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Discussion Starter #1
It's been a very long time, but I'm really in need of some thyroid advice. I've recently moved and I switched to a new vet ... at my new vet appt. I asked them to do a blood draw to test thyroid because of recurring skin problems over the past year (hot spots, itchy paws, skin infection on belly). I had asked my previous vet who was very skeptical and brushed it off. I decided to hold off until I found a new vet.

I was a little disappointed because the vet seemed to think that thyroid probably wasn't the problem and it probably was allergies - either food or seasonal. But I said I wanted to do the thyroid testing and apparently they didn't run a full test - only the T4. I got a phone call today that the T4 was 1.6 on a 4.0 scale and totally fine and didn't need supplementation. I then did a little research and found that if the results are below the 50% range then supplementation might be necessary. I called the vet back and she wasn't very friendly about my questions and I almost felt like she was brushing my concerns aside/thinking I'm crazy.

I'm not sure what to do ... is 1.6 for a T4 something that might require supplementation? Should I be finding a new vet and requiring that the vet do FULL thyroid bloodwork and then send it to Dr. Dodds? Help please!

Thank you!
 

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If you are not comfortable with your Vet, I strongly suggest you get a recomendation from someone you trust and respect. I did and I am glad about it.
 

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I'm not a vet but that does look a little on the low side to me. A healthy young dog should be over 2.5.

My dog was hypothyroid, and it sounds like yours is suffering with some typical symptoms.

If he's prone to weight gain, ear infections, skin infections/issues, then I wouldn't hesitate starting him on twice a day thyroid meds and rechecking his levels in 3 months.

That's what my vet originally suggested when my dog presented with low thyroid.

I also think that if your vet is brushing you off and getting annoyed when you are asking questions about the health of your dog that it might be time to shop around for a new vet.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks guys ... I'm a little annoyed because I really tried to do my research and selected this vet because they had good reviews online. I even mentioned to the vet on the phone today that I'm not completely comfortable with the results and I would like to possibly do supplementation. She said that I could do more harm by supplementing when it's "not necessary."

Weight gain isn't a problem (actually more trouble gaining weight) but skin issues have been a problem for the past year ... ughhh. I guess I might need to call some places and ask questions about how they feel about thyroid supplementation in dogs before choosing a vet! Or if anyone has any good vet recommendations in Seattle PLEASE let me know!
 

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In the Moment
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Y you can ask your vet to draw the blood and spin to serum. Then you can send to dr dodds. A full panel needs to be done......T4, free T4, T3, free T3, and the antibodies. We did this with Penny and Maggie last summer. It runs about 75 dollars. Dr dodds will interpret the results and send tho both you and your vet within just a few days.
 
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thyroid issues aside.....this is the person that you have chosen to help you and your dog during times of crisis when life/death decisions need to be made quickly.....it is worth every minute of awkwardness to either work it out so there is mutual respect or move on.
 

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I always recommend a full thyroid panel to MSU. In fact I recommended a panel to a client 1 1/2 years ago! The client declined at that time and I just talked the client into it and the dog is not only hypothyroid, but has automimmune thyroiditis which you would only know from a full panel.
 

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thyroid issues aside.....this is the person that you have chosen to help you and your dog during times of crisis when life/death decisions need to be made quickly.....it is worth every minute of awkwardness to either work it out so there is mutual respect or move on.
Amen to that! We're on the way to our third vet in two months, this weekend. We're finding out just how important it is to have a vet you can trust and feel comfortable with.

I would go to the Hemopet website. You'll find everything you need to have Dr. Dodds run a thyroid panel. You can pay right there online, find out exactly how much blood you'll need them to draw and spin, how to ship it to her, etc. It couldn't be easier.
She'll interpret the results for you and let you know if your dog needs supplementation.
 

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Just as an FYI - my Rowdy was very hypothyroid with allergies, skin conditions, frenectic activity, lack of attention and was very, very underweight. Hypothyroidism, especially in young dogs, does not always present with weight gain.
 

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Yep - and it doesn't always present with lethargy, either, like Sunrise mentioned. That's what our original vet was all hung up on. Riley isn't lethargic, so he felt that it couldn't be hypothyroidism. He, too, dismissed everything as "allergies", when Dr. Dodds feels he's low enough to supplement.
 

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I think you are right about calling around and talking to vets until you find one that will listen to you and will test and treat for thyroid deficiency.

Golden Retrievers as a breed, if they are in the low range of normal need medication.
 

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I will vouch for all of the above responses. Ruby was diagnosed with autoimmune thyroiditis at 3 years old. No lethargy and not overweight. Boundless energy, horrible allergies and behavioral problems.
 

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Get a NEW VET!!!!! Find one that will listen to our opinions and answer questions!! We switched when Selka had cancer just because of these issues.

Get a FULL panel. Low Normal is LOW in a golden!! Your dog will need supplementation it looks like.

YOU are your dog's advocate!!!!! Please find him the best doctor!!!
 

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For your own peace of mind I would definitely request a full panel. It's your dog, your money and you're hiring them to do it. You may need to find another vet though.

When I first brought Rindy home in January (she's a 6 year old rescue) she was extremely lethargic and weighed 86 pounds. I had my vet do a full panel from MSU. The vet told me before we got the results back that if they were normal we would never talk about them again...! The results came back low normal and he said she was fine. Well, time went on and she still was lethargic and overweight (even though I had cut back her food). She then ballooned up to 96 pounds. I started reading about low normal thyroid results in goldens on this forum and how low normal is low for a golden. I talked to the vet about her weight gain and he laughed and said she was a real couch potato... I switched vets because of this and the new vet said she was borderline, but decided to put her on medication. I also got a second opinion from Dr. Dodds and sent her all the test results and she said Rindy was definitely hypothyroid. Rindy is now on .6 mg of Soloxine per day, has a normal activity level and has lost 13 pounds so far.

Best of luck and please keep us posted!
 
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For your own peace of mind I would definitely request a full panel. It's your dog, your money and you're hiring them to do it. You may need to find another vet though.

When I first brought Rindy home in January (she's a 6 year old rescue) she was extremely lethargic and weighed 86 pounds. I had my vet do a full panel from MSU. The vet told me before we got the results back that if they were normal we would never talk about them again...! The results came back low normal and he said she was fine. Well, time went on and she still was lethargic and overweight (even though I had cut back her food). She then ballooned up to 96 pounds. I started reading about low normal thyroid results in goldens on this forum and how low normal is low for a golden. I talked to the vet about her weight gain and he laughed and said she was a real coach potato... I switched vets because of this and the new vet said she was borderline, but decided to put her on medication. I also got a second opinion from Dr. Dodds and sent her all the test results and she said Rindy was definitely hypothyroid. Rindy is now on .6 mg of Soloxine per day, has a normal activity level and has lost 13 pounds so far.

Best of luck and please keep us posted!
Yep - I was just told pretty much the same thing. Dr. Dodds found that Riley's thyroid levels are low enough to require supplementation - MSU says they're normal and that's the final word, according to this one vet. End of conversation - he's not listening or answering questions.

You really do have to speak up for your dog. I don't know what's with some of these vets, but if you don't demand the best care, you're not likely to get it.
 

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This is why Dr. Dodds has a "bad" reputation with some vets out there. Vets that don't understand the thyroid situation, esp. in Goldens. I have run across plenty in my rescue. Some are willing to listen, read the information I supply and are willing to try supplementation. They end up being her biggest fans in the end.
Sorry, but I do think you need a new Vet. Why don't you see if Dr. Dodds can tell you some of the vets she works with in your area? You will still have to check them out for yourself, but at least you know they are on board with her.
After 15 years , I can't say enough good things about Jean Dodds. Her costs are very reasonable too.
 

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This is why Dr. Dodds has a "bad" reputation with some vets out there. Vets that don't understand the thyroid situation, esp. in Goldens. I have run across plenty in my rescue. Some are willing to listen, read the information I supply and are willing to try supplementation. They end up being her biggest fans in the end.
Sorry, but I do think you need a new Vet. Why don't you see if Dr. Dodds can tell you some of the vets she works with in your area? You will still have to check them out for yourself, but at least you know they are on board with her.
After 15 years , I can't say enough good things about Jean Dodds. Her costs are very reasonable too.
Don't mean to hijack, but where did you find the information that you've given to your vets?
I wouldn't mind having some of that in hand when we see the new guy Saturday morning.
 

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I copy it off the Hemopet Web site. I have been following your saga very closely. Just didn't want to confuse you any more at this time with my input. I hope you get some good answers on Sat.:crossfing:crossfing:crossfing:crossfing
 
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I copy it off the Hemopet Web site. I have been following your saga very closely. Just didn't want to confuse you any more at this time with my input. I hope you get some good answers on Sat.:crossfing:crossfing:crossfing:crossfing
Thanks! I'll see what I can print out to take with us, just in case. This guy's bio says that he likes to focus on breed-specific needs (can I get a hallelujah? lol) so hopefully he'll be a little more familiar with Riley's needs, what his symptoms mean, etc.
Thank you! And by all means... confuse away! I don't think I could get much more confused at this point, anyway!
 

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Don't mean to hijack, but where did you find the information that you've given to your vets?
I wouldn't mind having some of that in hand when we see the new guy Saturday morning.
How did the vet visit with the new vet go?
 
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