AVS treats our first hyperthyroid dog
Brie is an 11 year old female Maltese cross. She was presented to the referring veterinarian for a dental procedure and pre-operative blood work identified an elevated T4. Additional history revealed ravenous appetite, weight loss over the previous year and a half, polyuria and polydipsia. A right sided mid tracheal mass was palpated and a fine needle aspirate was consistent with thyroid carcinoma. A repeated total T4 was also elevated. Brie was referred for an I 131 consult to AVS. No additional physical abnormalities were found. The right sided cervical mass was about 1.5 cm in diameter, firm and only somewhat attached to the surrounding tissues. A dose of 10 mci of radioactive iodine was prescribed and administered on a Tuesday morning as per our normal protocol for cats. By late Thursday afternoon, Brie’s Geiger counter reading was under 2.0 milligrams/hour at one meter distance and she was released to the owner with standard I 131 release instructions. At the 2 week Geiger counter check, her radiation readings were low enough to release her from the restrictions. At one month the total T4 was under 0.5 and a standard dose of levothyroxine was prescribed to inhibit the release of TSH that could stimulate further tumor development. Although hyperthyroidism is a rare condition in dogs, previous cases have been referred to the University of Missouri for therapy because their size precluded treatment at AVS. Brie only weighed 17.5 pounds which allowed her to be treated in St. Louis.