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Zhivaya's Progress


Guest grey_dreams
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Guest grey_dreams

I want to put this story out there because it may be able to help another dog/human.

 

Last month I posted this thread about a major setback for Zhivaya. At the end of that thread, I stopped Clomicalm and started Zylkene, and for a few days he seemed to be doing better. But then he crashed again, and badly. I can tell you it was kind of a slow-motion nightmare. He even started to display signs of aggression that left me feeling rather shaken. Other than that, he laid on his safe bed like a rock, unmoving for many hours of the day. He lost interest in eating and refused to come down to the kitchen for meals. We had another session with Marta Williams, and I prepared four questions I wanted to ask him. She tried, but said that he wouldn't communicate with her; he didn't know what was wrong or what he needed, and that's all she could get from him. I felt like I had completely failed this dog in every way. I began to think that the most humane thing for him would be to return him to the group, because he obviously needed someone other than me, and some other kind of living situation other than what I could offer him. My sister volunteered to help me drive him back down to Nashville if that was the decision I reached.

 

Just a little more background. Zhivaya was a special needs adoption because of his extreme fear. I felt a very strong connection at the moment I saw his photo, and felt like I could cope with his anxiety because of helping Zuki (fairly traumatized) and Zariel (extremely traumatized). But after he came home, I started to realize that his phobias and anxiety were very extreme, and it was more like he was autistic or ASD or ADHD. It was impossible to counter-condition because he went into full-blown panic attacks. He never really "got used" to things. I kept hoping that with more time, etc.

 

Last week on Sunday while I was thinking about Zhivaya, all of a sudden I got a very clear idea that his thyroid was malfunctioning. He had full bloodwork in February including the complete thyroid panel (because at that time I was starting to wonder if maybe he was hypothyroid), and everything came back completely normal. The thyroid panel was completely normal. So after my sudden insight, I did a massive amount of research about possible links between phobias, anxiety, and hypothyroidism. Turns out that in human medicine the links are clear (see here and here and here for just a small sample, or do your own search, there is plenty of material out there). My sister is a medical doctor, and she told me that it's possible to be hypothyroid even when your test results come back in the normal range.

 

Last Monday I asked my vet if he would let us try a course of thyroid meds. I explained to him the insight and the research. He agreed because he knew what was going on for us, and he also said that there can be a connection between poor thyroid function and psychological disorders in dogs. He prefers to use thyrozine because it has a shorter half-life. He prescribed Zhivaya 0.3 mg thyrozine twice a day; Zhivaya weighs 80 pounds, so this is a very low therapeutic dose. He said that it can take months to see an effect. But some of the research I read said that psychological disorders respond rapidly after starting therapy, whereas metabolic disorders can take weeks or months to respond.

 

After Zhivaya got the second dose, he got up from his bed and smiled at me. By the third day, he was bringing me his toys and asking me to pet him several times a day. Now it's been 1.5 weeks, and he is a different dog. It's really a miracle. Even the ADHD-type and/or autistic-type of behaviors appear to be softening around the edges. He must have been experiencing low thyroid function for quite some time. He is still anxious to go outside, but he goes, and sometimes even comes and tells me he wants to go out. He still doesn't like the train, but he doesn't have a complete emotional meltdown when he hears it. Now we can begin counter-conditioning. And it's still early days yet, he will continue to feel better.

 

I feel like I am finally getting to meet the real Zhivaya :heart

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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If all the test results were normal, the dog isn't hypothyroid.

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 grey_dreams

Another factor about the test results, and the reason why medical doctors know that you can be hypothyroid even when the results are within normal ranges, is because the range is so broad. So if your normal set point is at the high end of the range, and then you fall toward the lower end of the range, your are by definition subclinically hypothyroid, even though the absolute number still falls within the average range.

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Nope.

 

The term means having inadequate thyroid hormone production. If all the test results are normal -- assuming all the appropriate tests were done -- then the dog (or person) is by definition not hypothyroid.

 

You've chosen to give a dog who isn't hypothyroid extra thyroid hormone.

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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And look how many greyhounds have been helped with gabapentin when it was not developed for pain management, but for seizure control. I'm not going to argue if he is hypothyroid or not, but clearly taking a low dosage appears to be helping his behavioral issues.

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Nope. I belong to the science- and evidence-based medicine clubs, in which we treat our dogs for conditions the dogs have rather than conditions we, for whatever reason, want them to have.

 

I'm merely going by what you said. If all test results are normal, the dog by definition isn't hypothyroid or even subclinically hypothyroid.

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 PiagetsMom

I'm not qualified to give any opinion as to the thyroid results and medication, but it's good to hear that you're seeing some positive improvement in Shivaya, and I hope it continues!

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Guest PiagetsMom

Thank you Lisa.

 

I freely admit that Jey is my very first go-to when I have issues with my pups, and I value her opinion very much. That being said, I've just spent months in "We don't know what's wrong and we don't know how to treat it" land with Maya, and ended up losing her, so I can understand where you're coming from.

 

I know there is much debate in what is "normal" thryoid values for women, especially peri/menopausal women, and many women seem to be benefiting with thyroid meds. I don't know how that translates to the canine world, but again, whatever is helping Shivaya, I hope it continues!

Edited by PiagetsMom
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I am so glad to hear how much better he is doing! I am a big believer in science, but I know science and western medicine don't have all the answers, so if the thyroid medicine is working for him, that is what he needs.

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Guest Gillybear

You hVe obviously done your homework, and you certainly cannot argue with the results. Here's hoping for ongoing progress for Zhivaya!

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Guest Jesse12789

hey if it works it works. screw test results. the actual real world evidence if its working is actually seing how your dog is imroving and to me thats better than looking at numbers on a peice of paper. hope progress continues.

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"if your normal set point is at the high end of the range, and then you fall toward the lower end of the range, your are by definition subclinically hypothyroid"

 

That isn't true. "Subclinical hypothyroidism" refers to a specific pattern of abnormal (not normal) test results -- that is to say, test results that fall outside of the normal range, not within it.

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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Grey_dreams congrats on your diligence, perseverance and huge heart to help this dog !!!! How great that you are seeing results.

You should repost this report in the "Good for you" thread where no negativity is allowed !!! Jeez, can't you just sit in the happiness of good news and a dog who is doing better without a science report??!!!!

 

You go Grey_dreams, nice job taking care of a special needs dog!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

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Great to hear Zhivaya is doing better, I am so happy for you both.

 

I wish people would not argue with an OP, just move on once you've said your piece.

Kyle with Stewie ('Super C Ledoux, Super C Sampson x Sing It Blondie) and forever missing my three angels, Jack ('Roy Jack', Greys Flambeau x Miss Cobblepot) and Charlie ('CTR Midas Touch', Leo's Midas x Hallo Argentina) and Shelby ('Shari's Hooty', Flying Viper x Shari Carusi) running free across the bridge.

Gus an coinnich sinn a'rithist my boys and little girl.

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It isn't a good idea to give random drugs to animals.

 

Science is useful stuff. :)

Edited by Batmom

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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I'm so glad to hear he's doing better and hope you continue to see positive results.

Cynthia, & Cristiano, galgo
Always in my heart: Frostman
Newdawn Frost, Keno Jet Action & Chloe (NGA racing name unknown), Irys (galgo), Hannah (weim), Cruz (galgo), & Carly CW Your Charming

Princess http://www.greyhound-data.com/d?i=1018857

"It came to me that every time I lose a dog they take a piece of my heart with them. And every new dog who comes into my life, gifts me with a piece of their heart. If I live long enough, all the components of my heart will be dog, and I will become as generous and loving as they are." -- Unknown

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