thyroid in dogs

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by Kjs, Apr 7, 2007.

  1. Kjs

    Kjs Guest

    Just found out my 5 year old lab has a Hypothyroid. She kept gaining weight. We walk her more than any dog owner I know. We play with her constantly. We cut her food back so much. Only covers bottom of her dish. She is picky and sometimes doesn't even eat..just leaves it until night or next day. Vet wanted to put on prescription dog food. Decided to do thyroid test first. Two weeks later the test results are in. Hypothyroid. Vet says she must be on medication for the rest of her life. Tried reading on internet, but doesn't say what will happen or side effects or how long it takes. Just describes Hypothyroid.

    Anyone have issues like this?
  2. donna723

    donna723 Well-Known Member

    Mine may have the opposite problem. I have two Boston Terriers and their vet wants to do thyroid tests on one of them, Ragan, and probably start her on medication. Apparently Bostons are very prone to thyroid problems.

    All of them have big, bulgy eyes, but with Ragan, hers bulge even more than most of them do. Hers are so pronounced that when she sleeps, her eyelids don't completely cover her eyeballs and I have to put ointment in them to keep her eyes from getting little dry patches on her corneas. On the other hand, with eyes that big, she doesn't miss much either! She appears to be very "observant"!

    She tends to have dry, itchy sensitive skin and is very allergic to both grass(!) and fleas. One little flea on her sends her into scratching fits! None of them can take any extremes in temperature but Ragan is always cold! Always! When my other one, Katy, is just fine, Ragan is huddled up next to the heater or burrowed under a blanket. Even in the summer with the AC on, or even just the ceiling fan, she's under a blanket! And she eats well but doesn't have an ounce of fat on her anywhere! She's muscular but very slim, even at five years old and after being spayed.
  3. mum2JK&TH

    mum2JK&TH New Member

    My mother in law's retriever has this problem and well as diabetes. She, the dog :smile: , is now on two insulin shots a day, takes medication for the thyroid and my mother in law feeds her liver or some type of fish daily with special dog food. Before she was diagnosed with both, she had this tiny head and then it looked like someone blew her up, almost like a balloon. She was so lethargic :frown: Since the medication, she is smaller and has a ton of energy.
  4. Suz

    Suz (the future) MRS. GERE

    Yep, my Chelsea was on thyroid medication for years. Just be sure to get annual blood test to check her levels. We stopped doing that and Chelsea's levels went the other extreme- not good either way!

  5. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    To do some digging, don't focus on dog diseases but research human thyroid problems. Dogs will be very similar. You'll get more information.

    Thyroid can be a little bit tricky, because you can have too much thyroid hormone or too little. Each of those options has multiple possible causes. With each of them the thyroid can be too big or too small. The bulging eyes (exophthalmia) is due to deposits behind the eyeball which in most cases will go away at least partly, when hormonal balance is reestablished. My mother had an overactive thyroid problem (resolved with surgery) and in her case, one eye only partly resolved while the other one went back completely. Only she ever really worried about it, though.

    Thyroid problems can be due to lack of iodine in the diet, or lack of the body recognising or able to use the iodine (which will cause en enlarged thyroid even with underactivity) or it can be due to the body's thermostat being set too high (at the pituitary and hypothalamus level) which triggers the thyroid into overproduction, and the thyroid enlarging just to cope.

    As I said, there can be many different causes and you need a vet doing examinations, history and regular blood tests to find out exactly what is going on.

    Once you have worked out exactly what the problem is, treatment is generally a matter of medication and monitoring. Exercising off the weight is not the way to go, as the vet has probably already explained. Getting the T3 & T4 levels right will make the biggest difference. I hope they're also testing TSH (the pituitary hormone) because in some cases that can be set wrong. The body is an amazing thing, though - the TSH levels should be automatically programmed by feedback from the thyroid, of the T3 & T4 levels. Imbalances occur when this feedback system is malfunctioning or the raw materials for the hormones are not available (as in iodine deficiency). A low thyroid will be making the poor thing feel sluggish. An overactive thyroid will make it nervous, jittery and maybe some loss of condition of coat and skin.

    With both types of problem - if the thyroid is enlarged it could be causing discomfort with swallowing, which could affect how they eat & drink. I'm not sure if it affects the sound of the bark - it's a possibility. It should return to normal with treatment.

    Thyroid is not such bad news - in comparison, adrenal hormone problems can be nasty.

    Good luck with getting info. Also ask the vet for some information on it, he should have access to websites or leaflets to help you understand what is happening. You are about to get to know your vet very well, with the ongoing supervision your dog will need, although this sort of intervention shouldn't be too costly in canine terms.

  6. Kjs

    Kjs Guest

    Vet said Hypothyroidism. told me to look it up, as they had no information available. They said they would mail me info, but they would just look it up on the internet and mail it to me. From what the medication says it is somekind of hormone replacement. did look up the medication / mg's on Vet charged almost $50 for 60 pills (2x's a day), petmeds is .12 a pill. BIG savings. I will not order from there for a while. Vet said they will check blood again in 6 weeks to check if dosage is correct, and go from there. If dosage is ok, then will check in 6 months. I never had a pet growing up, chloe is my first ever pet. She's my baby, I sure hope things get better.
  7. stepmonster

    stepmonster New Member

    My furbaby is hypo. He takes T4 everyday, no side effects. If he doesn't take it, he gets serious skin issues.
    Oddly, I too am hypo!!
  8. Kjs

    Kjs Guest

    Is there a waiting period before you see a difference?
  9. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Energy levels should come back fairly quickly. There could be a delay due to needing blood test results to know if the levels are right. Skin problems would take a bit longer, but you should see improvement in other areas within days, I would have thought. It's hormonal, not something that has to take time to build up.

    It's possible the vet has started the dog on a lower dose than he actually needs, to avoid overdosing him. When do you next see the vet for blood tests?

  10. Kjs

    Kjs Guest

    It has been a week since we started the medications. From what I read on the internet, it says .1 mg per 10 pounds. She weighs 75 pounds and is on .6mgs. She use to leave her food, and preferred soft food. I have noticed the past two days she eats right a way. Not much other noticable change.
  11. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    A good start. Maybe she's feeling better? Is she gaining at all? Exercising more? Less? If only you could ask her how she feels...