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Golden with Underactive Thyroid

July 27th, 2007, 02:11 PM
Hi, I'm new to this site, and am hoping that someone may have some insight into my boys issue.

First I have a 6 year old Golden - who I might add is the most wonderful boy. Anyway we've had issues for the last 3 summers with skin problems and ear problems ect. Finally I took him to a different vet for a second opinion and she did a blood test and determined that he has low T-4 - His thyroid function is not where it should be. When I researched I found that this could be the cause of all of his symptoms and now I feel bad. All this time I thought that he was "fat & Lazy" and hes actually been sick.

Well now hes on medication for the last three weeks and is doing well, he's started to loose some weight and has more energy ect.

My concern is this, now he's HUNGRY! Hes looking for more to eat within 2 hours of eating his supper. I've researched and searched all over the net trying to find out if this is a normal reaction to the med's or if he's just being a pig. I don't want to over feed him. Prior to the diagnosis I had switched him from a Lamb and Rice formula food to a Chicken Soup for Seniors - since its lower in fat. I'm wondering if I should be looking at putting him back onto a regular formulation as opposed to the seniors?

Anyone have any suggestions?

July 27th, 2007, 03:06 PM
How is his weight? Is he losing? Gaining? About the same? We have a setter with immuno-suppression of the thyroid -- we go by her body conditioning and adjust her meal portions accordingly.

You might also want to have the vet test him again to make sure the levels of thyroid hormone are correct after the meds.

Ford Girl
July 27th, 2007, 03:19 PM
How much are you feeding? That brand is good, I have friends with large breeds and they feed that stuff. Is your dog a dog that would eat until they exploded? Some labs and goldens could never be free feeders. Is it bordom? Is he looking for a bone to chew? How long between meals? Can you split it to 3 meals? How active is he? Just some stuff that came to mind.

I know...a lot of questions. :eek:

I have a golden and she is always nose to the ground looking for food and crumbs and will eat anything she can fit in her mouth...but I can tell the difference in her behavior between hungry and just being nosey or wanting to chew something. :dog:

I dont know if 6 is senior for a golden? My guess would be no. If he's more energetic, maybe you didn't need to lower the fat if he's to burn more?

Dr Lee
July 27th, 2007, 03:46 PM
Simply put, the thyroid regulates metabolism. High thyroid means a high metabolism and low thyroid means low metabolism. Diseases on both ends of the spectrum exist; cats seem to get primarily High thyroid, dogs get low thyroid and humans can get both (obviously, not at the same time).

Low metabolism will be characterized by weight gain despite normal to low appetite, sluggishness and poor hair coat. (there are many other clinical signs and physiologic changes, but these are some of the basics).

When you replace the thyroid level, metabolism will go back to where it should be and lead to increased appetite, weight loss back to a normal ideal weight, improved hair coat, etc...

Dogs have a remarkable clearance of the thyroid supplement so overdose and toxicity is rare. Rechecking blood values with your veterinarian can be helpful to make sure that the levels are not too high.

Hope this helps.:pawprint:

July 27th, 2007, 07:36 PM
Thank you Dr. Lee that makes me feel alot better. My boy is to go back to the vet on the 8th of August for a re-check of his levels.

He's not a real big eater, never has been, but had gotten to about 89lbs which is just too much for him. I put him on a reduced fat, lower protein food before his diagnosis because of my concerns for his weight.
I was considering a food change but may just hang on till his weight regulates. Hes down to about 81 or 82 right now, I'd still like him to loose a bit more. Ideally I think he'd be pretty good at about 78 or so.

I'm really glad I found this site. Thanks for all your help everyone.

July 28th, 2007, 09:09 AM
I dont know if 6 is senior for a golden? My guess would be no. If he's more energetic, maybe you didn't need to lower the fat if he's to burn more?

Personnaly I wouldn't put a golden under 8 years old on senior food. Maybe you could switch back and if he's still hungry , you could feed him carots as treats in between meals (not the baby carots as they are too sugary) there is a recipe for salmon treats on the food forum , great for dogs on diets.

I would love to see a picture of him, we have a picture forum :D

July 28th, 2007, 09:41 AM
I would love to see a picture of him, we have a picture forum :D

Never mind , I just saw your pics :cloud9:

July 28th, 2007, 11:43 AM
Our first dog had an underactive thyroid. After years having our vet tell us that we were overfeeding him and skin problems that this same vet told us was alergies :frustrated: we found our present vet and he did a blood test, determined the dog had severly low thyroid function, got him on some medication and his skin problems and weight started to immediately get better. He was always on calorie reduced food because he had bad knees on top of it all, so exercise was limited to begin with, but the medication I'm sure would have taken care of the weight if he's been normally active I'm sure. He had a lot more energy after starting the medication, just couldn't be as active as he wanted because of his knees.