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It's his thyroid!

Posted: Thu Mar 13, 2008 2:21 pm
by jack's mom
I just received Jack's thyroid test results back from Dr. Dodd. She stated that autoimmune thyroiditis is present and is likely an underlying reason for his seizures. I don't know whether to be happy or scared. So glad i got this done. I'm no doctor but it looks like hi autoantibodies were falsely elevated giving a false reading on his first basic thyroid test. She recommends putting him on Soloxine. I am trying not to get too excited, but in the back of my mind i'm hoping the Soloxine will stop the seizures. From past experiences, do you all think this is something i can hope for or is it just another medicine to try and help reduce seizures from 4 times month to maybe once a month? I know nothing about thyroiditis. Is it worse than seizures, as in fatal? Does anyone here have a dog with this? I need to ramp up my research. But overall, i'm excited cause at least i know. Any feedback would be much appreciated!

Posted: Thu Mar 13, 2008 2:49 pm
by skrpio
Yes this can maybe cause seizures. Getting the thyroid working correctly can stop the seizures but you have to remember that the soloxine will get the metabolic rate up and therefore the PB doseage will be wrong as this acts on the metabolic rate. Check with your vet or Dr Dodds on reducing the PB after the soloxine course is completed.
After KiKi was put on soloxine because her thyroid was very low the vet decided that because she had not had a seizure for a long time we could start to reduce her PB. In fact this was wrong and we should have been increasing her PB until the thyroid was correct and then see what happened and then possibly wean her off. She did not get a chance to complete the soloxine course so we do not know if the thyroid was causing the seizures.
Good luck with the soloxine course and I really hope it works for him.

Posted: Fri Mar 14, 2008 6:51 am
by jack's mom
thanks so much for the advice. ok so we will need to possibly increase the Pheno until his thyroid is working correctly and then consider decreasing the Pheno if thyroid is ok and no seizures?

Posted: Sat Mar 22, 2008 1:10 pm
by High_Voltage_Head
I don't mean to deflate your balloon but my impression is that Dr Dodds finds thyroid problems in about 75% of the epi dogs she tests. I've read enough about the whole thyroid issue to believe that interpreting the test results is more art than science.

I HAVE heard a few people say that their dogs' seizures got better after being put on thyroid meds, but i've heard more people say that it made no difference, and i've even heard at least a couple people say the thyroid meds caused serious problems.

My opinion (NOT shared by most epi dog owners) is that the whole thyroid issue is way overblown, if not totally bogus. But i'm a natural born skeptic, so take what i say with a grain of salt.

Posted: Sun Mar 23, 2008 3:38 am
by skrpio
Kurt - I went to a seminar given by Jean Dodds. I think there were about 66 symptoms of hypothyroid of which one was seizures. She does say there is a link between low thyroid and seizures but she also states that putting them on a thyroid medication MAY stop the seizures in some cases. It also goes to show that there is a trend of many dogs being bred with a faulty thyroid. Her main point was the fact that dogs are showing up now what humans will be showing in about ten years from now and that is scary.

Posted: Sun Mar 23, 2008 1:34 pm
by jack's mom
I appreciate everyone's input and opinion. I do worry the thyroid meds won't help the seizures. At this point i'm just hoping it will help them not be so frequent and intense...jack is averaging a cluster episode every two weeks and its not pretty. Takes him several days to recover. So to hope the meds will stop the seizures is just way too big of a hope for me. Feeling a little frustrated today. The Pheno is either not working or not a high enough dose. We go in three weeks back to the vet.

My vet and i both spoke with Dr. Dodd's. she said Jack's was a great case. She was encouraging but let us know seizures may still occur. She suggested the ice pack which i will try. Thanks again everyone, it is helpful to hear differing opinions

Posted: Tue Mar 25, 2008 2:57 pm

How's Jack Doing

Posted: Fri Aug 15, 2008 11:35 am
by msommar
I saw that your last message on Jack's thyroid was in March, and I wanted to see how he was doing. My dog, Conor, also started Thyroid treatment about 1 month ago. When I asked my vet to do a complete Thyroid panel on him, he thought I was nuts. But when the results came back, my vet and our nueroligist decided that Conor would be a viable candidate for Thyroid treatment. Since he has been on the Thyroid treatment, he has not had any seizures, that we have witnessed.

Conor is on so much medication now that we can no longer allow him to go up stairs because he has a problem coming back down, and I don't want him to get hurt. When he does come up, my husband has to carry him, not an easy feet since he is 64 pounds. Conor is taking KBR, PB, and now Gabapetin (3 times a day), and I am trying just about anything to reduce at least one if not all of the meds. That is why we are trying the thyroid treatment. I would love to hear how Jack is doing and any other information that might help. Thanks

Posted: Fri Aug 15, 2008 12:52 pm
by MK's mom
Hello and welcome!

Unfortunately, the medications used to keep the 'monster' away often have undesirable side effects, with hindleg weakness being the biggest of complaints. You have to be careful backing off on the medications because the dogs often seize a lot afterwards. If you're working with a neurologist he probably knows this already and would have an idea/plan of how you should proceed. If Connor has to go on thyroid medication and his seizures are due to the thyroid, you might have a very good chance of having good results when backing off on the antiseizure meds.

Everyone on the list (which has been very quiet for awhile) understands your dilemma and what you're going thru, as we're all in the same boat


Posted: Fri Aug 15, 2008 1:24 pm
by msommar
Hi Vivian, Thanks for responding so fast. My last post was the very first one I ever did. I have been reading the CEN for a couple of months now and have found it very helpful. When I saw the post about the thyroid, I just had to write. I must have just missed it before.

My neurologist told me about the weakness in the hind quarters, but every time we reduce Conor's meds, he begins to seizure again. He hasn't clustered since the initial episode, and on the medication, the seizures are not nearly as long or as intense. I HAD to cut out one of the PB's because he just couldn't even walk when he went outside. I'm keeping my fingers crossed - it's been a couple of weeks, and so far so good. I just hate seeing him go through the entire episode. And the after effects on him are pretty bad. He is absolutely crazy for about 2 hours. All I want to do is hug him, but he is jumping up and down, and can't be controlled. I understand that this is very common, but that still doesn't help. He seems just so helpless. Thanks again.

Re: It's his thyroid!

Posted: Tue Apr 05, 2011 9:43 pm
by JulieO
Resurrecting an old thread here - but was wondering if the thyroid meds did solve the problem long-term?

My 10-year old Boxer, Dixie, started having seizures a few weeks ago. Turns out her thyroid levels were 'very low' and we started her on soloxine. A week later, we had to start her on phenobarbitol because of clustered grand-mal seizures (she had 5 in a weekend). That was on 3/21. No seizures at all until a petit-mal seizure tonight. Makes me worried that thyroid wasn't the only problem - she's been on Soloxine for almost 3 weeks so I would imagine that her levels shouldn't still be so low as to cause seizures...

Re: It's his thyroid!

Posted: Wed Apr 06, 2011 7:06 am
by msommar
Unfortunately, it did not stop Conor's seizures completely. He hasn't clustered recently, and we are going on about a month with no episodes. But his seizure medication is still very high. We recently upped the amount of thyroid medication because his levels came back low when we did another test. I believe it has helped, and we have found that when we are there and he starts to have a seizure, we put an ice pack right on the back of his neck and sometimes this will stop the episode. If it doesn't, then we give him a bowl of vanilla ice cream, and that seems to reduce the post-ictal period from about 2 hours to approximately 20 minutes. Hope this information helps, and good luck with Dixie. It is never a fun experience.

Re: It's his thyroid!

Posted: Wed Apr 06, 2011 7:53 am
by JulieO
Thanks for the reply. Has Conor been diagnosed with anything other than low thyroid? Seems like such a guessing game. Dixie is an old lady, so it's extremely unlikely that she suddenly has epilepsy, which leaves thyroid or something even scarier like a tumor.

I tried the ice trick twice while she was clustering - the first time she didn't get past a petite-mal seizure. The second time, it didn't seem to make much difference. I'll keep trying that trick though - if nothing else, it helps to keep them cooler during their unconscious marathon races.

Re: It's his thyroid!

Posted: Wed Apr 06, 2011 8:34 am
by msommar
Conor started his seizures when he was about 5, and he was never diagnosed with anything else. I did meet someone who had a Boxer a couple of years ago who began having seizures, and they test the Calcium level. It turned out being low, and when they started him on calcium pills, his seizures stopped. Now they just give him calcium everyday and he is fine. I had Conor tested for that as well, but his calcium level was good. From the research I have done, a low Calcium level in female dogs can cause seizures, so if you have not had that checked on Dixie, you may want to consider it.

I wish I had better advice, but unfortunately, it seems to be a guessing game, and when you get the meds at the right dosage, that can help, but then they have the hind quarter issue. Good Luck!!

Re: It's his thyroid!

Posted: Fri Nov 18, 2011 9:04 pm
by Lovemydogs
With my dog...after the very 1st (known?) seizure, I requested a 4DX snap test and he was positive for both Lyme and Anaplasmosis. A month later, he had his 2nd known seizure and I requested a thyroid panel-which came back very low hypothyroidism. I have no idea if being on thyroid meds has slowed his seizures since it was a new thing, but he was seizure free (also on 60mg Pheno twice a day) for four months until the end of August he had one seizure every two weeks for 10 weeks. At this point, we are adjusting meds, added Zonisamide, and trying to figure out what works for him. Also, a month before the August seizures began, he had diarrhea and was vomiting. X-rays were clear and the fecal showed coccidia. I don't know if it's all connected, like immune system problems, or just a big coincidence. Wish I could get some answers!