Hypothyroid Zeke

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Amanda
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Hypothyroid Zeke

Postby Amanda » Fri Jan 20, 2017 7:51 pm

Zeke had blood work done at Hemopet this week. His T4 and free T4 were both low for his case (age, breed, sex, weight). Dr Dodds hasn't reviewed his test personally as she is on vacation, but her associate vet recommended treatment at .1 mg per 12-15# twice per day. This works out to .5-.6 mg twice per day for a Zeke. My vet felt that we should start slow since he is low but close to normal. So he prescribed .3mg. He said it is up to me if I would rather attack it more aggressively and follow the Hemopet vet's recommendation. I sent Dr. Dodds an email to ask her opinion but I know she doesn't return until Monday. She may reply sooner anyway since she replied to my initial emails from Cambodia earlier this week. What are your opinions? I gave him his first dose tonight at .3mg. Maybe continue that until I hear from Dr. Dodds? Any experience with hypothyroidism in dogs? I have it too, but people are different. Also, any difference between using thyro-tabs vs soloxine?

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Amanda
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Re: Hypothyroid Zeke

Postby Amanda » Sat Jan 21, 2017 6:51 am

As it turns out, she already replied and said she really suggests the higher dose given his behavior history. At a minimum, .4mg twice daily. I would still love to hear any experiences from those that have had hypothyroid dogs. I know we've discussed it before so i will search the archives too. Thanks. :)

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Re: Hypothyroid Zeke

Postby LisaT_II » Sat Jan 21, 2017 11:55 pm

Max was low normal and I had to talk the vet into treating. We started at 1/2 the dose and tapered up to the full dose. She was nervous because technically he was normal. He did great and responded in ways that completely surprised the vet. He grew an undercoat which he had never done before.

I think underdosing is one of the worst things for thyroid, probably because I had this experience as a human patient. I felt like crap. My doc said the only thing he could do is remove my thyroid so I just continued to feel like crap. Thank goodness he retired. My next endocrinologist upped my dose and it was a whole new world. All of the time my tests were normal, but the second doc went by more than just that.

If the dog has too much thyroid med, they will tend to pant and be restless, not able to rest well. We did this once with Max when we were challenging for the optimal dose.
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Re: Hypothyroid Zeke

Postby connie » Sat Jan 28, 2017 6:00 am

I've had quite a few hypothyroid dogs, but almost all of them were old(er) Shelties -- it seems to be almost a given that in middle age, the endocrine system in a spayed/neutered Sheltie will include a sluggish thyroid. It is occasionally hard to convince a vet of that, since a hypo Sheltie will still test in the 'normal' range, albeit on the low end; but the breed should be in the mid-range of the tests to be normal on thyroid.
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Most often, I have doses with Soloxine, and have had no issues with that. For a couple of the dogs, I first tried Armour Natural, but in cases of definite hypothyroid, I didn't have success with that.
I don't think my experience is of much use in Zeke's case, since I have never dealt with thyroid condition manifesting in behavior. Good luck!

PS: For the dosing, my vets would always start with a fairly high dose, and re-test in 30 days and then calibrate the dose from there, often reducing it. I've usually done at least two follow-up blood tests to establish that we have the dog at the best dose.

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Re: Hypothyroid Zeke

Postby Jen » Sat Jan 28, 2017 8:14 am

How's it going with Zeke?

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Re: Hypothyroid Zeke

Postby Amanda » Sat Jan 28, 2017 11:32 am

Dr. Dodds said that at a minimum we need .4mg. Since I already purchased the .3 mg tabs I opted to give him one and a half tabs BID which works out to .45mg. She said she would not give him .6 so this is a good compromise. It's been one week. I don't see too much in his behavior that has changed yet. Another dog barked at him from their crate at agility and instead of retaliating he checked back in with me and actually seemed a bit rattled by it. We are doing much better on walks in general when he sees other dogs, but that has been the case since before meds. I added a weighted backpack to his neighborhood walks and that seems to anchor him a bit more.

But we also had an agility classmate that approached us and asked to pet him because he's so cute and he growled at her, so there is still that going on. I'm not discouraged though. It takes about 3 weeks for the meds to affect the body and I'm told 3-4 months before you can really notice measurable behavior change. We will run bloodwork again in 5 weeks.

The hardest part so far is timing dosages. Has to be one hour before or 3 hours after a meal. Ideally 12 hours apart. So just trying to figure out our ideal time when some mornings I am up early and off to work and others I am home for the day and sleep in a bit later.

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Re: Hypothyroid Zeke

Postby LisaT_II » Sat Jan 28, 2017 3:51 pm

It's probably also the case that if the thyroid meds fix an underlying metobolic error, some of those behaviours now may be learned behaviours and may not go away without some work.
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Re: Hypothyroid Zeke

Postby Amanda » Sat Jan 28, 2017 11:57 pm

Yes, so we are continuing our dedicated training regimen. My hope is that the medication will take the "edge" off and allow him to actually be thoughtful about all his triggers rather than the seemingly emotional response he currently demonstrates.

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Re: Hypothyroid Zeke

Postby Jen » Sun Jan 29, 2017 1:10 pm

That sounds promising. He's so lucky to have you!

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Amanda
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Re: Hypothyroid Zeke

Postby Amanda » Fri Feb 10, 2017 2:43 pm

Update on Zeke. Three weeks into medication and I think I can say that I see a difference. He is still reactive occasionally, but at agility class today he was markedly more calm and collected. He was thoughtful and responsive. He is usually a wiggly, slightly frantic worker. It was pleasant and happy to watch him partner with me at class. Our classmates noticed also. Feeling hopeful.

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Re: Hypothyroid Zeke

Postby SherriA » Fri Feb 10, 2017 8:20 pm

That's great news, Amanda!
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Re: Hypothyroid Zeke

Postby maxs_mommy » Sun Feb 12, 2017 11:54 pm

Oh good! I saw your post about the Manners Minder on fb and hoped the thyroid meds were helping him regain some calm. I hope it only gets better!
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Re: Hypothyroid Zeke

Postby LisaT_II » Sun Feb 19, 2017 10:28 am

That's a great update, hoping for continued progress! Max plateaued and was never "normal" in his reactivity, but he did get a lot better on the meds.
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Re: Hypothyroid Zeke

Postby Amanda » Mon Mar 06, 2017 4:06 pm

We had a rather disturbing setback last week. But his blood test came back today and his dosage is too low. So we increase and retest. Sigh.


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