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Dr Gwen
Dr Gwen, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 512
Experience:  10 years experience in critical care, preventative medicine, chronic illness, and behavior.
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is there a difference between human and pet thyroxin? can

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is there a difference between human and pet thyroxin? can human thyroxin be given to a dog. we were told our dog needed .2mg thyroxin twice daily. i can get it from our local pharmacy but it is for humans

Dr Gwen :

Hello, welcome to Just Answer. I will do my best to answer your questions and help Piper. The medication for hypothyroid disease in both humans and dogs is levothyroxin, also called thyroxin. The actual medication is the same for all species. Your veterinarian might be able to get a supply of it for you, and as you have found out, most human pharmacies also carry it. There are prescriptions labeled for dogs that likely do not undergo as much quality control and testing that the same product labeled for people will have. This is also why human medications will in general cost more than pet medications. But, to answer your question the medication is essentially the same.

Customer:

that answers my question becuse we want to start dog on thyroxin after the results i gave you. we also have talked to dr.jean dodd in california who is an expert on dog hypo. our breede thinkg these numbers are low too. i can get the thryoxin thru my local pharmacy with out a precription. i am a doctor.... just wanted to make sure medicine is same for humans and dogs. do you think the thyroid panel numbers are low??


 

Dr Gwen :

It sounds like you are pretty well-versed, and that you have a good breeder to work with. I do think based on what you wrote here that Piper's numbers are indicating hypothyroidism. For at least the T4, we like to see a range of 1-4, but for some dogs just being as low as 1 is borderline hypothyroid.

Customer:

dr dodd says to prescibe .2 mg twice daily with out food. thanks for your help.

Dr Gwen :

Best of luck to you and Piper, hopefully in a few weeks her numbers will be up in the normal range.

Customer:

so if i get human thyroxin, thata should be fine for piper.....pharmacist thought .2 mg is a large dose for humans??

Dr Gwen :

In general, prescriptions for dogs and cats will vary greatly from a normal human dose. The metabolize drugs in a different manner, and can be exquisitely sensitive to some drugs (tylenol is deadly to dogs and cats), and have incredibly high ranges for other drugs. For levothyroxine we generally dose dogs based on weight. 0.2 may actually be too low for a 40-50 lb dog, but it is a starting point and can be adjusted based on repeat T4 testing.

Customer:

thanks again for your help.

Dr Gwen and 3 other Dog Specialists are ready to help you
Hi Susan Culp,

I'm just following up on our conversation about Piper. How is everything going?

Dr Gwen
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
everything is good. i got her the thyroxin..... .2 mg twice daily. we will check her in 6 weeks and see what her t4 and 3t4 levels are as well as monitoring her behavior. we feel we might see some change in her anxiousness already?? thanks again.
That is great news, happy to hear she is feeling better!