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Is my Golden hypothryoid?

Species: Dog
Breed: Golden Retreiver
Age: 8-11 years
We have tried every diet under the sun to get the last few kilo's off our doggie. Over the past 12 months she has remained stable, even on a custom made BARF diet which only gives her 3 table spoons of food a day.

Recently had a T4 FREE thyroid test done. Her result was 14. Vet is saying the normal range is 10 to 45. Vet is saying that the results are normal even though all our research indicates it is very low and she would benefit from the thyroid medication.

We are so worried about her, we just need to move another 3-4 kilos off her and want to be able to start feeding her normally again.

What should we do?


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Good for you, trying to get weight off of your dog! I have seen so many Goldens that are overweight!

I would agree with your vet that a free T4 level of 14 is not one that I would treat with thyroid medicine. Has your vet done a thyroid profile though? I have seen some dogs who had free T4 levels in the low end of the normal range (like your dog), but when we did a profile we found that there were other changes that made us think that the dog actually was hypothyroid. The profile will also look at her T3 level and TSH and a few other things.

If a dog is not hypothyroid and we put them on thyroid medicine we can be setting them up for some health problems such as high blood pressure and heart disease.

You can also talk to your vet about trying a diet called "Satiety". It is a prescription diet made by Royal Canin. In my clinic my technicians run an excellent weight loss program where they help people get weight off of their dogs. One of the best things that they have found to work is Satiety diet. This food helps to keep the animals feeling full but really helps to lower their weight.

I'm sure you've looked at other factors such as increasing exercise and cutting out treats as well.

I hope that helps!

Dr. Marie.


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Disclaimer: Although Dr. Marie is a qualified veterinarian, the information found on this site is not meant to replace the advice of your own veterinarian. AskAVetQuestion.com and Dr. Marie do not accept any responsibility for any loss, damage, injury, death, or disease which may arise from reliance on information contained on this site. Do not use information found on this site for diagnosing or treating your pet. Anything you read here is for information only.

Customer reply:

Hi Dr Marie,

We have noticed things like the white glaze over her eyes etc... and told the vet about this but he did not even look at it, just said it was common in older dogs.

We had her on the Hills Science Diet R&D only getting 2 cups a day, and she put on 2kg in 2 weeks.

We walk her 3 times a day, as well as a big run at the golf course and she never gets anything except her food as we are desperate to releive her joints as much as possible and get the weight perfect.

We are at a loss at what to do next and very frustrated and worried.

Thanks
Tinneika


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

It sounds like you are doing all of the right things.

I'm assuming the "white glaze" you are talking about are little white dots on each of her eyes? This can be caused by calcium deposits or lipid (fat deposits). While it is true that dogs with hypothryoidism are more likely to have fat deposits in their eyes, many healthy dogs have them as well.

Has she had the thryoid profile done?

The Satiety diet is different than r/d. I have seen many dogs that could not lose weight on r/d or other weight loss diets do really well on Satiety.



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Dr. MarieDr. Marie is a veterinarian who practices in a busy animal hospital in Ottawa, Ontario. She created Ask A Vet Question as a resource for good, accurate veterinary advice online. Dr. Marie treats dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and rats. She has been a vet since 1999.

Is an online vet visit just as good as a trip to your veterinarian? No! But, many times, asking an online veterinarian a question can help save you money. While Dr. Marie can't officially diagnose your pet or prescribe medications, she can often advise you on whether a vet visit is necessary. You can also ask Dr. Marie for a second opinion on your pet's condition.