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My buddy Miles has been diagnosed with hypothyroidism.
He's had several of the main symptoms. He's gained a significant amount of weight recently. He's not as active as he used to be. And he's developed a skin issue. My vet has diagnosed it an given me meds for Miles to take twice a day.

My question is, what should I expect from Miles? How long will it take the weight to come off and my old buddy to come back?
 

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You will quickly see an improvement in his overall behavior. I don't know how long till the weight comes off, but the medication is effective and you will be really pleased with the results.

Even with the thyroid meds, you probably should put him on a diet to help get the weight off. Cut his kibble back a half cup and substitute green beans (unsalted).
 

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I would wait to cut back on the kibble. Give the meds 6 weeks to really start making a difference. It takes time for the meds to build up in the system and they feel pretty crappy until they do, so I wouldn't worry about his weight until the meds have had time to build up.
 

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Maggies has been on her meds for 6 months and she is more peppy and more active, as for her weight she was /is 8 pounds over weight, and hasnt lost a pound yet. Have also cut her food back and she gets green beans.
 

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Mila (Lab/beagle) is slightly hypothyroid and on a low dose of soloxine twice/day. She has lost weight and looks really good now. It took a few weeks to notice the weight loss, and she's also on a reduced calorie food.
 

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We noticed a change in Gunner pretty quickly and he didn't even have any visual symptoms. But after going on meds (he was low/normal) his coat was so much softer/silky, he had more energy and he lost weight.
 

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In our case the weight came off naturally after the medication got into his system. His coat got very thick and shiny and his behavior improved. When I noticed his coat getting thinner and his weight creeping up I had him retested and we ended up increasing his dosage by .1. This year his coat is the thickest I've ever seen but he seems to be less tolerant of the humidity/heat so we'll be retesting him again at his annual exam in 2 weeks. It may just be the thick coat is causing the intolerance--it really is thick for this time of year!
 

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In our case the weight came off naturally after the medication got into his system. His coat got very thick and shiny and his behavior improved. When I noticed his coat getting thinner and his weight creeping up I had him retested and we ended up increasing his dosage by .1. This year his coat is the thickest I've ever seen but he seems to be less tolerant of the humidity/heat so we'll be retesting him again at his annual exam in 2 weeks. It may just be the thick coat is causing the intolerance--it really is thick for this time of year!

when you said behavior improved, what do you mean towards dogs/humans, read aggression towards dogs from low thyroid
 

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just a comment, be sure your vet checks the levels frequently when first starting on the meds., every 6-8 weeks. Often they will need to be tweaked until the correct dose is found.
 

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just a comment, be sure your vet checks the levels frequently when first starting on the meds., every 6-8 weeks. Often they will need to be tweaked until the correct dose is found.
I just wanted to second this comment...it can take a while at first to get the correct dosage. At the very beginning we re-tested every 6 weeks until we get optimal levels. When re-testing, it is best to take the pill on an empty stomach 4-6 hours prior to testing. This will show optimal absorption levels.
Another thing I recently learned after a consult with a leading specialist in canine hypothyroidism (Dr. Jean Dodds, whom many on the forum recommend) is that thyroid meds should always be given 1 hour before feeding or 2-3 hours after. That was in direct conflict with what our vet had told us, they simply said to throw the pill in with Paddy's food. Dr. Dodds said that vet's are poorly trained in this area and she is doing her best to educate the veterinary community about the proper way to take thyroid meds.
When Paddy first began on thyroid meds they mis-calculated and had his levels really high and he was super-crazy hyper (manic) and drank all the time. These are signs that oversupplementation is occuring. We then started really low and moved up until he was at 0.8mg per day. He is now at 0.6mg as he began losing too much weight and again he was again going into hyper ranges. He seems to have stabilized.
I guess what I am trying to say is that having a thyroid condition is life-long and it may takes lots of tweaking over the years. We test Paddy's T4 levels every 6 months now, as we want to keep everything balanced.
You will quickly begin to notice signs that things may need tweaking and if you do, re-test.
You might also notice some bizarre shedding at first. I remember with Paddy he was shedding so much that hair was coming out in clumps - but again this may have been due to the fact that he was being way-over supplemented.
We thought things took about 6 months to stabilize overall...as Paddy was showing aggression towards other dogs. But now, he is a pretty well balanced dog. He gets along with everyone and is very tolerant.

Good luck on your journey.
I hope they help Miles soon !!
 

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when you said behavior improved, what do you mean towards dogs/humans, read aggression towards dogs from low thyroid
Vito's behavior improved but not regarding aggression. He has never displayed any aggression even before he was diagnosed. However, he used to be more anxious and was starting to display a little fear. I guess you could say the meds "took the edge off"? He became a bit more laid back.

However, I don't think you will see HUGE changes in behavior. Someone else actually pointed out the changes to me.
 

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Another thing I recently learned after a consult with a leading specialist in canine hypothyroidism (Dr. Jean Dodds, whom many on the forum recommend) is that thyroid meds should always be given 1 hour before feeding or 2-3 hours after. That was in direct conflict with what our vet had told us, they simply said to throw the pill in with Paddy's food. Dr. Dodds said that vet's are poorly trained in this area and she is doing her best to educate the veterinary community about the proper way to take thyroid meds.
This is true and I think the word is finally getting around. When our Beau went on medication in 2002 none of his vets directed us to dose on an empty stomach but when both dogs went on thyroid 18 months ago two different vets told me to give it one hour before or 2 to 3 hours after a meal for maximum absorption.
 
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Discussion Starter #15
Thanks for all the great advice. I hadn't thought about having him retested. i'll be sure to do that in a few weeks to see how the medicine is affecting him.
Thank you all!
 

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Dean,

how old is your buddy Miles ? I hope you have the success we had with the medication and our first Golden Riker. Riker has since passed away (nothing to do with the thyroids). When he was 10 years old he had very brittle and dry fur. He was walking very slow with his head down. He was sleeping alot as well. I brought him to the vet and I have to admit I thought he was sick and it was serious.

Our vet took a minute to diagnose the condition. She was so sure that the tests were going to come back positive that she gave me 2 weeks worth of medication. The next day she called and sure enough his thyroid wasn't working. She stated that this happens to about 80 percent of the senior goldens. I wish I was following this forum then. He dropped some weight which helped his hips and it really helped his energy level. I really felt like I got a few extra years from those two little blue pills. Riker gave us 13 years and the last 3 were some of the best.

Best of luck !
 
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...how old is your buddy Miles ?
Miles is almost 5.

Wow what a difference! Miles is already so much better! He's back to his old self, he's happy and playful and I think he has already lost some weight!

His appetite does seem to have diminished some, and his stool is really loose. Is that to be expected for a while?
 

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Toby had chronic loose stool but not from adding thyroid meds. I'd ask your vet about them. When we added some higher fiber kibble to his mix of sensitive skin formula and his stools got much firmer. After Barkley passed we put him on a different formula with more fiber and the stools are normal.

Once we started the thyroid meds Toby's coat came in like a true golden coat. He was so surprised by his extra fur it was comical. I love how a little thyroid medication in a dog with low levels really helps them in so many ways.
 
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