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Thyroid Medicines & Seizure Dog


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Lucy's recent bloodwork indicated that she is hypothyroid and she got started on thyroid medicines yesterday. Coincidentally, her seizures have gotten more frequent which could be a side effect of hypothyroidism. I'm still waiting for the results but, the doctor said - she was so low that she was not even at the low normal which would be normal for a greyhound.

 

My question is that she got started on 0.6 mg bid which seems like it might be a normal start dose for a regular dog BUT NOT FOR A GREYHOUND. We are re-checking her bloods in three weeks but, I've adjusted the dose down to 0.3 bid rather than the 0.6 bid of the levythyroxine. For people that have their dogs on thyroid supplements - what medicine are you giving, how much of it, and where are you getting it.

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Assume a full thyroid panel was done, with free T4 by equilibrium dialysis and TSH? Some seizure meds (including phenobarbital) depress T4, so you won't get an accurate result back on a regular chemistry 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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Not really sure why you think a gh would be supplemented any different than any other breed??? You supplement by the bloodwork results not by the breed. Not going to get into the whole gh thyroid debate but, I absoulely agree with batmoms post above.

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Assume a full thyroid panel was done, with free T4 by equilibrium dialysis and TSH? Some seizure meds (including phenobarbital) depress T4, so you won't get an accurate result back on a regular chemistry panel.

 

She's not on pheno - she's on Zonisamide and Keppra. As far as I know, these two meds do not depress T4. A full panel was done, awaiting the paper results but, wanted to start her on meds because her seizures are about 9 days apart now.

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Zonisamide can depress T4. Not sure about Keppra. Recent seizure (recent to the blood draw) can also cause some wacky things -- depressed T4, elevated TSH ...... Not saying you shouldn't medicate her, just things to watch out for if her seizures increase on the meds. Best luck in keeping her happy and well controlled!

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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.6 twice a day

.8 twice a day

 

If you are having issues with seizures you probably want to do exactly as the vet says... Maybe call to make sure? I really wouldn't cut the dose in half without consulting.

------

 

Jessica

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Not really sure why you think a gh would be supplemented any different than any other breed??? You supplement by the bloodwork results not by the breed. Not going to get into the whole gh thyroid debate but, I absoulely agree with batmoms post above.

 

I agree that you supplement according to the bloodwork but, I'm concerned about over-shooting in this initial stage and giving her too much which I think is a valid concern. My plan is to start cautiously and check the bloodwork in 3 weeks and adjust again if necessary. I also wanted to find out if 0.6 bid was a level that other greyhounds had been started on.

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Zonisamide can depress T4. Not sure about Keppra. Recent seizure (recent to the blood draw) can also cause some wacky things -- depressed T4, elevated TSH ...... Not saying you shouldn't medicate her, just things to watch out for if her seizures increase on the meds. Best luck in keeping her happy and well controlled!

 

 

She had a seizure the Saturday before the blood draw which was on Wednesday so I expect that she was past any overt effects on the blood work from the seizure. This news, while not great, could explain the recent uptick in seizures over the past 4 months, so being an optimist, I think that it might give better control over the seizures. But, being ever so wary of the mistakes that the medical community can make and the focus on "procedural medicine" would really like to take some baby steps her in getting her to a maintenance dose.

 

She's actually pretty happy, she's getting a bit more comfortable and it seems to help that she sleeps right next to me at night (I sleep on the floor now) and that way I can grab her when she starts a seizure. She gets very violent at the beginning but, if I can grab her and hold her, I can limit whatever damage could happen. My other dogs seem to be OK with her too which is important but, I still muzzle all and separate when I leave the house.

.6 twice a day

.8 twice a day

 

If you are having issues with seizures you probably want to do exactly as the vet says... Maybe call to make sure? I really wouldn't cut the dose in half without consulting.

 

 

Thank you for this information. You have two that are on thyroid meds? Did they start at that dose? It's funny that it was me that insisted on the thyroid tests as the neurologist was pretty blase about it. She is just starting the medicines, yesterday was the first dose so think of it more as starting slowly and working up to the value. I agree that I would not cut a dose in 1/2 if they are already on it - not a good thing to do.

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Sunshine started on that dose, Rainy started on .6, then we tried .9, then moved back down to .8. Not sure if .3 will make much of a difference with a greyhound... This is not a med that we started out slowly and increased more. Hope it helps her!

------

 

Jessica

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The typical starting dose is 0.1mg/10lbs and then adjust from there.

Oops-forgot to say that it's given every 12 hours :-)

 

Yes, I read that. I also dug up some material from Dr. Dodds book on Thyroid and she has a special section on sighthounds. While I don't believe everything that Dr. Dodds says (and the blood work was not done there), She recommends 0.1 mg for 20lbs on a sighthound twice a day. Her conclusion was based on the metabolism of greyhounds being slower (maybe why our fur-babies sleep so much :) ).

 

With this discrepancy in opinions (even though one is not well-respected), I'm a bit torn and because of that, I don't see the harm in doing a smaller dose now and increasing later. I would rather do it that way than over-medicating now and decreasing the dose later. This is why I'm hoping others that started their greyhounds on thyroid medicines respond, if they all started at about 0.6 bid and that was fine for the maintenance dose , then I'll increase Lucy's dose to that level.

Sunshine started on that dose, Rainy started on .6, then we tried .9, then moved back down to .8. Not sure if .3 will make much of a difference with a greyhound... This is not a med that we started out slowly and increased more. Hope it helps her!

 

 

It's good to hear that you did not have a problem with the initial dose at 0.6 bid with two dogs. Based on what you are saying, I'm inclined to increase her dosage.

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Carl gets .7, broken in half and given bid, Doodles gets .6 broken in half given bid. I tried the generic first, then asked to switch to Soloxine and they've been on Soloxine ever since.

Sunsands Doodles: Doodles aka Claire, Bella Run Softly: Softy aka Bowie (the Diamond Dog)

Missing my beautiful boy Sunsands Carl 2.25.2003 - 4.1.2014

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Sam (13 years old) gets .8, given morning and night. He started on that dose about 8 or 9 years ago.

 

At one point, we increased the dose when his numbers and physical symptoms got off again (I don't remember details). That lasted for a few months, and we backed him down to .8 bid again and he's been fine.

15060353021_97558ce7da.jpg
Kathy and Q (CRT Qadeer from Fuzzy's Cannon and CRT Bonnie) and
Jane (WW's Aunt Jane from Trent Lee and Aunt M); photos to come.

Missing Silver (5.19.2005-10.27.2016), Tigger (4.5.2007-3.18.2016),
darling Sam (5.10.2000-8.8.2013), Jacey-Kasey (5.19.2003-8.22.2011), and Oreo (1997-3.30.2006)

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Carl gets .7, broken in half and given bid, Doodles gets .6 broken in half given bid. I tried the generic first, then asked to switch to Soloxine and they've been on Soloxine ever since.

 

 

A few other people have mentioned Soloxine also - will need to check into that long term. Your two sound like they get 0.35 and 0.3 bid, if I understand correctly since the pill is divided and 1/2 given at a time.

 

Sam (13 years old) gets .8, given morning and night. He started on that dose about 8 or 9 years ago.

 

At one point, we increased the dose when his numbers and physical symptoms got off again (I don't remember details). That lasted for a few months, and we backed him down to .8 bid again and he's been fine.

 

 

Sam is on approx the same dosage that Lucy will be getting. Thanks, makes me feel better that increasing her dose to the 0.6 bid will be fine.

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Carl gets .7, broken in half and given bid, Doodles gets .6 broken in half given bid. I tried the generic first, then asked to switch to Soloxine and they've been on Soloxine ever since.

 

 

Passion gets Soloxine

 

There was a physical difference in our first greyhound when given the generic and when given the brand name Soloxine. Phaelin isn't low thyroid, but if he was, I would only give him the actual Soloxine based on my prior experience.

Paula & her pups--Paneer (WW Outlook Ladd), Kira & Rhett (the whippets)
Forever in my heart...Tinsel (Born's Bounder - 11/9/90-12/18/01), Piper, Chevy, Keno, Zuma, Little One, Phaelin & Winnie
Greyhound Adoption Center ~ So Cal rep for Whippet Rescue And Placement

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Yes, let me add that I changed Sam from generic to Soloxine, too. I'd heard in several places that the dosing was more consistent on the Soloxine.

 

Once you get Lucy's meds stable, you'll want to order online. The prices generally are much better than thru your vet, and you can order more at a time.

 

I used to order online, especially when I had two dogs on thyroid meds. But then one dog died and Sam got very sick and I thought I'd lose him, so I switched back to getting his pills one month at a time from his vet rather than place a large order he might never use. I'm about to get a written script, though, and I'll be ordering a 3-month supply at Drs Foster & Smith on the same schedule as my orders of heartworm meds for my two dogs. Apparently, Sam is planning to live forever.

 

Normally, you cannot get thyroid meds for dogs from your local drugstore because the dose dogs take is huge in comparison to the human dose. I asked a pharmacist at Walmart about their $4/month prescriptions and was told Sam would need 10 prescriptions a month. My vet told me he'd had other customers get their dogs' drugs at people pharmacies, where the druggists misread the prescription and dispensed .08 pills instead of .8.

15060353021_97558ce7da.jpg
Kathy and Q (CRT Qadeer from Fuzzy's Cannon and CRT Bonnie) and
Jane (WW's Aunt Jane from Trent Lee and Aunt M); photos to come.

Missing Silver (5.19.2005-10.27.2016), Tigger (4.5.2007-3.18.2016),
darling Sam (5.10.2000-8.8.2013), Jacey-Kasey (5.19.2003-8.22.2011), and Oreo (1997-3.30.2006)

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I get it at Drs Foster & Smith as well. I need to start getting her phenobarb at Costco but haven't changed the script yet.

gallery_2213_3086_11460.jpg

Kari and the pups.
Run free sweet Hana 9/21/08-9/12/10. Missing Sparks with every breath.
Passion 10/16/02-5/25/17

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Yes, let me add that I changed Sam from generic to Soloxine, too. I'd heard in several places that the dosing was more consistent on the Soloxine.

 

Once you get Lucy's meds stable, you'll want to order online. The prices generally are much better than thru your vet, and you can order more at a time.

 

I used to order online, especially when I had two dogs on thyroid meds. But then one dog died and Sam got very sick and I thought I'd lose him, so I switched back to getting his pills one month at a time from his vet rather than place a large order he might never use. I'm about to get a written script, though, and I'll be ordering a 3-month supply at Drs Foster & Smith on the same schedule as my orders of heartworm meds for my two dogs. Apparently, Sam is planning to live forever.

 

Normally, you cannot get thyroid meds for dogs from your local drugstore because the dose dogs take is huge in comparison to the human dose. I asked a pharmacist at Walmart about their $4/month prescriptions and was told Sam would need 10 prescriptions a month. My vet told me he'd had other customers get their dogs' drugs at people pharmacies, where the druggists misread the prescription and dispensed .08 pills instead of .8.

 

 

I'll check with the neurologist but, if he has no objections, I will move to the Soloxine.

 

I checked the prices at Drs Foster & Smith and for 0.6 tablet it's 0.11 cents so for 1 day, it's less than 25 cents. A months' supply would cost me less than $10.00 -- what a deal considering that I spent $75.00 yesterday for 1 month's supply .....

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I can't remember what Rainey was on but for her, it had no effect on her seizures -- she still seized on it but there wasn't any bad interaction with the thyroid pills. She too was on Keppra and Zonisamide (and finally Pheno at the end).

Kim and Bruce - with Rick (Rick Roufus 6/30/16) and missing my sweet greyhound Angels Rainey (LG's Rainey 10/4/2000 - 3/8/2011), Anubis (RJ's Saint Nick 12/25/2001 - 9/12/12) and Zeke (Hey Who Whiz It 4/6/2009 - 7/20/2020) and Larry (PTL Laroach 2/24/2007 - 8/2/2020) -- and Chester (Lab) (8/31/1990 - 5/3/2005), Captain (Schipperke) (10/12/1992 - 6/13/2005) and Remy (GSP) (?/?/1998 - 1/6/2005) at the bridge
"Always do sober what you said you'd do drunk. That will teach you to keep your mouth shut." -- Ernest Hemmingway

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A few other people have mentioned Soloxine also - will need to check into that long term. Your two sound like they get 0.35 and 0.3 bid, if I understand correctly since the pill is divided and 1/2 given at a time.

 

Yes, half a tab is given one hour before each meal, or three hours after a meal and I feed them twice a day. I do the best I can, they nearly always get the first half tab one hour before breakfast, it doesn't ususally work out for dinner as I get home late from work.

 

I just got Carl's yearly thyroid check results back, they are perfect! I started feeding them raw a few years ago and their bloodwork has been better than it ever was on kibble.

 

My vet (and I) go by Jean Dodd's thyroid testing protocol, not MSU and I have their blood sent to her lab as well (her lab is in Southern California). As thyroid testing and treatment is a hot potato topic here on GT, that's all I'll say about it. :ph34r

Edited by seeh2o

Sunsands Doodles: Doodles aka Claire, Bella Run Softly: Softy aka Bowie (the Diamond Dog)

Missing my beautiful boy Sunsands Carl 2.25.2003 - 4.1.2014

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I'm giving Lucy's pills 1 hour before breakfast in the AM and 2 hours after dinner.

 

I can't do raw - Larry has kidney issues and I have my parents living with me and my mom's immune systems is OK but, I cannot have her exposed to raw meat from the dogs.

 

You are right, thyroid testing & treatment is a hot potato on this forum and I never realized that until I posted this thread :nod

 

I know that many vets see Dr Dodds as on the fringes and I do worry about how her tests are performed (quality controls) but, she seems to be one of the few that relates low thyroid with seizures.

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Most of the veterinary literature notes neurological symptoms as a possible consequence of thyroid disturbance. Seizures are perhaps somewhat more likely with hypERthyroidism, tho. Which makes the mainstream tests a good buy. The mainstream tests are also the best way to determine whether a low T4 test result is due to medication, non-thyroid-related illness, or true thyroid insufficiency.

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 of the veterinary literature notes neurological symptoms as a possible consequence of thyroid disturbance. Seizures are perhaps somewhat more likely with hypERthyroidism, tho. Which makes the mainstream tests a good buy. The mainstream tests are also the best way to determine whether a low T4 test result is due to medication, non-thyroid-related illness, or true thyroid insufficiency.

 

 

You would think that hyper would be involved in seizures but, everything that I have read says the opposite - it is hypo that is usually involved. Although, not much information out on the web that I would trust when it comes to seizures and thyroid issues in dogs ....

 

You would think that one of the practicing canine neurologists/endocrinologists would write a book about what they find in their practice .. or even better, have an internist write about IBD in dogs which is another issue that is not well understood and is happening in greater numbers. There is just such a lack of factual material (referenced) on dog illnesses - I spent $30+ on a book about canine epilepsy on Amazon -- what a laugh, written by a nurse and is pretty much basic information and 1/2 the book is "other stuff". Sorry about the rant....

 

Getting back to the subject -- I tend to be a mainstream type of person but will use procedures on the fringe sparingly (my Larry is having monthly chiropractic adjustments). Having spent years in a medical lab at one point and doing research at another time, I know how important control are in testing and that tests are "run a certain way".

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Maryjane, you may want to reach out to Dee, known as Energy11 here on GT. Her girl Goldie was having dementia issues (and seizures, too I believe) and it turned out to be due to being hypothyroid. She has a lot of experience and knowledge to pass long. There was a lot more about Goldie, but she would be better at telling it than me. :ph34r

 

 

She had an ailing father who passed and I think she and her husband were moving, too, she hasn't been on GT since Feb. I'll shoot her an email to see if she can chime in.

Edited by seeh2o

Sunsands Doodles: Doodles aka Claire, Bella Run Softly: Softy aka Bowie (the Diamond Dog)

Missing my beautiful boy Sunsands Carl 2.25.2003 - 4.1.2014

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