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Thyroid test

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Thyroid test
  • You guys may remember in early fall that I took Gibby for a thyroid test...he had been licking his feet to death and had to take him in to make sure that they were not infected. At that time I had tried to inform the vet about Dr. Jean Dodds...but he wasn't buying it.  The test was sent to the lab that they use.  Many of you told me I should have insisted...and while I know I should have...it was hard. So I had decided back then to wait until after the holidays to see if I could find a different vet to take the blood and send it where I wanted them to...was going to contact my old vet that was still in practice, and its a small country practice....so I thought I might not hurt her feeling.   Gibby is pretty healthy..has had a lot of weird issues but really I am convinced a lot is just that he is so excitable and well...just a wild and crazy guy.  He has a bit of seperation anxiety and some yeast problems.......so maybe, just maybe, thyroid is the reason for some of this.   Of course since Dr. Dodds reads the test for the breed....it means a lot to me...especially since it was kind of on the " iffy " side to begin with.    Well....after trying to get my guts up to go talk to this vet....it occured to me that I took Gibby to a holistic vet last summer....maybe she would do the thyroid test..... and I'm sure she knows who Jean Dodds is.  Well........sure enough....she will do it..has done it a lot over the years so knows exactly whats she needs..... and we have an appt. on  this Wed.    She almost sounded like she was trying to talk me out of the whole thing...telling me how she has found that a lot of pets that do a lot of licking and all have  food allergies.     Not buying this one...especially since I had home cooked for him for quite a while.  

      Not sure if I want him to have a thyroid issue or not...of course a pill to cure would be great...but then I just don't like pills....so sitting on the fence.   But since the last test was " iffy " I need to do this. You know Bubblegum was borderline thyroid.....I always said if she had any problems down the line I would have it tested again....but when she got Myasthenia Gravis/MegaEsophagus..... I remembered to ask the vet if it could be thryroid problem and she said "absolutely not"...her hair was not falling out and she had not lost weight.   After Bubby died...I investigated and actually studied those illnesses....... thyroid has EVERY THING to do with those illnesses......I'm so very upset with myself for not pressing the issue with the vet.    But it also proves to press issues if you think its important.          

  • In addition, Dr. Dodds now has a new saliva test FOR food allergies if it logically comes to that.

     You can also send to Michigan State - they also do the breed-related protocols (they're still using Dr. Dodds from when she was head of endocrinology there).  It's a bit more palatable for some vets to send to a "vet school" -- there are differences between the two, but I've used MS and it's a darned good option if it soothes ruffled vet feathers.


  • I did see that on the Internet Callie...very interesting.  I'm not really not thinking he has an allergy problem...but of course licking his feet last summers end might have been....we'll have to see how this plays out this year. Talking to so many people who have dogs that do this they tend to at the same time of the year.  Thing is it almost seem that Gibby licks out of anxiety or boredom.  He doesn't do a lot of scratching or biting or things that poor Ollie used to do before he started his allergy shots.

  •  I just came across Jean Dodds last night, as I was doing research on blood work, for my Sugar.

     You mentioned 2 symptoms: licking feet excessively, and yeast problems.

     Yeast - do you mean as a skin infection?  Or ears, or both?  Yeast feeds on carbohydrates.  Switching to a grain free food will help greatly in reducing the incidence of yeast infections. Be sure you go grain free on treats as well as food.  My Willy suffered with skin yeast infections for most of his life in his first home (he is a rescue).  He came here and I immediately got him on to grain free.  We took almost 6 weeks to clear up the infection he had -- it was quite extensive, with most of his skin tomato red and sore to the touch! But since then he has not had any recurrence, been 19 months.  His life medical file, he hadn't gone 2 months free of it prior to this!

     Licking the feet can also be part of a food allergy.  One thing to consider is protein itch:  if the food is too high in protein, the dog gets itchy.  Granted I have lap dogs, not active, but being on a grain free food, most of those are in the 40% range for protein -- way too high for companion dogs.  I switched to a 28% protein and that fixed it.

    Licking feet "could" be a contact allergy, especially if it is only seasonal and you don't change anything else (food, water source, etc).  


    Will be interesting to see what the thyroid test results are, keep us posted!


  • Hi Freedom!

    Gibby has had icky kind of ears since day 1.  Have to keep them really clean but last spring when he went for HW test, they tested positive for yeast.   He has some large spots under his fur that I don't believe belong there... and especially under his chin, and it has kind of an odor to it there...could be yeasty.  When I asked the vet to have a look she just figured I was looking for trouble I believe. AND he is not scratching or biting or seems to be bothered..if he had darker fur one might not even notice. So perhaps I AM looking for trouble.  BUT he has had some weird issues on and off. 

    His food is about 24% protein...in Canidea Beef and Fish..which is also a good food for allergies in that he has never been on beef OR fish food. No grain...............well...after I home cooked for a while...he was put on Taste of the Wild which is grain free.  No food made any kind of difference in anything..including home cooking. He was eating better than DH and myself for quite a while.  His chewing of his feet in the fall sure could have been allergy... especially in the fall months like that.  Again....never happened before so will watch that one this year, very carefully.

    My Great Dane Bible is " The Great Dane Lady " website, Linda Arndt.   She is big into food, health and yeast is a big subject on her site.  She is the one that said " don't even bother to change food for yeast until thyroid is tested!"    I have been working hard with him, and he is pretty healthy otherwise, but I thought he had stomach issues which I do believe is not stomach but more his personality...he gets stressed and excited very easily.  I had changed food for those issues not yeast or skin.  

    I think I need to do myself a favor by checking this thorougly especially since the thyroid test from his regular vet was questionable and that vet just read the lines...not between them.

  • I hope you get the answers you're looking for! Another option is to do a skin biopsy if his thyroid checks out. That's what we ended up doing for Dahila....
  • erica1989
    I hope you get the answers you're looking for! Another option is to do a skin biopsy if his thyroid checks out. That's what we ended up doing for Dahila....

    Skin biopsy....interesting.   For allergies?   Or what? 

    I guess what will be-will be....thyroid issues or not thyroid issues.  His issues are not severe... hopefully they stay that way and don'w get worse. Well...hoping they go away.....but if its thyroid...hopefully its a problem taken care of.

  • paw-licking is a sign of ALLERGIES.  Period ... no one particular allergy. 

    The vast majority of dog allergies are plain old atopic (air-borne) allergies.  Food sometimes yields results simply because atopic allergy that is 'bad' gives rise to ALL OTHER allergies

    The last statistics I was given say that about 40% of dog allergies are atopic.  Flea allergy dermatitis hits about 25% and about 24% is pure food allergies.  The rest (marginal) is contact allergy.

    Don't confuse a food sensitivity with an allergy.  They ARE different.  Food allergies certainly do exist - I'm not saying that.  But they shouldn't be the first allergy thing to jump to. Even when people switch food and it seems to help, often there are primary atopic allergies that aren't getting resolved.  Usually atopic allergies are at the root of most allergy problems.  **very** often where there is food allergy, flea allergy or contact allergy -- there are ALSO atopic allergies at the bottom of it.  Does that make sense?

    ANY allergy -- atopic, food, flea, and contact) ALL OF THEM give rise to yeast.  Allergies cause inflammation.  Inflamed skin gives rise to infections and yeast.  so you can get yucky skin that then leads to a yeast infection or a bacterial infection SO easily.

    Low thyroid is definitely the EASY answer.  A small supplement and it can change SO much.  If the thyroid is off, you are NOT going to get everything else to fall in line.  If the liver is off you are likely to get ratty skin. (this is one of the reasons I like Dr. Dodd's thyroid test better -- if you order the full shot with the bloodwork too -- she puts the whole thing together as a package.  It can help


  • Basically - the biopsy will tell you what you are dealing with. allergies, autoimmine, cancer, etc. http://www.vcahospitals.com/main/pet-health-information/article/animal-health/skin-biopsy-in-dogs/908

    For Dahila - it was ruled to be autoimmune - after NUMEROUS doctors had looked her over and not figured out the problem. We did blood first (thyroid was normal) then proceeded to send a skin sample to the lab.

  • Gibbys paw licking I believe started summers end  and stopped getting into winter, so it could have quite possibly allergy and Vet said probably fall growth as they see it a lot.    Gibby has never had it before so I will watch this year.  Sure hope he doesn't get it. BUT he is licking everything..and not just his body...so I'm thinking that is not allergies....he is kind of neurotic. I do believe there is food allergies...but not as much as people claim...just me and all I have read and studied including Ollies skin specialist. I believe they are food intolerance as you mentioned Callie. 

    Again, my thinking is that as The Great Dane Lady said....... don't even bother changing food and all until thyroid has been checked, because if it is thyroid its not going to do any good anyway.   Gibbys thyroid was checked but you guys convinced me that it wasn't checked good enough, lol!  EEKS...explain that to my DH!!!

  • Well....took Gibs for his thyroid test today at the holistic vet that I took him to in the spring..  If nothing else, I sure can't complain about the price, because when I got home and compared my bill to when I took him to the vet in the fall...(that was Banfield where I know the doctor really well and like him)  this bill was quite a bit less for this vet to send to Dr. Jean Dodds. Whole thing out the door was $124,  at the regular vet I paid $195. Actually they did a thyroid screen first which was an additional 28.00. And THAT was with a discount I guess because I used to work at that clinic.  AND as the holistic vet said, " you won't get a better thyroid reading anywhere!" 

    So now we'll wait to see the results.  I'm satisfied that I did this...if I wasted $124...then I did...at least I won't be wondering!


  • dyan
    I'm satisfied that I did this...if I wasted $124...then I did...at least I won't be wondering!


      At the very least, it will give you peace of mind. Remember last fall when I posted on your thread that Jessie's cTSH was high, the free T4 was low, and some of her other results were borderline, so my vet didn't think she needed to be treated? Well I sent the results to Dr. Dodds and she suggested supplementing with a low dose of Soloxine (.25mg twice a day). I discussed this with my vet, saying I would agree with whatever he recommended. He agreed with Dr. Dodds' assessment and prescribed the Soloxine. Maybe you were too concerned about offending your regular vet?

       Of course I have no idea if Gibby's thyroid values have anything to do with licking his paws, but when Jessie used to lick her paws, her thyroid results were normal. The veterinary dermatologist sent the blood to Michigan State to be tested. In Jessie's case, the main cause for licking and chewing her paws, causing them to bleed and also causing infections under her pads and where the nail comes out of the toe, was food allergies. After an elimination diet that lasted almost a year, identifying many food allergens (chicken, fish, pork, potatoes, barley, yeast), she has done much better. She doesn't chew her feet anymore, or chew under her tail (which really irritated her rectum). Environmental allergies can also cause paw licking, so if his thyroid results are good, you may want to have his blood sent somewhere to be tested for that. I'll be checking back to see what you learned from the thyroid testing.

  • Keep us posted - I hope you get the answers you're looking for!
  • Thank you Erica..I will keep you posted...might take a couple weeks...not sure.

    Yes Janice..I remember that.  Wow, a little change.  Well for me I must say that I don't think that Gibbys feet licking had anything to do with thyroid because they are healed.  He only did it in the fall and they are fine now... his vet said he is acting like allergies from fall growth. AND I have spoken to a few people including the girl that runs our Camp Bow Wow..her dog does the same thing in spring and fall.    When I took Gibby to the vet back then with his feet so bad that I thought they were infected..... I was thinking yeast ( which licking all the time and keeping moisture going on his feet could sure cause yeast problems ) and he had just had yeasty ears when we had the HW test in May.  Gibby has some skin discolorations on his face and neck,...some smelly spots on his skin....and I put it all together,,,read what the Great Dane Lady says about yeast and allergies and diet change, and where she said " don't bother wasting your time changing food until you make sure its not thyroid!"   So that is why I am going here...and his test in the fall  was just a little " iffy" if you remember.....and that is why I should have gone to Dr. Dodds to begin with..let her test it for the Great Dane breed.

    I do hate to think of changing Gibbys  food to be honest....mainly because I have soo much already and he is doing so well now.  Some if his issues I thought were stomach issues...but I don't think so now as much as they are just his anxious personality.   He is on Canidea Beef and Fish right now... and ( Knock on wood ) he is doing so well I hate to fool with it, and won't unless he were to run into problems. If his problem is food allergies and it doesn't get worse...he will live with the food allergies bacause he is fine for the most part.

    The holistic doctor will give Gibby the thyroid meds if its necessary.  I don't even think I will ask his vet. After all she said " absolutely not" when I asked her about Bubblegums borderline thyroid when she got sick before she died. After she died...I read that thyroid has everything to do with her illness. Believe me...I can really kick myself for not pressing the issue and getting that thryroid tested for Bubby again....why did I listen to that vet?  Perhaps....we could have saved Bubby. It shows that the vets don't know all about some of these illnesses and including thyroid problems.