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a_daerr

Thyroid Questions For Truman

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Hi everyone! It's been awhile since I've been on GT. I'm hoping you all might be able to help with a Truman question.

 

We recently had Truman to the vet for his annual check-up. She decided to run some bloodwork, as Truman has seemed a little more (what I lovingly describe as) "grumpy" within the past year. He's always been high-strung, hyper, and snarky, especially when it comes to other dogs. At home, he's typically very low-key. But we've noticed more instances of snapping both at Sterling and I, as well as our cats and other greyhound, Wolfgang. This wasn't totally uncharacteristic before, but in the past year, his threshold seems a lot lower. I chalked most of that up to getting older and turning 7 (gasp!) next month. [Those of you long time GT'ers will remember 14-week-old Truman puppy pictures.] Another thing to mention, Truman also had a fairly extensive neck surgery a little over a year ago to correct a herniated disc. Following that surgery, he had experienced some weakness and neurological deficits. But after a long course of physical therapy, I'd say he is about 90% better in terms of his range of motion, stamina, walking/running normally, normal weight, and reversing the muscle atrophy.

 

So... getting back to this annual appointment. The vet decided to run a thyroid panel, thinking we could rule out an endocrine issue. Then, his Total T4 came back at 0.7, which my vet described as "rock bottom." He doesn't really exude any other symptoms of being hypothyroid (normal weight, coat isn't an issue). But based on his short-fuse, agitation, and what feels like more episodes of aggression with other dogs, the vet decided to try Soloxine (0.8mg, twice daily) for a month to see if we noticed any positive improvements. Well, it's been a month, and it actually seems like the behavior has gotten worse! He seems more touchy than ever with space, food, whoever looks at him the wrong way. Last week, Sterling tried to walk the dogs on the walking trail, and Truman got so worked up (snarling, barking, lunging, snapping) at a dog running with its owner, and minutes later still would not calm down. Sterling finally just cut the walk short and took him home. An average "incident"with him is a few bows and deep barks/growls if the other dog passes too closely. This time seemed much different, as he was total Cujo, and would not recover, even 10 minutes later, when the threat of the other dog was fully removed.

 

  • I guess I have a few questions, broken down by parts. First is the thyroid. I can find nowhere in his file (140 pages) that Truman ever had thyroid testing before. So while 0.7 seems low, maybe that's his baseline that he was doing (reasonably) well at. Could this new aggression be stemming from the Soloxine? If so, can I take him off immediately? And if not, should I follow through with an internal medicine doctor? It just so happens that Guillermo Couto is working Pittsburgh now, so if needed, I could do a consult with him, then send out for a more specific thyroid panel through MSU. Go through Hemopet? In order to run that panel, do I need to keep him on the Soloxine or discontinue?
  • Part two concerns the possibility that his "old man grumpiness is still some residual pain or discomfort from his neck surgery. While he isn't showing any obvious limping, yelping, trouble being touched or handled, maybe there are other things to consider? Like he's becoming more aggressive because something is making him feel physically that he's not 100%. Should we consider another round of PT? Adequan injections, supplements, NSAIDs. If he's grumpy because he doesn't feel well physically, where do I start with that?
  • Lastly, the behavioral health. Truman has been on 40mg Prozac for years. I believe it's helping in some capacity, because anytime we've tried to discontinue, he becomes much for anxious and compulsively licks himself. Should we consider a consult with a veterinary behaviorist to discuss changing/tweaking with his Prozac? I'm not as well versed on psychosomatic pharmacology as I once was. Any new developments that I'm missing med-wise with owner- and dog-on-dog-aggression?

 

In two weeks, we'll be traveling to vend collars at Grapehounds NY. For the first time in six years, I'm considering not bringing Truman. :( Whatever is the basis for his agitation, aggression, grumpiness, whatever, I don't want to exacerbate it with a hundred dogs in one place. After years of obedience training, one thing we can say is that he listens well... we've always been able to manage his "hang-ups" in these situations. I just feel conflicted the behavior has started to get more concerning, I don't want to put Truman or any other dog at risk. Any advice on where to begin? Sorry this turned into a novel. I'm looking forward on your stories. Thanks in advance!

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So, I can't speak to all your questions, but I CAN recommend a consult with Dr. Couto. Our boy Chase had a megaesophagus and when our vet couldn't figure out why we switched vets. She recommended testing his thyroid and we sent the results to Dr. Couto for a second opinion. Chase's results came back so low they almost didn't register. And Dr. Couto was skeptical at first because he told us in all his years of practicing he'd only seen about four Greys that were truly hypothyroid. Turns out Chase was one of them. In his case, the meds put his megaesophagus in total remission for the rest of his life. So, yes, I can't recommend a consult with Dr. Couto enough.


...............Chase (FTH Smooth Talker), Morgan (Cata), Reggie (Gable Caney), Rufus
(Reward RJ). Fosters check in, but they don't check out.
Forever loved -- Cosmo (System Br Mynoel), March 11, 2002 - October 8, 2009.
Miss Cosmo was a lady. And a lady always knows when to leave.

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Was a thyroid *panel* run the first time, or only a T4? It sounds like only a T4. If the possible symptoms haven't improved, I'd discontinue the soloxine and run a panel including TSH in 6 weeks. Use MSU.

 

 

BTW, 0.7 isn't rock bottom or anything like it. Greyhounds with normal thyroid function can and do test 0.0 on a T4. You have to run a panel including TSH, not just the T4, even on non-greyhounds let alone greyhounds.


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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As others have noted, consult with Dr. Couto.

 

My opinion is that the 0.8 dosage twice a day is too high. My Lucy (seizure dog with IBD) went on thyroid meds at 0.6 twice a day and it was too much - I dropped it to 0.3 twice a day and that has been working for us for a few years. As you noted, you cannot just stop the thyroid, has to be weaned down.

 

If he is cranky, then it might be pain and it might be worthwhile to try a painkiller for a week or two and see if that helps.

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They don't need to be weaned off if the medication doesn't appear to be needed or appears to be harmful, as in this case. You can just stop. See for example https://animalhealth.msu.edu/sections/endocrinology/Monitoring.php#06 .

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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yes, full thyroid panel, consult and it sounds like pain.

 

coat & eating habits & energy are reflected in thyroid disfunction. i think when felix's t4 was low it didn't register! and it seems as if truman is getting grumpier.....hence more discomfort? adequan injections take a good month-6 weeks of start up injections then shots as needed. when felix was on it the frequency was every 6 weeks, down to every 4 then 3. i decided enough. metacam is a godsend, tramadol and gabapentin combo also. any other signs of inflammation- pancreatitis or a flare up. that will make them feel down right lousy. but that should have been noted on the bw.

 

i am not a fan of prozac in both humans as well as dogs. a good friend who boards my dogs has taken in (adopted) a couple of GH who were on prozac. they did go off of it and thrived on a super regimented regime. yes, it was a weaning process, and she's naturally very structured having many many animals. hopefully there is a new or alternative products that may replace the prozac.

 

that's a good choice not schlepping truman along. why put the dog in a situation where all of his buttons might be pushed? from what i remember he seems to have a blast trashing rentals and scarfing up pizza...let him enjoy life. if he's too grumpy to party with wolf, then why take him?isn't that's what it's all about?

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One of my greyhound boys was becoming snarky after we had him for 6 months. He was put on Soloxine 0.06 mg and within days he was his normal happy self and his T4 wasn't as low as Truman's.


 

Mom to Melly and Dani

Greyhound Bridge Angels - Jessie, Brittne, Buddy,

Red, Chica, Ford and Dodge.

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Dude's "normal" thyroid reading was .02, my girl right now is normal at .06, so they can and do read much lower and still can be normal. I think his original dosage is also quite high - and *could* be causing his aggression issues by making his thyroid too high. Talk with your vet about first - having it at all because it doesn't sound like he needs it; and second - about reducing the dosage. Second/third/fourth a consult with Dr Couto, too!

 

With all of that surgery and therapy, I can't imagine that he doesn't need some ongoing medication support to control pain and inflammation. If he's *not* on any actual medications - not including various OTC supplements - it's probably time to consider them. I would avoid Tramadol if possible and go for codiene sulfate or another pain reliever, and an nsaid, and gabapentin for nerve pain (as suggested above). It's a really flexible combination that can be increased or decreased as needed.

 

Good luck and kisses for Trumie! :beatheart


Chris - Mom to: Lilly, Felicity (DeLand), and Andi (Braska Pandora)

35764734494_93de5b5963_b.jpg

Angels: Libby (Everlast), Dorie (Dog Gone Holly), Dude (TNJ VooDoo), Copper (Kid's Copper), Cash (GSI Payncash), Toni (LPH Cry Baby), Whiskey (KT's Phys Ed), Atom

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Trumie is going to see the internal medicine specialist at University Vets today (the same clinic where Dr. Couto practices oncology). I anticipate he'll have some bloodwork, which I can request be reviewed by Dr. Couto. I appreciate everyone's feedback. I think we definitely need the MSU panel for a more specific look at the thyroid. I'm hoping they can advise on a regimen for pain or different anxiety meds if the thyroid isn't the answer.

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Here's my boy being long at the vet. He was very good. Peed for his urine test and acted good for bloodwork. They gave him a giraffe printed bandage. :)

 

jzcodv.jpg

Edited by a_daerr

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JJ is on soloxine and has been for several years after an extremely low count. He had gotten lethargic, etc. He's fine on it!


gallery_22387_3315_35426.jpg

Robin, EZ (Tribal Track), JJ (What a Story), Dustin (E's Full House) and our beautiful Jack (Mana Black Jack) and Lily (Chip's Little Miss Lily) both at the Bridge
The WFUBCC honors our beautiful friends at the bridge. Godspeed sweet angels.

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Quick update on Truman. The internal medicine specialist called back today with some preliminary bloodwork results. The total T4 came back at 0.9, so increasing a little, but still low. Another interesting find was that the protein in his urine was high. The doctor is sending it over for a protein to creatinine ratio test. He didn't want to get into possibilities for that (yet) until the MSU panel and other urine test come back. But I'm a little curious as to what this could mean. Thoughts?

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:wub: Truman! :wub:

 

That his issue isn't thyroid related, at least. If he's dumping protein it has to come from somewhere - kidneys, intestines.


Chris - Mom to: Lilly, Felicity (DeLand), and Andi (Braska Pandora)

35764734494_93de5b5963_b.jpg

Angels: Libby (Everlast), Dorie (Dog Gone Holly), Dude (TNJ VooDoo), Copper (Kid's Copper), Cash (GSI Payncash), Toni (LPH Cry Baby), Whiskey (KT's Phys Ed), Atom

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