Thursday, November 8, 2012

Guiness and thyroid




I dont know if I ever talked about this so I will now.   Guiness was having trouble going on walks that started over a year ago.(maybe even 2 years)   Most of the time he couldnt finish the hike and would just lie down.  The first couple of times this happened , I checked his heart rate and it was 70.  Kinda low for a dog that is hiking up and down hills.  We carried him back to the car. Sometimes I would leave him home because I just couldnt carry him.  He had stopped playing with toys.  When we went to the beach , he could only tolerate one walk a day.  Even though he had the whole day to rest for the second walk, he just refused to go.  If he ran around the yard at home, he would come in the house panting so hard it was scary. He would just lie down breathing very heavy.  I took him to the vet and asked multiple times if it could be his thyroid.  I always got the answer "no". ( He doesnt look low thyroid. Not fat, not loosing his hair)  They did an EKG. Normal except for a low heart rate. They sent us to a internist to have his heart check. He had an ECHO it was normal, except for the low heart rate.  I asked again about thyroid. "no".  His level at the time was 1.4   (there low was .8) .   They started him on Theophyilline to increase his heart rate. It did increase it but didnt help any of his symptoms.  I think I gave for 6 months and then gave up.  The next time he went for his yearly check up his thyroid was 1.   His BUN was up 1  point. They wanted me to bring him in for some follow up test for the BUN.  Ok, one point on a BUN is nothing especially since is Cr was normal.    I lost it. I told them I cant believe they want me to come in for this but will do nothing about his thyroid that just keeps decreasing and he has all these symptoms. I said, "Are you waiting for my dog to die?".    Well, I guess that did it. So they started him on thyroid medication. LOL  So even though his level has only increased to 1.8, he is a new dog.  Plays with toys again. Can run around the yard and bark without  looking like he is going to die.  2 walks a day at the beach, no problem.  And has not stopped on any walks even when hiking.  So when the vet tells you it isnt the thyroid because the number hasnt dropped low enough, keep fighting. 

9 comments:

Dawn said...

OMG. What is with these vets? You're a nurse, it's not like you don't understand stuff. They should be listening to you. Thyroid issues are not unusual in shelties, they should know that. I'd think about a new vet. Poor Guiness.

Reilly / Denny Cowspotdogs said...

We hear you on this.....I have just got Reilly started on thyroid treatment too.....his levels were the same as Guinness. Sometimes we really have to fight for what we believe will help.

Chris and Ricky said...

Thank goodness you were persistent! The sheltie rescue woman here always tells people to demand that their vet check thyroid and it can be low even if it is above .8. Good job Diana!

Priscilla said...

I am glad that they did listen to you at last. Sometimes, some people just think they are the experts in their field and refuse to listen to others.

So happy for Guiness! He always looks happy in the pictures except the one he fell into the water : )

Thanks for the info too.

Collie222 said...

Sometimes you just have to insist. With collies a "low-normal" Thyroid test result is actually too low for them. So if a collie is tested, and comes back with a normal level, but on the low end, we have to insist the vet put them on Thyroid medicine. Is it the same with shelties?

If I can find the article about this, I will send you a link.

Sara said...

I've read that shelties thyroid levels are different from other dogs, so I guess we have to be vigilant about looking for signs and advocating for our pets.

I'm glad that Guiness is showing signs of improvement.

loralei913 said...

Um, you can't diagnose thyroid disease based on just a total T4 test anyway. That's what I assume they did when they talked about the single number 1.4, 1.0 etc. Thyroid panel is way more accurate and sometimes not even then. Thyroid varies soooo much, that sometimes you really do have to diagnose based on response to treatment. Even I know this and do you know exactly how many times I've seen or diagnosed hypothyroidism being strictly an ER vet? ZERO! It's probably one of the LEAST common things an ER vet would ever see and yet I feel like I would have been suspicious long before your vet was.

Nicki said...

I agree with loralei-in a symptomatic dog with a borderline total t4 I would be doing additional testing and possibly a treatment trial. Glad he's finally feeling better.

Lian said...

Vets are terrible! I am glad you insisted and they got to treat Guiness and change him into a new dog again.