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(Thyroid) Free T4 "range Is Between 8-40" ...what?


Guest BrindleBoy
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Guest BrindleBoy

Normal thyroid test came back "less than .5" so we did the more accurate test... and the vet said "his Free T4 level is 8, which is the minimum of the normal range of 8-40, so we should start him on a low dose"....

 

I can't find any info about the ft4 range being fro 8-40? I'm confused.

 

I normally wouldn't even worry about such a thing BUT: Indy has been shedding more than usual, more lethargic than usual, and more susceptible to the summer heat than usual.... all signs of low thyroid.

 

I've read the link everyone posts here... Dr. Stack, but again- there's no mention of an "8-40" range on any test...?????

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Hi there. At work right now, so I can't give you a detailed reply but my (angel) Indy (great name, BTW) - suffered serious hair loss, allergy issues and VERY expensive allergy treatment with a specialist (antibiotics, allergy shots, staph infections, etc.), as well as behavioral and bathroom issues for 1-2 yrs. I posted about his struggles in the past.

 

Anyway, after two thyroid panels which came back "normal," I finally asked for a third. Whatever the normal range was he was at the bottom number. So if the range was 0 - 10; he was at 0.

 

I asked his regular vet if we could start Indy on thyroid meds and she was fine with that as no other treatment was helping him. Anyway, six weeks later - he was like a new dog. All of his "issues" eventually resolved and we never returned to the specialist (who poo-poo'd the notion that Indy's derm problems were thyroid related).

 

Again, I'm not sure about the range you mentioned but I can tell you I don't think my Indy would have lived to 12+ if left untreated for low thyroid function. I know this is always a controversial topic but I've had three hounds on thyroid meds and it made all the difference in the world.

 

Hope your Indy feels better soon.

Edited by IndyandHollyluv
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What's his TSH level?

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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Beat me to it!!

:P

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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Guest BrindleBoy

IDK, the vet didn't tell me. But I am going to pick up a copy of his test results tomorrow. I ASSUME the TSH level will be on there...?

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Not necessarily. Depends on if the vet ordered a full panel, which I hope he would have.

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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Guest BrindleBoy

Not necessarily. Depends on if the vet ordered a full panel, which I hope he would have.

 

 

Nope. Just talked to them again. "We don't run TSH for DOGS....normally..."

 

I asked her to call the lab and see if they could still run a TSH with the same blood sample..... if not, I guess I'll be taking Indy back for another blood draw Grrr........

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How old is your boy and how long have you had him? I find Zuri is less tolerant of the heat as he ages and his coat hasn't been great this summer either. Certainly worth exploring the thyroid, but that doesn't necessarily scream thyroid. I went through this with Z, though he was having other symptoms as well and decided not to treat because his TSH was normal (his T4 and free T4 were similar to your boy's). The other symptoms have resolved btw so I think we made the right choice.

Oh, meant to add, in the future, MSU's full panel is the gold standard for thyroid testing. For a small additional fee you can have them do an interpretation.

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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Guest BrindleBoy

He just turned 7. We've had him 4 years. He is usually more lethargic in summer heat, but it's worse this year, and the shedding is more than usual, and his appetite has also been off. He recently had a checkup and full blood work (which is where the original "low" test result came from), but otherwise has a clean bill of health.

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Okay, I'm home now. A few more things for you to consider:

 

My Indy was 3-1/2 when adopted. Was 4-5 y/o when everything started to go haywire with him (hair loss, etc.).

 

All three of my thyroid dogs displayed differently - different hair loss patterns, behavior, etc. Definitely not cookie cutter symptoms and manifestation of low thyroid.

 

I adopted a 5 y/o black female in January 2015. Took her for blood work in March. Routine IDEXX chem panel indicated T4 at 0.6. TSH not part of the panel. My girl has some back issues so while she was under for a dental in May, I asked the vet to take spinal radiographs (which were fine); however, vet noted her heart appeared enlarged - which is not uncommon with greyhounds. Oh, and my girl raced in Alabama. Hot.

 

Anyway, he suggested an IDEXX Cardiopet proBNP test. Not sure how accurate it is for greyhounds?? but her results came back as elevated, above the norm. And NeylasMom is right - I also requested a full thyroid panel (MSU) since there can be a correlation between cardiac function and low thyroid. It will probably be another week or so before the results are in.

 

Now, on the flip side, being a black dog, my girl is absolutely miserable in the heat (I live in the Midwest). She seems depressed and lethargic, pants heavily (no coughing) - but is she bored? Lonely? (she is an only dog right now - but looking to find her a roommate). Is it the heat? Is she not well? So attempting to put the puzzle pieces together which takes a little detective work. I have had two other black hounds - and they were seniors - but NO WAY as heat-intolerant as her. BTW, my new girl LOVES the cold weather and snow.

 

So do with this what you will! Just my experience to date but I would hate to see any owner go through what Indy and I went through.

Edited by IndyandHollyluv
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Guest BrindleBoy

Thanks a lot, my Indy sounds a lot like your black girl.... same behavior. Not acting like himself. Even when we walk, he tires very quickly, but won't stop walking... like he's walking slow, too tired to continue, but doesn't want to stop either. Which might be normal for some dogs- but NOT HIM. Usually, he's raring to go, walks excitedly the whole time, even when we're done with our loop... sometimes he even does zoomies in the yard after the walk. But not all summer. I would be even more worried if he didn't recently (may) have his annual, and everything was fine.

 

Part of me wants to just start giving him the lose dose meds and see if "his old self" returns. But then, I'd have to take him off it, and wait 6 weeks before re-testing, apparently.... problem is, we have vacations coming up, and I can't get him back to the vet before then....

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Guest BrindleBoy

The lab will still have the serum-all your vet needs to do is call and add the test.

 

They said they would call and request it yesterday, I'll hopefully find out today if they were able to or not.

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Guest BrindleBoy

Of course lab doesn't have the serum. So no TSH without more blood. They did give me Soloxine 0.2mg. Vet said "you could give him the meds, it's a VERY low dose, then we can test him in 6 weeks, and if his t4 goes up considerably, we'll know he's just normally low and take him off the meds.

 

So now we have to decide whether to go that route or WAIT another ...3 weeks... For a blood draw, at which point they'd run the whole panel.... 3 weeks because we have back-to-back vacations coming up starting in 2 days...

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Guest BrindleBoy

The last time I took Indy for a blood draw- a SIMPLE BLOOD DRAW, it took 90 minutes. I don't have that kind of time right now, I stopped by between jobs to pick up the meds. If I KNEW we would be in-and-out in 20 minutes, maybe I could take him (would still be a 70-min round trip additional).

 

I was going to rant about what that vet seems to be turning into, but I'll spare you lol. Slow service, not getting callbacks, and what I think to be non-greyhound-familiar docs (only 1 doc there, the daughter of the owner) seem to be really GH savvy) are making my confidence wane.

Edited by BrindleBoy
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Testing him when he's on meds won't tell you whether he needs meds or not.

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 BrindleBoy

I'm going to see if I can get him in for the full panel next week, before leaving for our 2nd vacation. FWIW, he's been acting like his old self since I posted this thread (of course)...

 

Leaving for GrapeHounds NY tomorrow!

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Guest BrindleBoy

Finally got the TSH...

 

FreeT4 = 8

TSH = 0.06 (doc said 0.6 is normal, meaning Indy would be low)

 

...before we even got the TSH, he saw Indy's FreeT4 at 8 and said "anything below 10, we treat"....

 

 

I know it's a controversial issue..... any advice? I will say that Indy isn't really showing symptoms except lethargy, which is usually higher in the summer anyway. He's not gaining weight, his appetite is a little less but that's also normal summer for him. I thought he was losing more hair than normal, but that seems to have stopped....

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Can you post all of the values with the reference ranges from the lab? We really need the "normal" ranges to be able to interpet results, but I will say that I wouldn't treat a greyhound with a slightly low T4 if the TSH isn't high, especially when the dog isn't really symptomatic.

Edited by NeylasMom

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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Guest BrindleBoy

All the vet gave me was: (this was over the phone)

 

T4 "less than .5"

FreeT4 8

TSH 0.06

 

 

...I told him I wanted a full panel, to establish a baseline. I'm suspecting he did NOT get the full panel. AGAIN.

 

I don't have the references ranges, other than he told me the range for FreeT4 was 8-something...40?, and the TSH should be no lower than 0.6

Edited by BrindleBoy
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