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Autoimmune Thyroiditis?

Discussion in 'Diseases & Illnesses' started by IslandSheltie, Mar 21, 2018.

  1. IslandSheltie

    IslandSheltie Forums Novice

    Feb 6, 2015
    Hi Everyone,
    My name is Amanda and Jax is my 3 year old intact male sheltie. I've been reading the forums for awhile but this is my first post.
    I had Jax's thyroid levels tested last week, just as a routine check, he has no symptoms at all.
    Everything was normal except for his Thyroglobulin Autoantibodies.
    Here are his results:

    Total T4 - 2.6 Adult Range 0.8-3.5
    Free T4(ED) - 28 Adult Range 8-40
    TSH - 0.09 Adult Range 0-0.60
    Thyroglobulin Autoantibodies - 137% Adult Range:<10% = Negative
    10%-25% Equivocal
    >25% Positive

    I sent his test info off to Dr. Jean Dodds for a consultation and she suggests medicating him immediately.
    I also have others telling me he doesn't need to be medicated yet, just monitored as his other levels are normal and he has no clinical symptoms.
    I just want to do the right thing for him, and I'm really confused about what that is. I don't want to unnecessarily medicate him, but I also don't want to wait until he's really sick before I do anything.
    He will not be bred, that was never even on the table, but he is intact because I feel that he's healthier that way.
    Do any of you have any advice or experience with this issue?

    Thanks for any advice you can offer!!
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2018
    danisgoat likes this.
  2. Ann

    Ann Moderator

    Feb 25, 2008
    Western Connecticut
    Hi Amanda and welcome to the Forum! I don't have any personal experience with Jax' results, but I do trust Dr. Jean Dodds. We have a number of members whose pups have had thyroid issues...if you haven't it might be worth doing a search here for thyroid posts. It's also important to know that "normal" Sheltie thyroid levels differ from other breeds. You'd be surprised at how many vets aren't aware of this.

    Here is one of the best sites I know for information on Sheltie thyroid problems. Hope it helps you!
    Piper's mom and Hanne like this.
  3. ghggp

    ghggp Moderator

    Aug 28, 2011
    Grosse Pointe, Michigan
    Thanks for the link Ann!

    I was shock to read:
    Once you start your Sheltie on Thyroid Medication, it is very important that it be given correctly. Thyroid Medication must be given on an empty stomach, either 1 hour before OR 3 hours after eating.
    We have found that giving the medication with food, can lower its effectiveness significantly.

    I have had four Shelties on thyroid meds over the years and NEVER EVER did the vets give this information!
    Ann likes this.
  4. Ann

    Ann Moderator

    Feb 25, 2008
    Western Connecticut
    I don't remember where or how I found this link but I've had it for years and shared it with my vets. It's a great source for thyroid in Shelties, and they reference Dr. Jean Dodds who is an expert in the area. That's why I'd trust what she says. My Sprite is about to be tested...her coat texture has changed significiantly in the last six months and I cannot get weight off her even though she's on low-fat food and plays constantly with Flurry. Thyroid is the first thing we thought of.....
  5. IslandSheltie

    IslandSheltie Forums Novice

    Feb 6, 2015
    Thank you so much for your replies. I’ve tried the search feature but I’m not finding anything exactly like Jax. Most have symptoms of some kind. I will keep looking.
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2018
    Ann likes this.
  6. corbinam

    corbinam Moderator

    Oct 14, 2008
    I would tend to side with Dr. Jean Dodds. She's an expert in thyroid issues and is very familiar with thyroid issues in shelties. Not to discredit vets--but they know about thyroid issues more generally, and with breeds in general (for the most part).
  7. IslandSheltie

    IslandSheltie Forums Novice

    Feb 6, 2015
    Update on Jax:
    I waited 6 months before I did anything and retested Jax’s T4 and FT4 levels.
    They have dropped quite a lot in a short time.
    Total T4 is now 1.7 (was 2.6 in March)
    Free T4 is now 13 (was 28 in March)
    He is not technically low yet but the drop is obvious. He was started on thyroid medication as per Dr Dodds recommendation this week.
    I just wanted to follow up so that anyone else who may have the same issue would know the outcome.
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2018
  8. Piper's mom

    Piper's mom Forums Enthusiast

    Jun 26, 2015
    Winnipeg Mb
    Thanks for the link Ann! My older boy Riley was just diagnosed as having a low thyroid and was placed on medication...we go back in two weeks for bloodwork and I'm going to mention to the vet about Shelties needing to be on the high side of normal. Reading that info I see a lot of symptoms Riley has...the sparse coat, hungry all the time (of course all Shelties are all the time lol), grumpy and growly. He's not overweight (actually lost a bit) but that could be age related as he's 10. He'd probably have gained weight if I let him as he is hungry ALL the time!
    I also wasn't told to give on an empty stomach...very good information!
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2018
  9. danisgoat

    danisgoat Moderator

    Jul 23, 2009
    Dr. Jean Dodds is an expert on this, so I would tend to follow her instructions.
  10. sable

    sable Premium Member

    Oct 2, 2008
    Lil' Lady had thyroid problems. From the posts I suspected she did have problems. I
    gave the vet info what was going on and he agreed with me. As she aged her coat loss
    was so sad. Lil' Lady had a gorgeous coat on her. Ann is so right so many vets are not
    up on the problem.

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