• @sinbaje:

    There is no need for the TgAA in a non breeding animal as it does not tell you anything about the function of the thyroid - which is what you are screening Bowdu for - function or lack thereof. I also feel the T3 tests are a waste in determining HYPOthyroid since the T4 is converted to T3 (the T4 is the first in line so if it is affected it stands to reason the T3 would also be so why spend money on testing it?).

    I disagree. I had a dog that at 18 months old tested low T4 on a blood panel and the vet wanted to supplement. I asked they run a full panel since I wanted the FT4ed since there were no symptoms of HT. T4 was still low but he also had high T3. I sent the results to Dr Dodds for interpretation and she said wait 6 months and retest to see if anything changed. The T4 came back up into the normal range and has been normal since.


  • My Eddie had some low values and some high, vet did not recommend treatment but Dr. Dodds started him on a low dose. Disposition improved (was not really bad) and oddly, his body temp seemed to lower…he had been the hottest basenji I had ever slept with, just petting him and another basenji you could feel the difference. He now seems normal, is perkier, plays more. My vet was fine with me referring to her, he is not a basenji expert, but I really think Eddie has benefitted from his daily pills.

    Many people with new or controversial ideas are ridiculed or even demonized by peers at first, some are proven right later on, some not. After being published in a Vet. journal by Jennifer Yearly, more Vets at least listened to Dr. Gonto's theory. It does pay to be cautious, do your own research. Anecdotal stories off the internet do not impress most scientific people....but it does not mean there is no truth there.

    Good luck with your boy. Sorry about your experience, I'm sure that affected your feelings about your vet overall.


  • @lvoss:

    I disagree. I had a dog that at 18 months old tested low T4 on a blood panel and the vet wanted to supplement. I asked they run a full panel since I wanted the FT4ed since there were no symptoms of HT. T4 was still low but he also had high T3. I sent the results to Dr Dodds for interpretation and she said wait 6 months and retest to see if anything changed. The T4 came back up into the normal range and has been normal since.

    What do you not agree with? What did the T3 tell you? The T3 did not dx your dog with HT, nor did it unequivocally tell you the thyroid was ok. In the end you still needed to know what the T4 was to determine/validate thyroid function.

    The vets I work with, if the only problem is a low blood value - without symptoms - they reccomend recheck in 4-6 months to make sure there is not some other underlying reason for the low T4 (such as normal flucuations in values throughout the day, immune responses to something, et al).

    This is where it is important for the humans to be moderately knowledgeable in disease and to be their pets advocate. If your dog does not have symptoms correlating with blood results - it will not hurt to wait. Same as if the blood results do not always correlate with the symptoms, it does not hurt to do a 3 months trial - then wean off - if symptoms do not return then there is no true disease.

    The only caveat to the trial is this: 1) all mammals will respond positively to increased hormones as we all deplete our stores throughout the day. Is the positive result truly indicative of long term need or just a normal response of the body. The only way to know is to slowly wean off (to give the thyroid time to wake up after its vacation) and see if symptoms return 2) if the thyroid is not really needing supplements but supplement is used long term it can create a non functioning thyroid to the point of atrophy and "death" - so if used when not necessary you could be creating hypothyroidism.


    MERCURY MY SPECIFICATIONS


  • @sinbaje:

    What do you not agree with? What did the T3 tell you? The T3 did not dx your dog with HT, nor did it unequivocally tell you the thyroid was ok. In the end you still needed to know what the T4 was to determine/validate thyroid function.

    I disagree that T4 alone gives a sufficient picture of what is going on. The T3 did not diagnose my dog with HT but it did give reason to not supplement and wait to see what was going on with the T4 levels. Based on T4 alone, the vet would have supplemented.


  • @lvoss:

    I disagree that T4 alone gives a sufficient picture of what is going on. The T3 did not diagnose my dog with HT but it did give reason to not supplement and wait to see what was going on with the T4 levels. Based on T4 alone, the vet would have supplemented.

    Why would you have let him, without supporting physical symptoms? Somehow I doubt you would have - which is why you asked for more bloodwork.

    The FT4ed is the gold standard and has been for eternity it seems. There has been nothing in peer reviewed research or print proving that testing of more hormones equals greater or more definitive diagnosis. Since the thyroid produces 80% T4 hormone vs 20% T3 hormone and disease impacts both T4 and T3 similarly, it stands to reason to test T4 first. It is also more cost effective.

    Can more testing help with diagnosis or ruleouts? Absolutely. Is it necessary? Not necesarily - unless you are finding the blood results and the physical symptoms do not jive and you want to do more investigating, then again taking a wait and see approach would have told you the same thing, albeit more cheaply.

    This is where Pat's implied statement that in the end - the vet works for you and your pet - comes into play. If you want to wait and see or you want to run more testing - ultimately it is your choice or your choice to find another vet who will work with you.

    But IMO there is no need for the avergae person (non-breeder) to just jump into testing willy nilly and spend money that might be better spent down the road.


    METAL AIRSOFT PISTOL MAUSER STYLE

  • First Basenji's

    Well, I guess in my shiba's case, the clinical signs did match expected test results. Bowdu's bloodwork came back completely normal. On his thyroids, he had a free T4 reading of 9.0 (sorry, I don't know the units because I don't have the paperwork on hand – I got the news via a voice message, and need to pick up the hard copies on Monday). This classes him at low borderline, but as their "normal" range is 8 - 40.0, I feel pretty comfortable about starting him on thyroid supplements ASAP and going from there.

    I do dread the followup bloodwork, since obtaining this blood sample in the first place was such a nightmare. I'm really hoping to see some behavioral stabilization with supplementation (not to mention getting back the sweet, clean shiba smell to match the sweet, clean basenji smell!). At any rate, I do think it's time to find another vet altogether, and that might help start our shiba off on a clean slate.


  • Actually, there are a number of breeds that should be in the upper part of that equation for levels. Since the vets and the labs go with an 'average' and not all breeds are 'average' it would benefit you to research what is best for your 'breed' as well. What is good for one is not necessarily good for another. Personally, just because the levels are within the 'normal' range for the 'average' dog, I would also give supplements. I would bet you'll see improvements. Let us know how it goes with your little Shiba.

  • First Basenji's

    Yes, I wish there was a little more breed-specific subtlety to the results as well, as I think that information would be valuable. Unfortunately, all I have for Shiba is anecdotal evidence. Among breeders of Japanese dogs, more attention has been paid to Akita thyroid health. It's been interesting comparing what is known and made publicly available (through OFA, for example) about Basenji health, versus Shiba health (and other breeds, for that matter). There is a unity and a sense of shared purpose amongst good Basenji breeders that I think has helped create a really thorough breed profile, including knowledge of health problems. The details seem more dispersed amongst Shiba breeders. There are plenty of reputable breeders of excellent Shiba out there too (mine did not come from one). But I think on a deeper level, there are still a lot of unknowns about this breed.

    Anyway, I'm looking forward to going in on Monday for the next step; hopefully there's already a scrip and beginning dose of supplements waiting.


  • Basenjis have been there "unknowns" about the breed… it has taken a real effort among breeders to first admit there are problems, then share that information. But there are still breeders that are not fully admitting problems....

    But even according to the Parent Shiba club it says that Hypothyroidism is not uncommon

  • First Basenji's

    Right, but "not uncommon" is kind of evasive wording, if that's the official stance on the problem. Kind of like "It has been known to occur…" But Shiba breeders, by and large, aren't registering thyroid information with OFA, unless there's some mistake with the chart of statistics sorted by breed. MSU does have numbers which suggest that it's not common with Shibas, which I think makes it a low priority for Shiba breeders. But just from what I'm gathering anecdotally, it's definitely something worth looking into, especially for shibas with allergies, which a LOT of them are plagued with.

    I'm not a member of any breed clubs, so I can't say with authority if the stance on thyroids is changing. I think it's generally of low concern, at the moment, compared to hip dysplasia, patellar luxation, eyes -- which good breeders ARE testing for.

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