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Old 01-08-2013, 12:20 PM
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Can bacterial infection impact thyroid test?

Hi everybody - this is my first time posting....sorry it's so long! Gus is 13 months old. He's had 2 bacterial skin infections, one that began in June and due to my ignorance didn't get resolved with antibiotics until August. I thought the bumps on his belly were black fly bites from playing at the pond!

Anyhow, at the beginning of the latest occurence I brought him to the vet and because there were only a few spots they gave me quadritop ointment to put on them. I used it faithfully for several weeks and the spots would clear up but reappear in other places. About 3 weeks ago his hair was falling out excessively so back to the vet we went, from his shoulders back he had really short lab-like hair but forward of his shoulders was his normal coat, made him look like a male lion. Vet said another bacterial infection (which had probably been there the whole time I've been dabbing on quadritop!) and put him on antibiotics and recommended a thyroid panel. Results came back as T4 of .9 with the normal range of 1 - 4; t3 of .6 with the normal range of .7 - 3.7; and I'm not sure what the other test is called but it's measured by PMOL/litres, his is 7.7 with the normal range being 9 to 47. Vet declared him hypothyroid and wants to put him on meds. Along with the test results he noted his continued weight gain - he's 72 pounds now (don't they continue to grow until a little after a year old? his dad is extremely fit and weighs about 80); and his calm nature. He is a very mellow guy but his parents both are and "they" say (who are they anyhow?!) that English goldens are usually quite calm.

So I'm wondering .....would the bacterial infection have impacted his thyroid test? I'm scheduled to talk with a different vet today and may see if they can send the test to Jean Dodds for analysis.
Thanks for any info!
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Old 01-08-2013, 12:30 PM
Kristen; Buddy's Human
 
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Hmmm...I think maybe just a little more info:

When you say weight gain, how much and how fast? Does he have any other symptoms? I see your pic of your boy (he's so handsome BTW!) is of him in the snow - one of the symptoms of hypothyroid can be intolerance of cold, for example.

Personally, I would want my doc to double-check before diagnosing my dog with a lifetime disorder. I'm not qualified to talk about whether or not his infection would impact the results, but I know for myself I would have it double-checked regardless of that worry.

Good luck either way! From what I've read on these forums, this is something lots of people have dealt with and it's very manageable.
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Old 01-08-2013, 01:18 PM
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Thanks! He absolutely loves the snow so no cold intolerance, no aggression or lethargy or other symptoms except for the skin/fur issues. Yes, 2nd opinion for peace of mind and maybe a new vet. I do like my vet but feel like he's quick to push drugs, wanted to put him on prednisone the first time we encountered the skin infection...I didn't, so we didn't.

Weight gain: 67 pounds in July, 69 in September and 72 in December. His birthdate is 11-27-11 & his weight seems reasonable to me, actually I think he looks a bit thin.

It does sound like hypothyroid is easily managed and if he truly is then I'll get him going on meds - but commiting him to a lifetime of meds if he doesn't really need them weighs heavy on my mind.
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Old 01-08-2013, 01:39 PM
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Gus sure is a handsome guy!
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Old 01-08-2013, 01:54 PM
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Illness can certainly affect the outcome of a basic thyroid test, as can stess, etc. but should not impact the results of the test for autoimmune thyroiditis (TgAA).

There is a nice write up on autoimmune thyroiditis here:

Orthopedic Foundation for Animals: Thyroid Disease

And just because a dog tests negative for thyroid disease at age 2, for example, does not mean that he will not get it later.
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