Has anyone owned a male dog with a thyroid problem before? Any breed...
  • BradA1878BradA1878
    Posts: 12218
    This is just a random question...

    Curious if anyone has owned a male dog, of any breed (but preferably a spitz breed), with a thyroid issue?
  • zandramezandrame
    Posts: 508
    Off the top of my head, with just members here -

    @shibamistress, Toby, Shiba
    @curlytails, Bowdu, Shiba
    @keroline33, Taz, American Akita

    My own Shiba, Kouda, has been borderline, so I will continue to monitor his levels.
  • curlytailscurlytails
    Posts: 302
    Yup. Yupyupyup.
    image M.C. with Bowdu (Shiba Inu) and Bowpi (Basenji) at The House of Two Bows
  • BradA1878BradA1878
    Posts: 12218
    Ah, thanks... I forgot about Toby and Bowdu. Thanks!
  • keroline33keroline33
    Posts: 66
    We should have the Soloxine this weekend so I'll keep everyone posted on whether we notice any changes.

    I think I read that females are more likely to have this condition, is that right?
  • shibamistressshibamistress
    Posts: 3663
    Oskar (AA) is also low thyroid. My male GSD was low thyroid, so was my BFF's GSD and so was her male golden retriever.

    I'm not convinced sex has much to do with it.
    Lisa, Toby (Shiba), Oskar and Zora (American Akita), and Leo (Kai Ken)
  • CrispyCrispy
    Posts: 1780
    London (male Alaskan Malamute) is low normal.
    Akiyama no Roushya || 秋山の狼室 || www.kishu-ken.org
  • keroline33keroline33
    Posts: 66
    Did you treat London for the low normal, Crispy?
  • CrispyCrispy
    Posts: 1780
    @Keroline33 - I don't treat him. I could, but after a lot of talking with the vet and others, I decided not to. It didn't seem necessary since he lost weight (he was overweight) with strict monitoring of his food intake, his skin cleared up on a better quality food, and a lot of the issues we were having (that could have been the thyroid) resolved over time with diet and exercise changes.
    Akiyama no Roushya || 秋山の狼室 || www.kishu-ken.org
  • keroline33keroline33
    Posts: 66
    Actually, my interest perked up when you mentioned higher quality food Crispy. I've been browsing some posts here, about nutrition, learning about what others are feeding their dogs. I'm now wondering if I can improve Taz's health by supplementing or even changing his food. I was at the store last weekend just familiarizing myself with all that's out there (there's a lot).

    I'm glad to hear that you had success with London's health issues via an alternate route.
  • shibamistressshibamistress
    Posts: 3663
    And I do treat my dogs, even at low normal. But I've a difficult pack situation and can't handle any aggression issues, so if they are low thyroid and showing aggression (and they alll have), then I treat them. But then again, I can't really improve on their food much anyway as they are raw fed and get great supplements, etc. They're very healthy, thyroid issues aside.
    Lisa, Toby (Shiba), Oskar and Zora (American Akita), and Leo (Kai Ken)
  • CrispyCrispy
    Posts: 1780
    I definitely think it depends on your dogs, your situation, and what symptoms/behaviors you're already dealing with. I still check London every once in a while and I think I will put him on the medication once he gets a little older. He's about middle aged now and still doing well, but his behavior may get worse and if it does, I will certainly be in @shibamistress's position. (With respect to low normal - but I am not an expert and I can only speak for my experience so far. Others are much more experienced than I am.)

    I am going to take Nami in for another visit (my Kishu) to get her thyroid checked. If she comes back as a low normal, I am going to put her on medication due to how extreme her symptoms are (she has bad skin and is fairly combative with the other dogs in the house.)
    Akiyama no Roushya || 秋山の狼室 || www.kishu-ken.org
    Post edited by Crispy at 2014-07-29 19:53:25
  • zandramezandrame
    Posts: 508
    I'm kind of stuck at an impasse right now. The recent discussions have made me re-examine Kouda's behavior, and his thyroid test results. But what do you do when even Dr Dodds dismisses your concerns?

    I found this article, coauthored by Dr Dodds, about the early stages of hypothyroidism and its impact on behavior. http://www.dogs4dogs.com/JR_Articles/dog-thyroid-and-behavior.htm
    The paragraphs under Behavior Presentations describe Kouda nearly perfectly. Puberty-onset behavior changes, allergies, OCD, bipolar, reactivity, underweight, recurrent GI issues, difficulty handling stress/excitement... We manage it well enough, but his reactions are becoming harder to predict, such as freaking out at the washing machine buzzer, barking and snapping at my dad when we visited him last month, and rushing after us when we get up to leave a room.

    We've seen behaviorists, he is neutered, he does sports and we go to training classes every week to keep him mentally and physically exercised. He has earned his CGC twice, but I don't feel comfortable letting kids and strangers greet him now.

    I also found another article which references Dr Dodds, and says
    According to Dr. Dodds, a young healthy large breed dog should be in the upper 50% of the range, whereas a young healthy small breed dog should be even higher (in the upper 75%) as their metabolisms run faster than their large breed cousins.

    http://www.greatdanelady.com/analyzing_a_thyroid_panel.htm

    Kouda is not even 2 years old. Breed size aside, Kouda is below 50% for every value, on both Hemopet's ranges for breed and age, and generic ranges. His T4 is 1.82, 37% in Hemopet's range. Free T4: 1.13, 36%. T3: 46, 46%. Free T3: 1.9, 37%. TgAA was negative, so no autoimmune thyroiditis.

    I asked Dr Dodds about this. Her response was
    "Even though he may have rather typical behavioral signs of thyroid dysfunction, as discussed by my good friend and colleague, Dr. Linda Aronson, both of his thyroid antibody tests run by Hemopet clearly showed normal thyroid function. Sadly, we have seen this pattern of unacceptable behavior in this breed before."

    So I'm not sure what to do. I don't think he is just a "bad dog" or it's just Shiba-tude. When he is good, he's great; but when triggered, he's like a feral animal who doesn't trust anything. To me, the test values and symptoms could correlate. But the expert disagrees.

    Well, sorry that became a bit of a rant!

    @shibamistress, @Crispy, how low is too low? Did you (or would you) have trouble getting veterinary support for low normal results?
  • mdokicmdokic
    Posts: 1020
    Jeeez...so much of that sounds like Kona @zandrame ...but could be a lot of things I know. Maybe I should get her checked just to rule something out (so I don't wonder "what if"). With her it was night and day difference though after her second heat, so that may just be what it is? Who knows..
    Michelle, with Kai girls Kona and Kimber
    DSC_6037_NEW_banner
    Post edited by mdokic at 2014-07-29 23:13:14
  • keroline33keroline33
    Posts: 66
    zandrame, I certainly understand your predicament. There are many symptoms that relate to the hypothyroidism in your case, and just only over a week ago I really started to question whether we could really keep Taz - given how his behavior was worsening by the day. It's scary when you feel that you can't trust your own dog anymore - around yourself and loved ones.

    I remember reading about one case where a dog with behavior problems tested normal one month and several months later tested positive for hypothyroidism. Did Dr. Dodds recommend testing several months later or even a year? I'll see if I can find the link to the article, it may have been the same one from the Whole Dog Journal I referenced in another post. Have you had any other medical tests done other than thyroid?
  • AraksAraks
    Posts: 802
    Sevuk was hypothyroid too.
  • keroline33keroline33
    Posts: 66
    Here's the section I was referring to in the article:

    Don’t let recent “normal” tests keep you from suspecting thyroid issues, should your dog’s behavior change suddenly. Hannibal had a full blood panel in July, which included T4, which came in at 1.4. At that point, he was acting normally. His behavior started to change subtly until he had the three incidences of aggression, and he was diagnosed as hypothyroid in November.

    (article link: http://www.whole-dog-journal.com/issues/8_6/features/15723-1.html)

    I was mistaken, it looks like the dog in this particular case developed the behavior issues AFTER his thyroid test it seems.
  • shibamistressshibamistress
    Posts: 3663
    @Zandrame, I suspect my vet would recommend a low dose of solaxine for those test results. They like the thyroid levels to be in the normal range, and consider "low normal" to be a place to treat if the dog has other symptoms (which include aggression/anxiety). But they tend to err on the sign of treating them rather than not for thyroid issues.

    It very well could be that he's developing thyroid problems, or it could be some other type of anxiety. I guess I'd just retest again in six months. What does your regular vet say?
    Lisa, Toby (Shiba), Oskar and Zora (American Akita), and Leo (Kai Ken)
  • zandramezandrame
    Posts: 508
    @mdokic, if Kona is getting progressively worse, then it's worth a test. Could include it the next time you do a check-up. Kouda was also night/day after his neuter. Does Kona have moments where she just flips out? Any aggression/reactivity directed at you guys or Kimber?

    @keroline33, it definitely is scary when you can't trust your dog anymore. :(
    The Hemopet writeup only recommended annual retesting.

    @shibamistress, we ran the recent thyroid test as part of a full bloodwork/urine panel to diagnose any causes for sleep incontinence. (Yep, this dog has it all.) The thyroid stuff was of low concern, and the vet said everything looks good. When I got the Hemopet feedback as well, with a "normal" diagnosis, I thought it was a closed case. But our recent topics here made me take another look, and dig up more information on borderline cases. I just don't understand why Dr Dodds gives me different answers than her research does. I'll speak with the vet again, but I feel like I don't have much to go on when the expert already said he's fine.

    I should also note that Kouda was prescribed Proin for the incontinence. It works, but also seems to amplify his issues. With vet approval, we've slowly reduced the dose from 25mg to 6mg (1/4 pill) per day. I really don't want him on it forever, so I'm currently searching for more holistic approaches.
  • LosechLosech
    Posts: 2081
    @zandrame I've got a (spay caused) incontinent dog. Not very fun... Anywho, I keep Proin on hand but don't give it to her full-time. Right now she eats homemade/raw/whole foods (I've detailed it many times in the past on threads here) and that has helped a ton, she also gets a powdered cranberry supplement and sometimes cornsilk. Both are human-grade supplements, and they seem to help too. I've noticed she's a tad more leaky if she doesn't get the cranberry.
    image
  • aykayk
    Posts: 1977
    For the people with the hypothyroid dogs or increased fear/reactivity, how does the timing of the neuter/spay fit in? ie. At what age was the procedure done and at what age was the aggression/reactivity noticed?
  • aykayk
    Posts: 1977
    Study about association of spay/neuter with aggression/reactivity.

    http://www.vizslacanada.ca/SNBehaviorBoneDataSnapShot.pdf

    I believe this is the article that was written based on the study:

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24432963
    Post edited by ayk at 2014-07-30 11:05:24
  • BootzBootz
    Posts: 151
    @Losech

    Wait what? Cranberry supplement helps with incontinence? >_> i need to try that...

    @Zandrame ... :( that sucks. Proin only made Bootz more mellow and that was about it. (dunno if her hypo had a role in it, but her mellowness kicked in after the Proin)
  • shibamistressshibamistress
    Posts: 3663
    Good question, @Ayk. Thanks for the article, too, which I will get to later today. So let's see.....here's what happened in my dogs:

    GSD, neutered at 6 months. Developed aggression toward people at approximately 5 years of age. He was diagnosed about 3 months after onset of aggression, but I suspect he was hypothyroid for quite awhile, as he had coat problems before that. First thyroid test had been run at age 1 but he was not showing issues then. When tested at 5 he had virtually no thyroid function. He improved within a month, and showed no other aggression toward people for the rest of his life.

    Shiba Inu, female. Spayed at 6 months. Diagnosed as hypothyroid at 2 after nearly killing my other Shiba. She was low normal, but showed marked improvement in aggression while being treated for hypothyroidism. We tested her because of her extreme aggression.

    Shiba Inu, male, neutered at 6 months. Diagnosed as hypothyroid at 3 years of age after being attacked by female Shiba. I had him tested because previous to the attack he had been bullying, but he was bullying and reactive his entire life, so I think that was more who he was rather than a thyroid issue. He was, however, diagnosed as mildly low thryoid at 3 years of age, and we believe treating that helped him survive his extensive injuries and helped him heal.

    American Akita, neutered at 14 months. Diagnosed as hypothyroid at 3. He was just along the line between low normal and actually low thyroid, so I'd say it was mild hypothyroidism (I have the numbers somewhere but don't have them in front of me). So mild that I didn't treat him for it for 6 months after the diagnosis, but then I noticed that he lost hair on the tip of his tail (his coat otherwise was great) and seemed more "grouchy" than usual. His hair has since grown back, some skin issues have cleared up, and he's back to just his normal level of irritability with the other dogs.
    Lisa, Toby (Shiba), Oskar and Zora (American Akita), and Leo (Kai Ken)
  • sunyatasunyata
    Posts: 4533
    Here is my story with B&N:

    Bella, female Shiba Inu, spayed at 7 months. Diagnosed as hypothyroid (technically low normal) at age 7. She had gained a lot of weight and was exhibiting uncharacteristic aggression towards Nola for no apparent reason (there were no triggers and no warning signs, she would attack Nola, who was sleeping or laying in the floor for no reason at all). Before I had her tested at this point, a full blood panel had not been completed since she was about 3 years old. Once she was started on Soloxine (0.3 mg, twice daily), her behavioural symptoms almost immediately stopped (less than 3 days) and she quickly lost the excess weight.

    Nola, female Shiba Inu, spayed at 8 months. She was tested at the same time as Bella and her thyroid function was fine. About a year later, she was diagnosed as hypothyroid (her numbers were startlingly low) at age 3-4. Nola displayed no symptoms other than weight gain that was attributed to other circumstances and was only diagnosed during blood work for other medical problems. She has never been aggressive, but does display some resource guarding tendencies.

    Hopefully this helps.
    Bella 2Mountains 2Nola 2
    Casey, with Bella and Nola, hanging out in the mountains of Virginia.
  • LosechLosech
    Posts: 2081
    @Bootz It's a diuretic, so it helps them empty fully so there's nothing left to leak out.
    image
  • zandramezandrame
    Posts: 508
    @ayk, Kouda was neutered around 6 months, and behavior changes appeared a week later. We heard about hormone surges following a neuter, but the issues worsened rather than improved with time.

    Those neuter articles don't include any statistics on thyroid disorders, just general aggression/anxiety. But a link has been shown.
    Neutering was determined to be the most significant gender-associated risk factor for development of hypothyroidism.
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/8175472/

    @Losech, good to know about the cornsilk. The cranberry primarily prevents UTIs, which can lead to incontinence. We've already been giving Kouda cranberry powder to help with his pH for about 6 months. He's been grain free his whole life, and goitrogen free for the past year (I started a thread on that too). He gets freeze dried and air dried food, along with supplements.

    @Bootz, there are many supplements you can give an incontinent dog. So much that it can be hard to choose, although many are aimed at mimicking estrogen therapy for females.
    http://dogaware.com/articles/wdjincontinence.html

    Coincidentally, steroids appear to have a negative impact on both thyroid and incontinence. We were using a topical steroid spray for Kouda's feet (allergies) when the leaking started. We started tapering off using it, and then he was stung by a bee. He had an allergic reaction, and needed a steroid injection - and the leaking got worse. That's when we went in for this recent testing.

    Edit: spelling
    Post edited by zandrame at 2014-07-31 01:39:44
  • mdokicmdokic
    Posts: 1020
    @zandrame ... she does have moments when she can't seem to control any of her "emotions" or actions.. and i have to bend down and rub her side and literally "shhhh" to her and she *almost* starts to calm down. She has moments though where it almost seems like i've lost her, not always with bad emotions!! The spazzing out on trail like i've mentioned, i've never seen another dog do that...i need to get it on video one day...it just looks insane...the looks i get sometimes are interesting. lol But THAT is really hard for her to come out of.

    She's never went after any person or Kimber, which i'm happy about..
    Michelle, with Kai girls Kona and Kimber
    DSC_6037_NEW_banner
  • cdenneycdenney
    Posts: 961
    My Shiba was neutered at 10. Always disinterested in dogs and low energy unless they got in her face then reactive. Put her on thyroid meds at 14? Three weeks later became outwardly aggressive, toned them down a little and now we have a happy little active old dog.
    image
    image
  • BradA1878BradA1878
    Posts: 12218
    I'd be surprised if Kona had thyroid issue, but if you do test her @mdokic please let us know the results!
  • mdokicmdokic
    Posts: 1020
    @BradA1878 will do! I doubt it too, it's just something to rule out, since it's literally like someone flipped a switch on her. Could just be what her personality matured into after her second heat, which is when that light switched. My feisty little girl. lol. :P
    Michelle, with Kai girls Kona and Kimber
    DSC_6037_NEW_banner
  • Hi zandrame, I was thinking about your post in this thread and wondering how Kouda was doing. How is his behavior lately? Did you have a chance to discuss again with your vet a possible trial of Soloxine or have you decided to wait a bit and retest later?

    Hopefully you have been able to make some headway into figuring out what possible causes for his behavior could be attributed to.
  • zandramezandrame
    Posts: 508
    @keroline33, there has been a little progress since I last posted.

    We took Kouda to a holistic veterinarian, and he agreed we should take him off Proin immediately. He prescribed an estrogen instead, Incurin, which I was skeptical about since he's male. He leaked the first evening on it, but we stuck with a 2 week trial. He's had minor dribbles, but no waking up in puddles. His behavior improved to a more tolerable level as well, no massive freak outs, pretty much back to pre-Proin level. The 2 week trial ended yesterday, and the vet wants to halve the dose for another 2 weeks. First half dose was this evening, so we'll see how it goes in the morning!

    The vet also reviewed Kouda's Hemopet results, and was sympathetic to our concerns, but wanted to defer to Dr. Dodds recommendation against treatment at this time. He instead said we could try adding thyroid supporting supplements like Standard Process Thyroid or Armour. I conferred with Dr. Dodds, and she said Standard Process would be good, but not ones like Armour that contain actual T4/T3. She also suggested a retest in 2-4 months.

    He's been on Standard Process for about a week. It's basically a vitamin mix, so I wouldn't expect anything drastic.

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