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New Mommy
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Can you give us any more info? A medical crisis can affect a thyroid test.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Blood work sent to Dr. Dodds show decreased levels of T3 and T4 with Free T4 at the low end of normal (value .90, normal is .85- 2.3) and low end of normal for Free T3 as well. TGAA negative. Interpretation that the decreased levels were likely due to non-thyroidal illness. Dog has not been on any medication in the last month or through any medical crisis. Appears healthy. I was told to check to make sure anything isn't 'smoldering.' What could be smoldering?
 

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Was this what Dr. Dodds said? Did she know the blood work was from a Golden?(Like they they mark that on the form they sent with blood work)
 

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Well it was sent to Hemopet. When I called I received a message that Dr. Dodds was out of the office until the 18th so I sent an email. Email basically said the same thing...thought that the low levels might be a sign of something else. Signed in her name. Mentioned something might be smoldering and to run other tests. So I wonder what problems could cause this? She's had no vaccines in over a year, no medication in over a month, is active and appears relatively healthy.
 

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Basically any illness can cause decreased thyroid levels-everything from allergies to diabetes to cushing's disease. I doubt if she has anything serious, but allergies wouldn't be a stretch in many goldens. Even stress can decrease the levels if I remember my physiology correctly.
 

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Do you mind if I check this out for you? I might need you to PM me a little more info.
 

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Basically any illness can cause decreased thyroid levels-everything from allergies to diabetes to cushing's disease. I doubt if she has anything serious, but allergies wouldn't be a stretch in many goldens. Even stress can decrease the levels if I remember my physiology correctly.
So the million dollar question...how far should I go searching for ghosts? I just wanted to rule out thyroid problems but now I don't feel like I have and it has given me more questions than answers. I have yet to call my regular vet because I wanted to hear from Dodds first.

Now, I can say she was spayed a little over a month ago before the blood draw. I was worried this could affect the results so I asked a few veterinarians before the blood draw and I was told it shouldn't affect her thyroid. Should I retest in a few months? Run to the vet and run a complete blood panel and urinalysis etc?

T4 1.06 Ref. 1.4-3.5
T3 21 Red 30-70
Free T4 .90 Ref .85-2.3
Free T3 1.8 Ref. 1.6-3.5
 

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New Mommy
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Seems like a pretty clear case of low thyroid in a Golden to me. So I am confused too. I'll see what I can find out for you .
 

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So the million dollar question...how far should I go searching for ghosts? I just wanted to rule out thyroid problems but now I don't feel like I have and it has given me more questions than answers. I have yet to call my regular vet because I wanted to hear from Dodds first.

Now, I can say she was spayed a little over a month ago before the blood draw. I was worried this could affect the results so I asked a few veterinarians before the blood draw and I was told it shouldn't affect her thyroid. Should I retest in a few months? Run to the vet and run a complete blood panel and urinalysis etc?

T4 1.06 Ref. 1.4-3.5
T3 21 Red 30-70
Free T4 .90 Ref .85-2.3
Free T3 1.8 Ref. 1.6-3.5
Spaying absolutely has an effect on the dogs thyroid levels. Estrogen is needed to regulate thyroid and when a dog is spayed, they no longer have that source of estrogen because we do an oviohysterectomy on dogs-meaning all reproductive organs are removed.

How old is this dog?? My vet, who is now retired, used to talk about "old spayed bitch syndrome". What he essentially meant by this was that when a female dog had been in tact for many years and had the estrogen levels to help regulate the thyroid levels that many times, shortly after spaying, you would see a drop in the thyroid levels. We don't see this profound effect in male dogs because they can still produce testosterone in their brains after they are neutered.

She is absolutely borderline low right now. I might give her a couple more months for her body to try to regulate itself unless you are seeing symptoms of hypothyroidism, in which case, I would get her started on meds.

From what you are saying, I don't think she has anything else "smoldering". If she is an older dog, with her having some low normal results, this wouldn't be typical thyroid disease.
 

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We got a euthyroid notation once with Toby from MSU--other labs were perfect and it was a mystery, even after the interpretation. Our vet did a trial run with us with supplementation and we saw improvement in his low thyroid symptoms (increased weight, changes in coat and fur, a recurrent hot spot in the same spot when he never had them before). Later tests revealed true hypothyroidism. Our vet thinks we caught the disease in its earliest stages. His only other "underlying" conditions were digestive enzyme deficiencies and his congenital cataract which was treated with topical steroid drops--doubt those were it.
 

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The levels are so close to normal I'd probably wait a month and recheck before I did anything else.
 

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My lab mix has been testing on the low side of normal of thyroid hormones for the past year. His activity had decreased so the vet and I wanted to make sure he does not have hypothyroidism, but nope he doesn't. The values have not decreased in that year, actually increased a tad bit. His activity level has increased some now. So, no clue what happened. So, really, I am not worried about it now. Toby, my GR always tests on the low side of normal also, but no other signs. Both my dogs are seniors though. Had the same thing happen with my previous senior golden, always testing on the low normal side, but never needing meds for it.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I thought that low normal was too low for goldens? Particularly a young dog? Am I wrong?

Right now I am wondering if it is best to wait a few months and re-test. But then, I am also wondering if I need to take her to the vet for a full work-up.
 

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I don't know. I think every vet has a different opinion on that.
My sister's GR had hypothyroidism at about age 2, I believe. He was on meds for the rest of his life. He died at age 13 of a brain tumor.
 

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Kate
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I was thinking that those hormone numbers might be iffy if she was recently spayed and spayed as an adult. I would definitely discuss these numbers with your vet and discuss a good time to recheck.

And my vet said that stress itself is either a cause of lower numbers or a symptom of lower numbers. At least two vets that I discussed Jacks' numbers said this when I brought up the fact that he went from being a confident and happy young dog to a dog who was afraid of going outside.

I wonder if there is something you can safely add to her diet to boost her numbers without putting her on thyroid meds. Something with iodine in it?
 

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You should never try to medicate on your own. Giving iodine supplement is a bad idea. Sorry.
A human story about iodine: My 'smart' sister has been taking iodine pills per her doctor's instructions for many years because of nodules in her thyroid. One day, her daughter was feeling around her neck and wondering, and she was showing some fatique, etc. So, her momma decided to give her daughter iodine pills just in case. To make a long story short, my niece became hyperthyroid, had heart problems related to that and eventually had to have her thyroid removed. Thanks mom!
 
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