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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 29032
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience
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My 15 1/2 yr old Australian Kelpie has been taking Thyroid

Customer Question

My 15 1/2 yr old Australian Kelpie has been taking Thyroid medicine. Her last T4 came back at 1.1 - she had been taking one pill/day, the vet said to give her 2 pills a day- that altho 1.1 was just a bit on the low side she had been panting some. The panting stopped but now she's doing it again intermittently -not all the time. Wondering if this is more indicative of hypo or hyperthyroid?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 2 years ago.
Aloha! You're speaking with Dr. Michael Salkin
Panting is consistent with hyperthyroidism but a T4 of 1.1 rules out hyperthyroidism and panting isn't pathognomonic (specifically indicative) of hyperthyroidism in any event. Excessive panting can represent both medical and behavioral problems. It's often seen with elevated ambient temperature, exercise, anxiety, or pain. To confound the diagnosis further, it's also seen with fever, narcotic administration, glucocorticosteroid (prednisone, e.g.) therapy, Cushing's disease, hypocalcemia (low serum calcium level), pheocromocytoma (an adrenal gland tumor), cardiac disease, tachyarrhythmias (fast irregular heart rates), brain disease and obesity.
Dosing of levothyroxin should begin at 0.1 mg/10 lbs of body weight twice daily. After 3-4 weeks, the T4 is rechecked 4-6 hours after the AM dose and that T4 will tell you if your Kelpie is being dosed appropriately. A positive response maintained for a few months may allow once daily dosing.
Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thank you.. I also have her on 1/2 tab of Rimadyl and one glucosamine/chondriton...If it keeps up I"ll bring her back in. I appreciate your response
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 2 years ago.
You're quite welcome. Please consider adding fish oil to her diet. The omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil are antiinflammatory. I dose the fish oil at 20 mg/lb daily of the EPA in your fish oil product. You should see the amount of EPA on the label of that product.