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josey

Thyroid Test

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Hi, I had my dog tested for thyroid at a vet, and he said that the T4 came back as 1. So he put her on thyroid med, and then the T4 was 4.4 high. She has not been doing good on her medication, and I got my last test result, but the hospital didn't have the first one and neither did the dr.

 

I read online that T4 is normal at 1. (This number could have been over 1 but certainly not 2. but this is for humans, so what is the difference? can I lower her meds?

 

 

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It's pretty normal for thyroid meds to have to be adjusted a few times until the correct dosage is achieved. But I wouldn't go lowering her meds without your vet's approval.

 

My understanding is that you should really have a full thyroid panel run for an accurate diagnosis. Just T4 level isn't enough information. There are other values that should also be taken into consideration. I always send my dogs' thyroid samples to Dr. Jean Dodds at Hemopet. She's the expert in the field and wonderful to work with. My experience with several general practice vets is they really don't know how to accurately interpret the results and in some cases don't even know that they should be testing for more than just T4. I'm sure some are very good, but I've run into enough who aren't really up on it to trust most of them.

 

When you say the T4 level is 1, you really have to provide the lab's range in order to understand how it falls within (or outside of) normal range.

 

One thing I can tell you is that for humans, thyroid readings that are in the low normal range are actually low. I'm hypothyroid and my endocrinologist confirmed this. When I asked why the ranges haven't been adjusted to reflect this, he said it was politics and that many GPs aren't aware of it so a lot of hyperthyroidism goes undiagnosed as a result. Don't even get me started about how I feel about politics trumping science when it comes to people's health, but I guess that's the way it's done. :blink:

 

AFAIK, this is true for dogs as well, which is why I'd want Dr. Dodds to do the testing and/or interpret the results.

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I also read an article by dr. Nicholas B Carter of Border Collie Rescue, and he said that because Border Collies are bred to run many hours a day, and because pets don't get that exercise, they get fat. And their metabolism is very efficient and so their T4 would be on the lower side. I also read that the normal range for dogs is T4 1 to 4. The first test was found, and her T4 was 1.3.

 

So, I guess I will just have her retested and consider getting her off thyroid med. It would be interesting to see what others think of this though.

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I also read an article by dr. Nicholas B Carter of Border Collie Rescue, and he said that because Border Collies are bred to run many hours a day, and because pets don't get that exercise, they get fat.

 

Do you a link to that article? I'd be interested in reading it.

 

As for as pet border collies getting fat because they don't get as much exercise as their working counterparts, it's just like it is with people: If you don't exercise you don't need as many calories. So pet border collies who are fat are fat because they're being overfed for their activity levels. More calories taken in than expended will lead to the calories taken in being converted to fat. So, while what you attribute to Dr. Carter is true in one sense, it's not the whole story. The dogs are getting fat because they're being fed too much, and in many cases the wrong things. My current dogs don't work sheep or do agility. But none of them are fat because I don't over feed them and I don't feed them carbs, which are more likely to convert to fat than the raw diet I feed them.

 

I can't speak to the part about thyroid levels.

 

 

I also read that the normal range for dogs is T4 1 to 4. The first test was found, and her T4 was 1.3.

 

If you read that in the lab's info on the ranges, then yes, 1.3 is on the low end. Not all labs use the same ranges, so it's important to read the results in relation to that labs reference range.

 

Based on when my endocrinologist has told me, I'd be concerned that the results are low rather than in the lower end of normal.

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Being low on thyroid can over time cause permanent damage to the heart, so if your dog needs to be on thyroid meds, definitely continue them.

 

My endocrinologist also keeps me in the high normal range. It's important to make sure it is given the same way every single day. Best is to give it at least 3 hours after eating and at least 1 hour before eating. But if that is impossible, due to whatever other issues, it is important to give it with the same amount of the same kind of food. All of these things will affect how much of the hormone is absorbed and used. In the beginning, it is normal to test T3, T4, and TSH, and it's normal to test every 3 months until the correct dosage is found.

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My endocrinologist also keeps me in the high normal range. It's important to make sure it is given the same way every single day. Best is to give it at least 3 hours after eating and at least 1 hour before eating. But if that is impossible, due to whatever other issues, it is important to give it with the same amount of the same kind of food. All of these things will affect how much of the hormone is absorbed and used. In the beginning, it is normal to test T3, T4, and TSH, and it's normal to test every 3 months until the correct dosage is found.

Wow. I tested hypothyroid and am on thyroid supplement, but my doc never told me what you indicate above. I guess I should be doing more research. Can you point me to some good links? [just trying to get the best info]

 

And this doc also put my husband on megadoses of D2 supplement to raise his Vit D levels. I did 5 minutes of research and discovered that D3 is much more bioavailable than D2. Thus, D3 should be used for increasing Vit D levels. Would my husband listen to me? or even look at the links I sent him? Heck no. Why should he listen to his wife who is a PhD level biochemist vs. even dare to question his doc? Sheesh.

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It's important to make sure it is given the same way every single day. Best is to give it at least 3 hours after eating and at least 1 hour before eating. But if that is impossible, due to whatever other issues, it is important to give it with the same amount of the same kind of food. All of these things will affect how much of the hormone is absorbed and used. In the beginning, it is normal to test T3, T4, and TSH, and it's normal to test every 3 months until the correct dosage is found.

 

Yep. And this is something most vets (and many human docs) don't bother to tell people. I can't tell you the number of people I've talked to who are giving their dogs thyroid meds with their meals and when I mention this they tell me their vets never told them when or how to give it. It was a pharmacist who told me about it, not a doctor who was prescribing it. :blink:

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I've been hypo-T for 27 years or more. I'm on my third endocrinologist and I have learned different things from all of them. The first told me to always wait an hour after I take my meds before eating. The second told me I could wait only a half hour as long as I always ate the same thing for breakfast, but we would have to adjust my dose. The third told me about not taking my fiber, vitamins, and minerals with my breakfast because they affect thyroid levels. The vets I used to work for never told our clients any of that. I read on my own, but my latest Dr confirmed, that eating kelp supplements may reduce my thyroid supplement level and that people on thyroid supplements should always take a vit. B multi. He also told me that if I take calcium, I should also take D3, and I should take K2. He said D3 tells your body to use calcium, but K2 helps your body to use it where it's needed, rather than on your artery walls.

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He also told me that if I take calcium, I should also take D3, and I should take K2. He said D3 tells your body to use calcium, but K2 helps your body to use it where it's needed, rather than on your artery walls.

 

This is something I'm going to have to look into. I take D3 for Seasonal Affective Disorder, and I need to do more research about what else I should take with it. :blink:

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GentleLake. I can't add a link here for some reason, but it can be googled: thyroid, border collie rescue. I can type it out: www.bcrescue.org/thyroid.

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