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Dr. Deb
Dr. Deb, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 10450
Experience:  I have been a practicing veterinarian for over 30 years.
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Our vet has prescribed 2 3mcg thyroid pills per day (sorry I

Customer Question

Our vet has prescribed 2 3mcg thyroid pills per day (sorry I don't have the actual pill bottle here). My brother actually takes care of the dog and has decided she doesn't need a pill twice a day so has started skipping the 2nd dose. Says the dog is doing fine. I say no.
As an aside, my brother has abused drugs all his adult life so has no respect for them. I am the exact opposite and follow Drs orders exactly. Is he correct? Is the dog doing fine with half her dose? This is a fairly new diagnoses for our 2 yr old. We have had 1 follow up visit and we went from 2 5mcgs to 3mcgs. Then a blood test and vet said 3 was correct dose. 2 months ago. My brother always thinks he knows more than he does about this kind of thing but I'm worried about our dog. Pls advise. Thanks
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Deb replied 1 year ago.

Hello, I'm Dr. Deb and will do my best to help you today.

I'm sorry for this concern for Marley although I can certainly understand why you'd want clarification about her drug dosage.

Could you please tell me how much she weighs?

There may be a slight delay after I receive your answers since I have to type up a response to you. Thanks for your patience. Deb

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Probably 25 - 30 lbs now. She lost a considerable amt of weight when she first started her meds and has the energy of a puppy now. Weight loss has stabilized.
Expert:  Dr. Deb replied 1 year ago.

Thanks for the answer to my question.

Typically, I dose thyroid replacement drugs twice a day for my patients since this is the dosage regimen recommended by Plumb's Veterinary Drug Handbook and I've had great success in controlling my canine Hypothyroid patients with this schedule.

And, the amount of drug that I'd start with would be 3 mcgs twice daily for a dog this size. I always recommend a T4 recheck in 4-6 weeks to determine if this is the appropriate amount of drug for her and change my dosage (or not) accordingly.

However, having said that, while I rarely dose once daily there are some patients who will do just fine on this dosing especially if they are only mildly hypothyroid. But, I'd still want to check the T4 level and monitor for recurrence of clinical signs (such as weight gain, lethargy, skin issues, etc) if they are only receiving the drug once a day.

Your brother's decision to medicate once daily in the absence of a sound reason to do so is not the way I'd approach this patient if she were mine but, unfortunately, I can't unequivocally state that it's an incorrect dose.

If you can't convince him to treat her twice daily, then at least run another blood test 4-6 hours after she's been given her pill and evaluate the results. Or if she starts to put on more weight, then once a day is probably not enough for her.

I hope this helps although I'm sorry that I can't confirm that your brother is wrong....although it doesn't give me any pleasure to say so! Deb

Expert:  Dr. Deb replied 1 year ago.
Hi Pat,

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

Dr. Deb