Hypothyroid result - doesn't make sense diagnostically

6 year old female Wheaten
history of urinary incontinence (recently came back, which was the main reason for the vet visit)
Currently 31 lbs, has fluxated between 28 and 37 lbs. I think she should be 35-37.
History of the "gulpies" which I've talked about on here before, it's when her stomach fills up with gas and while she is able to expel it she is uncomfortable for 24-72 hours.
Normal appetite, eats 2-2.5 cups of Grandma Lucy's dehydrated food

Takes gas-x for the gulpies, probiotics, fish oil and glucosamine for arthritis from a torn ACL, now she is on a med for urinary incontinence (can't remember the name too lazy to get up).

Recent blood panel showed normal everything, but she came back hypothyroid. Does NOT make sense for her diagnostically at all. So now we're running another test to find out if she is truly hypothyroid, and if she is not that means someting is causing her brain to ask for the thyroid to produce more.

Possibilities are cancer and inflammatory bowel disease. Vet and I both think the latter.

Does anyone have any input on false hypothyroid tests or IBD?
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I should mention she has no problems with diarrhea or vomiting.
Was her cholesterol elevated at all?

Just throwing this out there but hypothyroid dogs can have Megaesophagus
and it's described on one site as this...

"...Swallowing difficulty, exaggerated and/or frequent swallowing..."

Wondering if it could account for the "gulpies".

Hoping for plain, ol' hypothyroidism that can be treated with a little pill. :crossed:
Not sure, but I'll put it on my things to ask about! Megaesophagus was a concern the last time we went in for the "gulpies" and the vet thought the x-rays were enough to indicate that wasn't the problem.

My worry about if it's plain ole hypothyroidism is that she has had a history of weight loss in the past few years, and wouldn't the pill make her lose more weight?? She's soo skinny!
Also, thank you so much Jaci for always responding with super helpful information :)
Hypothyroidism is said affect muscle in some dogs such as weakness
and wasting. I don't know if this could mean muscles like those used
in swallowing, bladder control, etc? Maybe not... again, just a question
I'd ask the vet.
Oh, Heather... I just know what it's like trying to figure out health problems. We suffer
right along with our dogs and it's very frustrating. I need to try make sense of what
I'm seeing.

A doctor told me this a few years ago...
There are varying degrees of health conditions. They don't always present as a textbook
case. Sometimes you get only one or two symptoms or the symptoms may be more vague.

Here's a couple of links to refer to...
http://www.canine-epilepsy-guardian-ang ... oidism.htm

As for the weight loss... thyroid replacement would affect her metabolism. I'm not sure of the
effects it would have on her weight. I think she would become more active so it could be a
concern. Could you try a food that is more calorie dense meaning more calories per cup? I've
seen a few grain-free brands that have 500 calories per cup compared to the 350-380 calorie
range I had been used to. Canidae Elements is one I feed in my rotation. It's 498 per cup.

Hoping you'll find some answers.
Not sure but isn't hyPER thryoid the overactive thryoid which WOULD cause some weight loss? I get confused....I know my dog was diagnosed as borderline on his thryoid test for I think hypothryoid.... gaining weigt and just sick all the time and just NOT himself, legtharic, etc) and the vet didn't want to start the meds but I insisted...Since he's been on he is such an imporved dog in all ways...happy, no sickness, no tummy trouble, eating, and not gaining weight for no reason...

Hope you find what is wrong...I know how us humans suffer when our doggys are sick... :ghug: :ghug:
Oscar has both IBD and hypothyroidism. :roll: Yes, our household is a rollicking good time. Our first sheepdog was hypothyroid as well. Both OES put on weight just LOOKING at food before they were diagnosed as hypothyroid, and their coats looked thin and raggedy. Both also had high cholesterol, as Jaci suggested. Has she been on any new meds or supplements lately, like an antibiotic? Sometimes, those can cause a temporary decrease in hormones, while maybe not causing her to have symptoms yet.

As far as IBD goes, I have not heard of a dog with it that doesn't experience vomiting and/or diarrhea as a chronic problem. If the inflammation is in the stomach, it produces vomiting. If it is in the small intestine, it produces BOTH vomiting and diarrhea (which is, of course, what Oscar has). If the inflammation is in the large intestine/colon, it produces diarrhea. Marley's symptoms just do not sound like IBD to me. The only way to definitively tell if it is truly IBD (lymphocytic/plasmacytic type) is to do an endoscopy. There is another type, called Eosiniphilic IBD that can be diagnosed or ruled out with bloodwork.

I hope you get to the bottom of this soon.

Laurie and Oscar
What test was used? Were the readings equivicol?

Dog doesn't have to be gaining weight to be hypothyroid. Suspect basic T4 test was used as vets can run them inhouse and they are fairly inexpensive. Not sure how reliable, though. However, all thyroid testing can be somewhat subject to interpretation depending on what's going on with the dog, i.e. it's helpful to know if the dog is on steroids, certain NSAIDs can also be a problem, even hormones, not an issue for Marley, and, more rarely, diet, very unlikely, but things like that.

I bet your vet told you not to panic and just to retest at a later date, yes? A friend's dog tested borderline low but he had some kind of concurrent infection as it turned out, and when retested later was solidly back in the normal range.

That said, though there is a link in many cases, you can have megasophegus without hypothyroidism, but it should have shown up on x-ray.

They did the T4 test, but now we're paying to do another test (I didn't write down the name) which he said will tell us definitely if she is hypothyroid or if the thyroid levels were an indication of something else going on. Obviously the former would be nice, but I'm worried a thyroid pill would make her lose even more weight!

Laurie, I was hoping you would chime in about the IBD. Her stool is firm and she doesn't vomit any more than any other dog I've had... but I wonder if the gas in the stomach is an indication of IBD?

Vet also mentioned that the return of the urinary incontinence could be due to muscle weakness throughout the body, which could be an indication of something else (I think he said IBD, not sure). Now that I think about it the last time we had the incontinence issue she was also very skinny.

New thyroid test results hopefully tomorrow, paws crossed.
He's probably running the full panel. It should tell you much more - doesn't always, but fingers crossed.

The muscle weakness may be making him think Myasthenia Gravis. It's fairly rare, though also some times found in correlation with hypothyroidism. Megaesophagus can be a sympton of MG. Don't start reading about it and work yourself into a state. There can be any number of other pretty innocuous explanations.

I'd be hoping for a simple hypothyroid diagnosis or even better, just freak results. It does happens

The air gulping doesn't make me think megaesophagus, quite frankly. Regularly vomiting smaller amounts withing 10-30 mins of eating would.

Even if she ends up on thyroid meds there are ways of keeping weight on her. But hopefully it's basically a blip.

Well it came back as her being hypothyroid. Because she's not showing any symptoms were not worried about it. He's more worried about her weight loss. We're slowly increasing her food to see if she gains. Wish us luck!
The full thyroid profile usually takes 7-10 days for us to get back... probably a repeat of an
in-house T4?

Monitor her closely... weigh her weekly... retest when the vet recommends to verify the thyroid
level isn't too high/low. Reason- Too high a thyroid level can make a dog "wired"... too low and
the meds aren't doing the job as they should.

Bringing her thyroid levels into line may help with other things. If you find she gets loose poop
due to the increase in the amount of kibble needed to maintain her weight, maybe try a grain-free
kibble (I've found it firms up dog poop mighty fine 8) ) that is higher calorie per cup.

Keep us posted on how she's doing? Wishing you both the best!
It was definitely a different test, I will find out what it was called.

She's supposed to have a dental next Friday and get a tooth extraction as well as a big cebaceous (sp?) cyst removed. We're going to take her in that morning and if she has lost weight well do a GI panel instead.

We have her on Grandma Lucy's dehydrated food. She was eating 2 cups for a while but about 3 weeks ago we upped it to 2.5, we are going to do 3 cups now and see how that goes.
I think that's likely a higher end calorie food... the Grandma Lucy's. The thing I haven't sat down to figure out is whether it's 473 calories per cup dry (I have pork on hand for treats) or per cup after the water has been added.

You may just have access to faster thyroid testing than we have here. We have to send it down to MSU and wait for the results to come back.
Well, today we went in for teeth cleanings. We weighed Marley first to make sure she was gaining weight... and she LOST two pounds. I'm heartbroken!

So instead of a teeth cleaning, she is having an ultrasound on her stomach to see what is going on. Think good thoughts for Marley, please.
Fingers crossed for Marley! :crossed: :crossed:
Here too! :crossed: :crossed:

I really hope they can figure out what's going on with her :hearts: :hearts:

:crossed: :crossed: :crossed: :crossed: :crossed:

Just talked to the vet, and we are holding off on the ultrasound and blood tests. He looked at both dogs charts and realized they both started losing weight somewhat rapidly around September, 2011. That is when we switched from kibble to Grandma Lucy's dehydrated.

He recommended going back to dry kibble, and told me to use a basic formula. I've been reading about dog nutrition for a while and have been brainwashed to be somewhat anti-kibble... but I totally trust him.

We're going to go back to Fromm or California Natural. I think they liked the Fromm a lot more, but I think she was at her highest weight eating CN.

They are going to be PISSED they are going back to kibble!
I'm starting to feel really bad right now... not only did my dogs lose weight on it, but our tiny emaciated foster dog did too!!

I wish I realized this sooner.
HeatherRWM wrote:
I'm starting to feel really bad right now... not only did my dogs lose weight on it, but our tiny emaciated foster dog did too!!

I wish I realized this sooner.

Dogs are living, complex beings and they are all so individual, too. It is impossible to always know what is best, especially when you get competing information. All you can do is to do your best with what you know. I hope that switching back to kibble does the trick and I am sending you a huge hug. Please don't be too hard on yourself, you can only do your best. :ghug:
Thank you for that, I really needed to hear it!

I just feel bad that I was trying to do something good for them and it really backfired and affected their health in a scary way.
Good detective work on the vet's part (!!) and for heaven's sake don't beat yourself. Has probably happened to all of us in one way or another. :roll: I know it has me.

You can always add some dehydrated to their kibble. :wink: And they're both really good brands, by the way, as I'm sure you know.

We have a huge bag of the dehydrated, so I think I'll mix some in.

I just checked and California Natural doesn't have a beef or pork (which was recommended, I think she may have a chicken allergy) but they made a KANGAROO blend! Looks like were going back to Fromm...
I'd say it was really nice of your vet to notice the timing. :D

It will be great if it's such an easy (and inexpensive!) fix for them :hearts:
Please don't be too hard on yourself, Heather. Unless Oscar gets on the scale at the vet, I would be hard pressed to tell you if he's gaining or losing a small amount of weight. He always looks heavier to me as his coat grows, and slimmer when he's just shaved. :D

One question. Is Marley acting really hungry, or does she go long periods of time without eating anything, before she vomits? The only reason I ask is because we ran into a situation with Oscar where he got his last meal at 5 p.m., a small handful of kibble at bedtime (10 p.m., because I am a boring, old lady :D ) and then did not get fed again until 5 a.m. the next morning. A couple of time she would throw up bile in the middle of the night, or early in the morning. In addition to his IBD, our vet's thought that his tummy got too empty at night and filled with bile and acid (sour stomach). They recommended adding a 9 p.m. feeding. We did that in 2008 and have not had an incident since. Oscar now gets four small meals per day, which helps keep everything moving along in the right direction. 8)

Laurie and Oscar
I learned with Bumble that scales can lie. I knew darn well he felt thinner but with the added exercise last fall, I thought that maybe he had more muscle because that darn scale said he was almost exactly where her should be... and I weigh them regularly at home. I know now it was because he had 2 liters of fluid in his chest. :( So believe me... I know just how you're feeling. You'll turn things around! And that truly was an excellent catch by your observant vet!

As Kristine says, add the dehydrated food to their kibble. Or you can use it as a treat/snack.

Please keep us posted on how she's doing.
Well, we weighed her (on a different scale) and she was up 4 pounds. I don't think there was that much of a discrepancy but she is definitely gaining weight!

We'll go re-weigh at the vet at the end of the week and if all is well we'll schedule the teeth cleaning and cyst removal she was supposed to get last time. PHEW
Very good news! :clappurple: :clappurple:
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