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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Boomer just went to the vet for his annual check up and vaccinations. The blood work came back today and he has low thyroid levels. The vet wants to run a Free T4 test at another $60. Can anyone tell me more about hypothyroidism and whether this additional test is necessary/what its for? The main thing I'm finding about hypothyroidism is that it causes weight gain/obesity and that right now is definitely not a problem with him. I haven't had a chance to speak with the vet yet. I just wanted to find out a little more before speaking with her.
 

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Here is a LINK with a lot of great information and other links with research to follow. The free T4 test is the most accurate when measuring the active thyroxine in the dogs blood and body (great LINK here!)

My Jack/Rat Terrier is Hypothyroid, her test results were 'low-normal' so we decided to put her on the medication and re-test. She showed more 'emotional' problems and skin problems than weight gain, quite opposite she worried so much that she was near impossible to keep weight on. We also made some great breakthrough with her SA after she had been on her thyroid meds. I noticed a positive difference in her personality and skin in less than a week. I also notice a huge difference if she's been off her medication for one reason or another, even if she just misses a dose she much more crabby and snappy at other dogs.

I would go ahead and run the test, it's so easy and cheap to treat there is no reason not to! (Pebbles meds cost me $20 for 1000 ct which is well over a years medication).
 

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miss fiona my doxie just had her t test done it was 100.00 here in ny she had sone skin issiues and was grumpy
now that she is on meds she is so much better she will be 9 this year
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I will go ahead and run the test and check out the links, thanks! Boomer has had some itchy skin that I thought was just allergies the last couple of years. That hasn't been very severe at all though. And he actually just bit someone the other day for the first time ever (he's almost 9 years old). I just thought his grouchy-ness was his normal self though. He's always been a strange dog that worries a lot and doesn't really care for people outside his family but when he bit the guy it was very unexpected and didn't give any of the signs he normally does when he's uncomfortable with someone. Maybe this low thyroid has something to with that? Those are the only symptoms I can think of right now. Does the medication have any side effects?
 

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Do the testing, it'll help! The meds aren't expensive and will make a difference. You can read up on symtoms but it's usually dry, brittle hair/loss of hair, dry skin, grumpyness and weight gain. Not all dogs though. My old boy had a bit of hair loss on his tail and gained five pounds, no other issues. Tested his thyroid and the vet had them redo it - it was ZERO both times! Onto meds and within months he had improved. Right before the meds though he did stop eating and I think it was him feeling icky.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks everyone, I just read the links provided and that was very helpful. Boomer doesn't eat very well but that's been going on for awhile now and he eats fine when we are back home (at college right now) so I'm not sure if I'm just finding symptoms now because of this or if these things are really related but I will try the meds and see if he improves! He is difficult to keep weight on him so that's opposite of most cases it seems. He's been a steady 54 lbs for several years now and could probably use to gain a couple lbs.
 

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Any number of non-thyroidal illnesses as well as some medications can yield low T4 on bloodwork. This is called Euthyroid Sick Syndrome and T4 and T3 usually returns to normal once the underlying condition has been addressed. Unfortunately no one test is 100% accurate when testing for hypothryodism so pursuing a diagnosis should be dependent on clinical symptoms. Your dog apparently has none. Common bloodwork abnormalities are high cholesterol, high triglycerides and mild elevation of a liver enzyme called alkaline phosphatase (ALKP). Did your dog have any other blood abnormalities?

You asked about side effects of medication. A lot of vets will do a trial of thyroxin to see if values normalize. If a dog doesn't need thyroid supplementation, giving the meds could cause hyperthyroidism. If this should happen, you would definitely see an increase in drinking and urination. The fix is to discontinue medication. You may want to talk to your vet and ask him/her if in the absence of common symptoms, could Euthyroid Sick Syndrome be involved and if so, were there any blood abnormalities that were of concern. Did your vet discuss the common symptoms associated with hypothyroidism? If not talk him/her about them and make sure s/he knows that your dog doesn't seem to present with any.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
She said everything else came up normal on his blood work so I don't think he had any other abnormalities. I haven't been able to talk to the vet about any of it yet. I had a voice mail from her telling me his blood work results and that his thyroid levels were low. I called the office back but was only able to speak with the receptionist and she wasn't able to answer any of my questions. I told them to do the free T4 test so I'm hoping to hear back from them soon and learn more.
 
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