What is a normal thyroid level for a dog?
Original Question: What is a normal thyroid level for a dog? The last time I checked my dog's was 4.5. - Anonymous
I’m Dr. Clayton Greenway with healthcareforpets.com and we’re answering questions this morning. Here’s one, it’s very quick, it says, “What is a normal thyroid level? The last check on my dog was 4.5.”
So when I get a question like this, it’s quite interesting to me because this person should really know the normal range because it’s a veterinarian that, that obviously did this blood work and they should have had a good conversation as to that information and that’s what I worry about when I read that question first off is maybe they are not contacting their veterinarian or telling their veterinarian that they don’t understand the numbers or what’s going on. If anyone has ever in that situation, you’ve really got to tell your veterinarian that you need a little bit more or that you don’t understand something just so that they know that they need to work a little harder at communicating with you. But basically we do check thyroid levels on dogs and they can get something called hypothyroidism. So the thyroid gland sits in the neck, it produces a hormone and it controls our metabolism. Dogs get an underactive thyroid gland for some reasons and basically their metabolism can slow down, they can gain weight, they can be lethargic, they can lose hair and you can supplement the thyroid with something called thyroxine, a synthetic hormone so that it comes up into the normal range.
Now what’s interesting about thyroid diseases, you can have low thyroid numbers even when you have other things going on like skin infections or a sinus infection or any type of thing. So sometimes I don’t treat low thyroid levels right off the bat. They really have to show consistent clinical signs like the lethargy, the weight gain, things like that. If that’s not going on I’d really question whether I personally would treat it but you’re going to want to talk to your veterinarian about that.
There is a condition known as euthyroid six syndrome and what that is, is the thyroid gland is actually functioning normally but there’s a lower output of hormone because of something else going on in the dog’s body so you do want to do a full exam, you want to do other blood work to make sure everything’s okay, and just to answer this specifically, the normal range of thyroid level is, every lab is going to be a little different but typically it’s about 7 – 47. This is sitting at 4.5, so it’s a little bit low. So really I’d have to have that discussion as to what symptoms this dog is showing and whether it’s worth going on thyroid medication or maybe even a trial first to see if there’s a nice improvement, to see if we need to stay on that medication. Let’s face it, if we can avoid medication that’s terrific, if it does really help the dogs quality of life I think it’s of great benefit. Thanks for sending the question in, I really appreciate it. Keep using our site healthcareforpets.com where we’re dedicated to your pet’s health and keep those questions coming.
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