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Laboratory Tests: Thyroid Function Test


Thanks to the new technologies available in veterinary medicine and which we offer to you as a world exclusive, we can redesign the diagnosis of canine hypothyroidism. In this article, we present a summary of thyroid profile, with some key information for a correct interpretation.

When do you suspect hypothyroidism in dogs?

Productive thyroid deficiency usually results from a progressive immune-mediated disease. The symptoms of hormonal deficiency are numerous, different from dog to dog and progressive like gravity. The most common are lethargy, inactivity, weight gain, cold intolerance, dermatological disorders, and recurrent infections. Less common is a general weakness, incoordination, cardiovascular changes, infertility, and epilepsy.

It must be remembered, however, that the "typical" picture (dermatological lesions + alterations linked to the reduced metabolic rate) occurs only in some subjects and always belatedly. Even the most common laboratory alterations, such as non-regenerative anemia and hyperlipemia, may be lacking. The presence of gastrointestinal alterations, in particular, chronic diarrhea, is frequent.

The conclusion is that hypothyroidism must be taken into consideration when the dog has disease states that involve the skin and immune defenses and digestive, cardiovascular and neurological function, particularly when an immune-mediated origin is detected for this conditions.

What are the difficulties in diagnosing hypothyroidism?

The most common type of hypothyroidism in dogs is the primary form, with progressive gland atrophy and production deficiency in the terminal phases. Traditionally, the diagnosis was based on the serum determination of total T4 (T4 bound to transport proteins, tT4) and free T4 (free T4, fT4) concomitant with the determination of the Thyroid Stimulant hormone (TSH). The expected result in case of primary hypothyroidism is a serum TSH higher than the reference interval (as an expression of the pituitary stimulus in the presence of chronic hormonal deficiency) and fT4 and tT4 lower than the interval.

In clinical practice, on the other hand, this pattern (TSH increased, and fT4 decreased) unfortunately is not always found:

1) As demonstrated in experimental models, the TSH tends to "re-enter" in the reference interval with the chronicization of the disease and the finding of thyroid profiles with decreased fT4 and normal TSH

2) Many therapies and in general a state of disease (in particular if of an inflammatory nature) are able to reduce the quantity of serum tT4 and also of fT4 (although this analyte is less sensitive to concomitant pathologies and to therapies). Once again, the pattern will be decreased by tT4 / fT4 and normal or decreased TSH. The problem is that a hypothyroid dog is very often treated with drugs, for example, antibiotics and a state of illness is also frequent, and therefore the degree of confusion and the diagnostic difficulty will be maximum.

What is the thyroid profile for?

Thyroid profile helps to rule out the presence of thyroid diseases. In addition, this study offers the health professional (general practitioner, endocrinologist) a way to assess the patient's treatment and the evolution of the disease.

An important part of the thyroid profile test is the analysis of the thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH), which is produced by the pituitary gland that is the size of a pea and is located at the base of the brain. What is the thyroid profile for?

It helps to rule out the presence of thyroid diseases. In addition, this study offers the health professional (general practitioner, endocrinologist) a way to assess the patient's treatment and the evolution of the disease.

What Is Thyroid Disease And What Tests Might Help You To Diagnose It?

Thyroid disease is a disease that affects the thyroid gland. Sometimes the body makes too much or too little thyroid hormone. Thyroid hormones regulate metabolism, the way the body uses energy and affects almost every organ in the body. Too many thyroid hormones are called hyperthyroidism and can cause many body functions to speed up. Too few thyroid hormones called hypothyroidism and can cause many body functions to slow down requiring to have thyroid test.

Thyroid hormones play an important role during pregnancy and in the development of a healthy child and the preservation of the mother's health during pregnancy and hypothyroidism.

Women having thyroid problems can have a healthy pregnancy and safeguard their fetuses' health, learning about the effect of pregnancy on the thyroid gland, keeping current on their testing of thyroid function, and also taking the necessary medications.

A blood test includes blood sampling at the office of a health care provider or a commercial facility and sending samples to a laboratory for analysis. Diagnostic blood tests may include:

  • TSH test.  If the symptoms of a pregnant woman suggest hyperthyroidism, her doctor will probably, first of all, perform a hypersensitive TSH test. This test detects even small amounts of TSH in the blood and is the most accurate indicator of thyroid activity available. Typically, hyperthyroidism is indicated below normal TSH levels. However, low levels of TSH can also occur in normal pregnancy, especially in the first trimester of pregnancy, due to a slight increase in thyroid hormones from HCG.
  • T3 and T-4 test.  If the TSH level is low, another blood test is performed to measure T3 and T4. The increased level of free T4- part of thyroid hormones is not attached to the thyroid gland-binding protein-confirming the diagnosis. Rarely, in women with hyperthyroidism, free T4 levels may be normal, but T3 at high levels. Because normal pregnancy-related changes in thyroid function, test results should be interpreted with caution.
  • TSI test.  If a woman has a disease or has had surgery or radioactive iodine treatment for the disease, her doctor can check her blood for TSI antibodies.

What to remember?

Thyroid disease is a disorder that occurs when the thyroid gland produces more or less thyroid hormones than the body needs.

  • Pregnancy results in normal changes in thyroid function, but can also result in having thyroid disease.
  • Uncontrolled hyperthyroidism during pregnancy can also affect the mother and unborn baby negatively.
  • During pregnancy, mild hyperthyroidism does not require treatment. More serious hyperthyroidism is treated with            anti-thyroid drugs that act by interfering with the production of thyroid hormones.
  • Uncontrolled hypothyroidism at the time of having pregnancy can also lead to severe health issues in the mother              and can affect fetal growth and brain development.
  • The treatment of hypothyroidism during pregnancy is done with the thyroid tests having synthetic thyroid                      hormone, thyroxine (T4).
  • Postpartum thyroiditis, an inflammation of the thyroid gland, causes a short period of hyperthyroidism, often                    accompanied by hypothyroidism, which usually goes away within a year. Sometimes hypothyroidism is permanent.
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To offer our customers an added advantage, we do offer discounts on our services. You can expect to get up to 50% discount, depending upon the tests to be done. Rest, a minimum of 10% discount is available on almost every test.

3 Major Blood Tests and Their Importance      

  • Lipid profile- Lipid profile is basically a panel of different tests that helps in examining the abnormalities in lipids. It measures the triglycerides, Low Density Lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, High Density Lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol and total cholesterol. The test is important to identify the risk of any cardiovascular disease and pancreatitis.
  • Liver Function Test (LFT) - This particular test determines the health of your liver. It helps in diagnosing liver infections, cirrhosis and measures the levels of liver enzymes & proteins.  Liver Function Test is significant to ensure that your liver is functioning properly and maintaining balance in hormones.
  • Kidney Function Test (KFT) - Any issues in kidney are identified in this test. It examines the presence of protein in the urine and production of creatinine in your blood. For this, the urine sample of the patient is collected and is checked for any kidney abnormalities. If the check-up is not done on time, it may result into failure of your kidney.

Besides this, the other tests include Thyroid Function Test (TFT), Haemogram, stool routine examination, blood grouping & Rh typing, Pulmonary Function Test (PFT), mammography, USG of abdomen and many others. We can customize the health package for you according to the tests you require at the most competitive price. Since our customer support crew works round-the-clock to serve the patients, you can approach us even at the odd hours. Stay strong, stay healthy!

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