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Old 06-25-2014, 11:58 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default 0.2 T4 thyroid levels emergent?

At my wit's end! After almost a year of different tests with an incompetent vet, I switched to a better one and finally got some answers. It's his thyroid (T4 0.2, extremely low). He has black pigmentation in areas, underweight (though not severely), periods of lethargy, other symptoms that suggest heart failure, etc.

While it's nice to finally have some answers, I just received them yesterday evening via a voice message left by his vet only a few minutes before she left for two days. I called right back, was put on hold forever, transferred twice and told another vet would go over my chart and call me back the same day. That never happened. They are open 24/7, so there is no excuse.

I am not completely ignorant of dogs but Dallas is my first and I am almost completely ignorant of some of the major canine health problems, thyroid issues being one of them. From what little I've found online about it, 0.5 is around the lowest. Dallas' levels is at 0.2! In the message, the vet suggested a low dose of synthetic meds but did not act concerned. Well, I AM! I know, if untreated (and god knows how long he's had this since the last vet never tested for it) hypothyroidism can cause congestive heart failure, among other serious issues.

My question is, should I follow the vet's lead or take my dog to the ER? He's lying around today and following me like he's lost. Maybe now, I'm just hyper-sensitive to it and thinking too much into it because I'm scared for him? He's never been active indoors, so no change there, and he's always close by wherever I am. I'm hoping it's just my own anxiety coming out right now.

Background info: He's 3 yrs, 4mos old. Intact but not for long (we've been trying to deal with this before putting him through any kind of surgery). We've been through a round of Cephalexin, and on a second round of Nizoral, Temaril-P, and KetoChlor shampoo.

The real "kicker" here is that I was the one to request the T4 test specifically after having read his symptoms online. Even though the new vet tested for several different skin conditions, she still went right back to saying what the first vet did about Dallas having a yeast infection. I called BS right away and requested the test. Enough messing around, 'cause I knew it would just be another round of meds that wouldn't produce results and he'd still be miserable.

Anyway. I'm sitting here waiting for them to call me back after leaving two messages. Nothing so far. I'm tempted to walk up in there with my dog and an attitude. Someone tell me I'm overreacting so I don't go make a fool of myself...
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Old 06-25-2014, 12:10 PM   #2 (permalink)
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So the vet didn't prescribe thyroid supplementation? They are cheap.

I had one dog with low thyroid, and his symptom was weird seizures that completely stopped with supplementation.
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Old 06-25-2014, 12:21 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Nope. She prescribed all those meds over a month ago for an "unknown primary allergy" and secondary yeast infection. Besides blood tests, I requested a skin scrape that came back negative. But during his follow-up two days ago, she tested more invasively for scabies and mange. Both negative. Fecal, negative. The only positive was the T4 at 0.2 but the results for that didn't come back until yesterday, which is when she left the message. One more med she added this time around was Otomax for his left ear, which was pretty bad. He gets wax buildup and it seems like I'm always cleaning his ears out but this stuff was black and just wouldn't go away. I figured it had something to do with yeast but I've never been convinced that was the primary cause of his problems.
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Old 06-25-2014, 12:50 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I think a lot of vets underestimate the importance of thyroid levels. When I had a dog with a borderline initial test, I had my vet follow up with a full panel through Hemopet (Dr. Dodds' lab) -- they offer a very comprehensive state-of-the-art "Thyroid Panel 5" panel, which your vet can have done by overnighting the sample to them. Dr. Dodds personally reviews the results and is available to consult with the vet if needed (from the website: "Each sample includes a personal interpretation from Dr. Dodds plus consultation and follow up questions if desired.") Dr. Dodds is THE authority on thyroid research in dogs -- if you need an expert, this is the easiest way to get access to a really good one. I think it was under $200 when I had it done, including the overnighting costs--I paid my vet clinic, and they paid Hemopet.

Hemopet Hemolife Thyroid Testing

You might also want to work with a veterinary endocrinologist at your state vet school, if it's within driving distance. Sometimes consulting with a local expert is enormously helpful.

Last edited by Magwart; 06-25-2014 at 12:53 PM.
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Old 06-25-2014, 01:00 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Magwart View Post
I think a lot of vets underestimate the importance of thyroid levels. When I had a dog with a borderline initial test, I had my vet follow up with a full panel through Hemopet (Dr. Dodds' lab) -- they offer a very comprehensive state-of-the-art "Thyroid Panel 5" panel, which your vet can have done by overnighting the sample to them. Dr. Dodds personally reviews the results and is available to consult with the vet if needed (from the website: "Each sample includes a personal interpretation from Dr. Dodds plus consultation and follow up questions if desired.") Dr. Dodds is THE authority on thyroid research in dogs -- if you need an expert, this is the easiest way to get access to a really good one. I think it was under $200 when I had it done, including the overnighting costs--I paid my vet clinic, and they paid Hemopet.

Hemopet Hemolife Thyroid Testing

You might also want to work with a veterinary endocrinologist at your state vet school, if it's within driving distance. Sometimes consulting with a local expert is enormously helpful.
That is invaluable. Thank you.

Probably not in driving distance of a state expert but DC is rather close, so that may be an option for us.
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Old 06-25-2014, 01:05 PM   #6 (permalink)
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No you don't need to go to e-vet. They won't have thyroid meds anyway. Take a deep breath, it can actually wait for 2 days before starting meds. It's not an emergency.


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Old 06-25-2014, 01:34 PM   #7 (permalink)
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On the phone with the vet now. I had to call AGAIN but at least now, they're telling me they have thyroid meds ready for me to pick up. HUGE weight off my shoulders! I start him on them, and in a week he can be scheduled to be neutered, and in another two weeks we'll do follow-up labs to see where his levels are. If they've improved, they'll prescribe his life-long dose in bulk, which will be significantly less expensive for me! They also said it's very possible that my stress level over my own illness is being mirrored in Dallas, contributing to the severity of his, and suggested I get DAP (dog appeasing pheromones) spray or plug-in for his favorite rooms. So, off I go... Thank god!
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Old 06-25-2014, 02:02 PM   #8 (permalink)
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btw it is possible for your dog to be battling a yeast infection although secondary to low thyroid
you should treat for it as well as starting the thyroid meds which will gradually improve his quality of life
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Old 06-25-2014, 02:44 PM   #9 (permalink)
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They also said it's very possible that my stress level over my own illness is being mirrored in Dallas, contributing to the severity of his, and suggested I get DAP (dog appeasing pheromones) spray or plug-in for his favorite rooms. So, off I go... Thank god!
Absolutely! In addition to DAP for your dog (which is a great product for many dogs), you might consider an essential oil diffuser for you, with stress-relieving essential oils. I really like to diffuse "Mellow Mix" from Aura Cacia (sold at Whole Foods, and health food stores--it has a lot of lavender in it), but there are many others that may have combinations you like.
Amazon.com : AURA CACIA Essential Solutions Oil Mellow Mix 0.5 OZ : Scented Oils : Beauty Amazon.com : AURA CACIA Essential Solutions Oil Mellow Mix 0.5 OZ : Scented Oils : Beauty
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Old 06-25-2014, 02:51 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PhoenixOrion View Post
On the phone with the vet now. I had to call AGAIN but at least now, they're telling me they have thyroid meds ready for me to pick up. HUGE weight off my shoulders! I start him on them, and in a week he can be scheduled to be neutered, and in another two weeks we'll do follow-up labs to see where his levels are. If they've improved, they'll prescribe his life-long dose in bulk, which will be significantly less expensive for me! They also said it's very possible that my stress level over my own illness is being mirrored in Dallas, contributing to the severity of his, and suggested I get DAP (dog appeasing pheromones) spray or plug-in for his favorite rooms. So, off I go... Thank god!

What? Why the rush? Thyroid needs to come into balance and meds need to be adjusted.
3yrs old is fairly young age to be hypo. underweight is not usually a symptom, overweight - yes....there is more going on in this dog then a simple thyroid med will fix (IMO).

Do NOT neuter at this time.
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