since her pesky brother won't.


Meredith with Heyokha (HUS Me Teddy) and Crow (Mike Milbury). Missing Turbo (Sendahl Boss), Pancho, JoJo, and "Fat Stacks" Juana, the psycho kitty. Canku wakan kin manipi.

"Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities." - Voltaire

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  • 2 weeks later...

Bumping for myself since I still haven't gotten down using my new supporter features. :rolleyes:

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Jen, CPDT-KA with Zuri, lab in a greyhound suit, Violet, formerly known as Faith, Skye, the permanent puppy, Cisco, resident cat, and my baby girl Neyla, forever in my heart

"The great thing about science is that you're free to disagree with it, but you'll be wrong."

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Most sighthounds I know well (my own and a few others) run low T4's most of the time. It's just a sighthound thing. Dunno that MSU would even consider your results "sick euthyroid."

 

Looking back at your old posts, I wonder if you were on to something about stomach upset? Zema acts like that *outside* when she has the runs. She wants to go, but she doesn't want to go 'cause things don't feel right.

 

That's all I can think of :( .

Star aka Starz Ovation (Ronco x Oneco Maggie*, litter #48538), Coco aka Low Key (Kiowa Mon Manny x Party Hardy, litter # 59881), and mom in Illinois
We miss Reko Batman (Trouper Zeke x Marque Louisiana), 11/15/95-6/29/06, Rocco the thistledown whippet, 04/29/93-10/14/08, Reko Zema (Mo Kick x Reko Princess), 8/16/98-4/18/10, the most beautiful girl in the whole USA, my good egg Joseph aka Won by a Nose (Oneco Cufflink x Buy Back), 09/22/2003-03/01/2013, and our gentle sweet Gidget (Digitizer, Dodgem by Design x Sobe Mulberry), 1/29/2006-11/22/2014, gone much too soon. Never forgetting CJC's Buckshot, 1/2/07-10/25/10.

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Most sighthounds I know well (my own and a few others) run low T4's most of the time. It's just a sighthound thing. Dunno that MSU would even consider your results "sick euthyroid."

 

Looking back at your old posts, I wonder if you were on to something about stomach upset? Zema acts like that *outside* when she has the runs. She wants to go, but she doesn't want to go 'cause things don't feel right.

 

That's all I can think of :( .

 

" There's other stuff going on aside from the "eipsodes" though - she seems very thin despite no exercise and how much I'm feeding her and she won't go for walks at all most days. She drags even on bathroom walks and freezes up when I try to take longer walks. I'm pretty sure it's not behavioral and I'm pretty sure it's not actual pain from her toe, although maybe something else is devloping from her not walking normally as a result of the toe issue for some time. This has all been for weeks so stomach upset doesn't fit. Oh, and she had another accident on teh crapet the other morning (she peed).

 

I also sort of accidentally took her off all of her meds - the only change was she seems more playful inside. I wonder if the Tramadol doesn't keep her a little doped up (50 mg 2x/day). I'm going to start her back on things one at a time, first her glucoasmine, then her Tramadol at half the dosage, and then we'll see whether we want to go back to full tramadol dosage and/or add the chinese meds back in. But either way, being off of them hasn't changed the walking issue. :dunno

 

The only other thing I can think is to make sure we did a Babesia test but I'm almost certain we did when she had her kidney problems. Her 3-way snap test last week was clear. We've done blood work, multiple urinalyses, a urine culture, x-rays, nothing - but something just isn't right. :(

 

ETA: Oh, she had one of her middle of the night"episodes" sort of randomly last week and she had been off her meds for a little bit. Our theory was that it was teh increased glucosamine dosage that was causing the stomach upset. That doesn't mean it couldn't be caused by other things at other times, just my last bit of info. I know, this is hopeless - it's a needle in the haystack, but my momma radar is going off. I hate that we may just have to wait and see. My only other thought is to try a neurologist to discuss teh episodes and the leg shaking but I think that will be another $150 down teh drain that I really don't have. Ok, I'm done, i swear, have to go to bed so I can got o Grapehounds tomorrow. :P

Edited by NeylasMom

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Jen, CPDT-KA with Zuri, lab in a greyhound suit, Violet, formerly known as Faith, Skye, the permanent puppy, Cisco, resident cat, and my baby girl Neyla, forever in my heart

"The great thing about science is that you're free to disagree with it, but you'll be wrong."

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How long has she been taking Tramadol? That could definately affect things! Made Joseph *extremely* weird. Could also affect the thyroid panel.

Star aka Starz Ovation (Ronco x Oneco Maggie*, litter #48538), Coco aka Low Key (Kiowa Mon Manny x Party Hardy, litter # 59881), and mom in Illinois
We miss Reko Batman (Trouper Zeke x Marque Louisiana), 11/15/95-6/29/06, Rocco the thistledown whippet, 04/29/93-10/14/08, Reko Zema (Mo Kick x Reko Princess), 8/16/98-4/18/10, the most beautiful girl in the whole USA, my good egg Joseph aka Won by a Nose (Oneco Cufflink x Buy Back), 09/22/2003-03/01/2013, and our gentle sweet Gidget (Digitizer, Dodgem by Design x Sobe Mulberry), 1/29/2006-11/22/2014, gone much too soon. Never forgetting CJC's Buckshot, 1/2/07-10/25/10.

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Guest gretzky

No thyroid advice but I'm wondering, how was the urine for the culture collected? Zella had 2 UA's and a clean catch culture that all came back normal. After she pee'd in the backseat of the car they did a needle collection and she had a raging infection with 2 different bacteria.

 

Hope you get it figured out soon.

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