Saturday, May 19, 2018

Thyroid Testing with Hemopet

I wanted to write about my experience with having a full thyroid panel done by Hemopet.

Perri is not hypothyroid, her levels are completely normal. Initially that made me feel a little bit silly (dog owner hypochondriac!), since I had gone to some extra trouble and expense to investigate a hypothyroid possibility with Perri. But if I had just requested a test at the vet office I would not feel that way. It would have been more information for me. And that is all that this is. I did feel a little bit disappointed by the normal result, as I did when we did a limited T4 test at my vet's office in December. A hypothyroid diagnosis might have explained Perri's increase in anxiety and lowered energy.

Nonetheless I do not regret doing the test, I needed to know. I actually spent last week reading Jean Dodd's book The Canine Thyroid Epidemic and I really valued learning about the condition. It is important mental information to bank, since hypothyroidism in canines can account for some very strange behavior that does not necessarily scream "hypothyroid!".  Sudden anxiety and aggression are two symptoms of hypothyroidism in dogs and either can present even when the "classic" symptoms of weight gain and hair loss are not occurring. Testing in general vet practices is fairly limited (as it only tests one or two thyroid values at most) and it can be challenging to achieve a proper diagnosis.

I needed a vet practice to draw the blood for me. Since Perri was due for blood work and a visit with her behaviorist this week, I requested some extra blood to be drawn so that I could send it out for testing. For the thyroid panel, you need to send serum. The serum can be separated from the blood by centrifuging in a machine, which the wonderful staff at the vet office understood how to do. Then they gave me my tube of Perri-serum. According to the Hemopet website, the serum would be viable at room temperature for 14 days and could be sent by mail. I sent it UPS with two day shipping.

Hemopet received the sample on Friday and I received an e-mail notification. We received results today, very impressive fast turn around time! Very organized and efficient. I am glad I can put my mind to rest about the possibility of a thyroid disorder causing Perri's anxiety.

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