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Thyroid Awareness Month

Discussion in 'Doberman Health and News Articles' started by strykerdobe, Sep 5, 2018.

  1. strykerdobe

    strykerdobe Hot Topics Subscriber



    Thyroid dysfunction is the most frequently recognized endocrine disorder of pets and it’s often difficult to make a definitive diagnosis, since many clinical signs mimic those resulting from other causes.


    Hypothyroidism is the most common endocrine disorder of canines. At least 80 percent of canine cases result from autoimmune thyroiditis. The heritable nature of this disorder poses significant genetic implications for breeding stock.

    Common symptoms to look for in dogs:
    Scratching • Hair loss • Seizures • Chronic bowel issues
    Seizures in adulthood • Chewing feet and skin • Skin and ear infections
    Behavior: aggression, moodiness, phobias

    In cats, it has recently been established that feline hyperthyroidism in readily induced, especially in geriatric cats, by feeding commercial pet foods, treats and snacks containing excessive amounts of iodine. This finding has lead to a major change in the iodine formulations of feline commercial pet foods.

    Common symptoms to look for in cats:
    Pacing • Anxiety • Phobias • Howling • House soiling
    Insatiable hunger • Dementia with aging • Hunger and weight loss

    Hemopet Hemolife Thyroid Testing

    Thyroid Testing

    [​IMG]Hypothyroidism is the most common endocrine disorder of dogs. Nearly 90% of cases result from autoimmune thyroiditis, the heritable autoimmune disease that progressively destroys the thyroid gland. Classical clinical signs of hypothyroidism only appear once >70% of the gland is damaged.

    Hyperthyroidism is the second most common endocrine disorder of middle aged and older cats, after diabetes. These cats often have concurrent kidney disease, making it difficult to identify the hyperthyroidism without a more complete thyroid profile. Measuring T4 alone can be misleading as this hormone can be suppressed into the upper end of the normal reference range by any non-thyroidal illness.

    Non-RIA Technology
    Hemolife uses the most comprehensive, patented, and environmentally green non-RIA technology that has never been offered before in veterinary medicine. Hemolife's technology is covered by multiple US and international patents. Additionally, this technology is supported and enhanced by breed and age-specific interpretation.

    Thyroid Profile 5™ - The Most Comprehensive Canine Thyroid Test Available on the Market
    The Thyroid Antibody Panel, Thyroid Profile 5, includes T4, freeT4, T3, freeT3 and TGAA. Since there is an 8% chance of having a false negative TGAA, Hemolife will perform either the T3AA or T4AA when results warrant it or in cases where T3AA or T4AA were previously done and needed for a follow-up. Each sample includes a personal interpretation from Dr. Dodds or one of our other expert veterinarians plus consultation and follow up questions if desired.

    T4:FT4 Ratio (Dogs only)
    The patented T4:FT4 Ratio has been added to Hemolife's portfolio of all “green” technology and breed- and age-specific interpretive analysis, and is available on all of Hemolife's thyroid profile laboratory results to assist veterinarians in diagnosing thyroid conditions more accurately.

    Thyroid GOLD™ Registration & Certificate
    Hemolife Diagnostics Laboratory offers the Thyroid GOLD™ Registration & Certificate that can be ordered with any of the Hemolife Thyroid Profile 5 tests. The OFA Registry only measures free T4 ED, TSH and TGAA, whereas Hemolife's Thyroid Profile 5 is more comprehensive by measuring T4, FT4, T3, FT3 and TGAA. This certificate adds an extra level of assurance to breeders that dogs do not have autoimmune thyroiditis.

    Available Thyroid Tests
    • Thyroid Profile 5™ PLUS (T4, free T4, T3, free T3, TgAA - PLUS CBC, Differential, Chemistries)
    • Thyroid Profile 5™ (T4, free T4, T3, free T3, TgAA)
    • Thyroid GOLD™ Registration & Certificate ONLY (Order with ANY Thyroid Profile 5)
    • Thyroid Profile 4 PLUS (T4, Free T4, T3, Free T3 - PLUS CBC, Differential, Chemistries)
    • Thyroid Profile 4 (T4, free T4, T3, free T3)
    • Thyroid Profile 2
    • OFA Thyroid Registry (free T4 ED, TSH, TgAA)
    • OFA Thyroid (Expanded Profile: T4, T3, free T3, T4AA, T3AA and OFA (FT4ED, TSH, TgAA)
    • TgAA screening test for autoimmune thyroiditis – new for blood spot test for breeders
    • TSH, if desired as an Add-On – not generally recommended by Hemolife
    • Thyroid Profile 4 PLUS TSH (Cats)

    Depending on your policy, most pet insurance companies cover not only routine checkups, but also emergency care, prescriptions, treatment and diagnostic testing such as Hemolife's Thyroid Profiles. Please check with your insurance provider or seek out health insurance for your companion pet.

    Relevant Literature:
    2015 VLA Quality Control Certificate

    The Canine Thyroid Epidemic” by W Jean Dodds and Diana R Laverdure, Dog Wise, 2011

    Thyroid Disease and Autoimmune Thyroiditis

    FAQ's Thyroid Diagnostics and Treatment

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  2. strykerdobe

    strykerdobe Hot Topics Subscriber


    Not all animals are the same

    Young animals are still growing and adolescents are maturing — optimal thyroid levels are expected to be in the upper half of the references ranges. For geriatric animals, basal metabolism is usually slowing down and optimal thyroid levels are likely to be closer to midrange or even slightly lower.

    Puppies have higher basal thyroid levels than adults
    • Geriatrics have lower basal thyroid levels than adults
    • Small and toy dog breeds gave higher levels
    • Large and giant dog breeds have lower levels
    • Sighthound breeds have lower levels

    Did you know?
    • Thyroid hormone is given apart from foods containing calcium or soy, to ensure absorption
    • Half-life of thyroxine in dogs is short; give total daily dose divided morning and night
    • T4 alone not accurate for thyroid assessment; minimum needs are T4 and free T4
    • Even those 2 assays fail to detect heritable thyroiditis; thyroid antibody (TgAA) needed
    • cTSH poor predictor of thyroid dysfunction in dogs with 30% discordancy
    • cTSH helpful in diagnosis and follow up monitoring of hyperthyroid cats
    • Thyroid glandular and other support insufficient to correct true thyroid dysfunction
    • To facilitate diagnosis of thyroid disorders, veterinarians need to routinely employ more complete thyroid profiles, and there is a need to balance affordability with accuracy.
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  3. strykerdobe

    strykerdobe Hot Topics Subscriber

    More about the Thyroid.
    Dr. Deva Khalsa, VMD

    A Dog's Thyroid Gland

    Cats and dogs have different kinds of thyroid problems. Dogs typically get hypothyroidism while cats typically get hyperthyroidism. This article is about what happens when a dog becomes hypothyroid. It's a long article but if you suspect a thyroid problem in your dog it would be good to read this. Additionally, hypothyroidism can be the cause of seizures. So if your dog is having this problem it's important for you to read this.

    Thyroid Problems
    Hypothyroid conditions (medical conditions where the thyroid gland is not working properly, either from production of antibodies against the thyroid hormone or from the inability to produce enough thyroid hormone ) are common in dogs, while hyperthyroid conditions (medical conditions where the thyroid gland produces too much thyroid hormone, as in overmedication with thyroid hormone or from a thyroid tumor in dogs) are common in older cats.

    With hypothyroidism, the thyroid gland fails to produce a sufficient amount of thyroid hormone to meet the demands of the peripheral tissues. Hypothryoidism can affect all organ systems including digestive, skeletal, muscular, respiratory, cardiovascular, nervous, skin, pituitary, adrenals, pituitary, renal, and the blood making components of the bone marrow. The thyroid influences protein synthesis, oxygen absorption, glucose absorption and many more biological functions.
    Hypothyroid dogs can be overweight, have neurological or muscular weakness in the hind legs, seizures, behavioral changes, anemia, skin and coat problems, cardiac problems, several types of digestive issues, urinary incontinence, infertility, and many other physical manifestations. Don't surmise that your dog's thyroid is normal because he or she is thin and has a good coat of fur.

    The thyroid gland is a master gland and it regulates the efficiency of the different systems in the body. Not enough thyroid hormone can cause a slow heart rate and therefore less perfusion of the kidneys and liver. Therefore, if your pet has elevated kidney levels and poorly functioning kidneys; checking the thyroid (and if it is low, correcting it with medication) may serve to increase perfusion through the kidneys and lower the kidney values to a degree. The immune system in a dog who is hypothyroid is not working to full capacity and it opens the door for many illnesses that may have been prevented with a properly functioning immune system. Dogs with degenerative neurological weakness of the hind end are often helped with thyroid medicine if blood tests indicate hypothyroidism.

    The secretory activity of this gland is controlled by feedback systems involving the pituitary gland and the hypothalamus. The synthesis of thyroid hormones takes place in the follicles of the thyroid gland and is dependent on two key nutrients: iodine and tyrosine. Other nutrients such as zinc, selenium and vitamin C are also essential for the production of thyroid hormones. However, over-supplementation with these nutrients (especially iodine) can suppress thyroid output, so a proper balance is required.

    The liver synthesizes 'thyroid transport proteins' which move the thyroid hormone called T4 out to the peripheral tissues. The tissues then convert this into the more biologically active T3 by removing one of the iodine molecules from T4. A healthier liver helps the thyroid gland get the product out to the tissues and a healthier thyroid creates a healthier liver.

    Interestingly, thyroid hormones increase the metabolic activities of almost all tissues in the body. This is because thyroid hormones have the capacity to activate nuclear transcription of a large number of genes, which leads to the formation of proteins, the building blocks of the body.The best blood test to analyze thyroid function is a full panel - checking for T3, Free T4, T4 and autoantibodies to the thyroid. A significant number of dogs have autoantibodies to a thyroid hormone that work actively to destroy that hormone before it can get to it's site of action. This can confuse therapy and dosing, so it is nice to know this in the beginning.

    Not all laboratories do this testing. The Hemopet/Hemolife laboratory, under the direction of Dr. Jean Dodds, in California runs this full panel and Dr. Dodds reviews all blood work to make sure that it is interpreted correctly and she also advises on the dosage for medication. She is personally available for consults about thyroid problems for a small donation fee. Minimally a Free T4 and T4 should be analyzed, as if your animal has a non-thyroidal chronic illness, the T4 can be artificially reduced. Both these tests are commonly available in the United States. The T4 test is the only one easily available in New Zealand, but Massey University Laboratories can send blood serum to Michigan State University (MSU) Veterinary School for a full panel.
    Once you have received the results of your pet's thyroid test, it is important that they be interpreted correctly. This may seem like a funny thing to say but the lab values that dictate the 'normal range' are, in fact, not the ones you go by. Thyroid values that sit at or just above the lower limit of the lab's reference range may be interpreted as hypothyroid, when the pet's age and breed type are taken into account. For example: there can be a dog who is fat and greasy and flakey with a slow heart rate that has a T4 test result of 14 nmol/L when the labs reference range is 10-40 nmol/L. He is in the normal range, which is not optimal for his metabolic needs as he is clinically hypothyroid. If he was thin with a good coat, I would still interpret this result as being suboptimal and the dog in early stage hypothyroidism.

    The MSU Veterinary School, routinely includes a TSH (Thyroid Stimulating Hormone) measurement along with the other thyroid levels and interprets the results conservatively without taking the age or breed of the dog into account. Furthermore, the canine TSH assay is a relatively poor predictor of primary hypothyroidism in dogs (~ 70%) than it is in people (95%). This is apparently because the dog has an alternative pathway for thyroid hormone regulatory control; current research is directed at developing improved assays for TSH in the dog. So, if you have this same fat greasy dog who is so wide you could have a dinner party for four to six people on his back and his test results come back one unit over the lower limit of the stated normal reference range, but his TSH is within normal limits, the interpretation from MSU will typically indicate that he is normal and not hypothyroid.

    Dogs need a lot more thyroid medication per lb (or kg) than people do so their dose is about ten times higher. Dogs also metabolize thyroid medication more quickly than people do (the half-life of thyroxine in dogs is 12-16 hours, whereas it is days in people). Therefore, they need to take their medication twice a day, rather than once a day- as humans do.

    Dr. Deva Khalsa, VMD
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