Thyroid Testing - What I Should Know

I have made an appt at my vet for tomorrow morning to get Nakura's thyroid tested. She is very overweight and very lazy. She would eat us out of house and home if she got the chance. For the past couple of years I have put it down to her season and bloating but this year I really can't get the weight off her. She is fed a Light food and eats it happily. She gets walked daily for about an hour and then has as much run of the garden as she wishes - trouble is she doesn't want to. She would rather lie asleep on the sofa. She is also very snarky.

I have absolutely no idea about the thyroid tests and have read on here a few times about different numbers and tests that should be done.

My vet is generally very good but not knowledge on Bs. Can you please let me know what I should be asking to be tested and what levels would be acceptable for a normal B.

Get the full thyroid panel with t3, t4, tsh, and tgaa.
You can send the results to Dr. Dodds at hemopet for evaluation.
Low normal is often too low for a basenji.

This past summer (end of July), I had Amisi and Mopaya tested prior to breeding. They did the seven panel testing. Unfortunately, Mopaya started her annual season shortly thereafter and one result was wonky (normal but near borderline). She will be retested this spring.
They measured :
FreeT4Thyroid Stimulating Hormone
Thyroglobulin Autoantibody (TgAA - important for breeding)
Total Thyroxine (T4)
Total Truodothyronine (T3)
FreeT3
T4 Autoantibody (T4AA)
T3 Autoantibody (T3AA)
The results are analyzed in comparison to adult sighthound optimal levels.

In February 2009 I had Lema tested simply for thyroid level because of her weight (she had been free-fed while she was not with me for 6 months). This was just the Baseline T4 Test or Total T4 (TT4) test. She was normal.

Jo

Thanks. All these T numbers confuse me. I will be sure to tell the vet about the low results for Bs.

Thanks Jo. I have made a note of all these tests and will be sure that my vet tests all of them. They said the results should be back by end of next week. I was thinking about buying a bag of TOTW or Orijen to feed Nakura to see if that helps. We have Crufts in around 7 weeks so I want her looking her best.

We had a thyroid panel done on Maya when she was really unwell and losing her coat, turned out to be allergies but vet did the thyroid test as a precaution when they did the allergy testing. They took blood and sent it off to a lab and came back with a load of t numbers that meant nothing to me. It confused me, but presumably they knew what was going on lol.

I also had my oldster MinPin tested in March 2010 (T4, T3, Free T4, Free T3, T4 Auto, T3 Auto, tsh, and thyroglobulin A). Her results were excellent and it turned out to be allergies. After the vet interpreted the results, I have always (each of the three times so far) sent them to Dr. Dodds for a second opinion interpretation.

We had a seven panel test sent to Dr. Dodds for Petey when he was being aggressive, and it came back normal.
I know people say she finds thyroids links to behaviour that other people do not, but that has not been my experience.
We also tested for rickettsial diseases and did a full blood panel that came up negative as well.

That's interesting about allergies. Nakura has always been a grumpy girl. She's not nasty just grumps when you try to move her, doesn't like any other dog to share sofa, hates the other bitches in the house etc etc. Quite typical B behaviour, however, she is my only B who is like this. She has been fed on Royal Canin most of her life so maybe she has a problem with grains or something. I think I will buy a bag of EXPENSIVE!!! food anyway - it can't do any harm.

Have you thought of trying her on a completely raw diet? My mums old lab is severely allergic to wheat and dust mites (found in dry food bags) so she has to have all raw and is in amazing condition since we changed her onto that. She used to tear chunks of hair (and skin!!) out where she was so itchy! We have all of them on a raw diet now, just RC occassionally for the little ones 🙂

All my Bs get a lot of raw meat and veg etc. I try to go give them one meal dry, one meal raw. I would love to have them on a completely raw diet all of the time but I just cannot get a regular supplier of bones around here. The butchers will not supply them and most of the dog food suppliers won't come to my area as the fuel costs are so high. I get chicken wings from Tesco and have chicken carcasses in the past too and some liver but just can't get the bones. They like Natures Diet food which is almost raw I suppose and AMP supply us with frozen meat. The dried food is taken out of the bags and stored in plastic air tight containers in the house.

I've just order a 13kg bag of Orijen Fish for her ?69.00 :eek: The RC costs ?30 for 15 kilos through the breeder scheme.

Oh, I forget that you guys are often limited for suppliers oop norf!

Orijen is EXPENSIVE! But supposed to be really good. Fingers crossed she improves on that 🙂

I recommend using the OFA approved labs over Jean Dodds simply because you can have them post the results which are good for your breeder or relatives… send to Dodds for 2nd opinion of you like.

On your B... I give poor Arwen 1/4 cup of food. It feels inhumane, but more than that 2x a day and she gains. So I add in no salt green beans to give her bulk. Some dogs are simply highly efficient food processors. Sayblee weighed same but ate 3x as much.

I hate Hill Science, but I have to admit in all my years when I have had a dog already FAT come in, nothing takes it off as quickly as their diet food!

http://www.workingdogs.com/doc0112.htm Good article btw.

Vicki - have you seen the new Animal Health product -'Alert' - it might be worth a try. As you know I have great trust in thier products which I usually find very successful.

Please let me know the thyroid results as I'll be extremely interested. I don't think we place enough importance on thyroid testing here.

Patty - I saw an advert for Alert last week. I think I will give it a go as I already use quite a lot of their products, usually with success.

I had Nakura at the vet this morning. She weighs 11kg (24.2lb). The vet didn't think she would have HT going by my description of her behaviour/eating habits etc but he has taken blood to be sent to Idexx labs. He is testing for T4 and TgAA initially as the full panel is VERY expensive. If there is any cause for concern with the T4, then he will run T4AA, T3AA etc etc.

I've also ordered a bag of Orijen fish for her to see how she goes on a grain free diet.

She was ever so good at the vets - even let John take the blood without putting a muzzle on her 🙂

Although my vets aren't well educated on Basenjis, they are extremely willing to learn and do research.

Results should be back early next week.

Sounds reasonable. That is the process we took with Lema. Her initial results were excellent, so we didn't have to go further with the more extensive testing. And Lema's weight issue resolved itself with controlled intake and lots of exercise running with the pack in the back acre.
Good luck with Nakura and let us know what they find.
Jo

I always do the full panel. The issue is that a partial, you still only have partial. And if you suspect issues, you end up running them anyway. Of course it helps that a full panel here is not that much more than a partial (I think it was a bit under 60 or 140 for full). LOL though I did full on Sayblee because she WOULDN'T eat and full on Arwen because she gets almost nothing to eat in order to keep weight down. Both were fine.

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