Q&A w/Dr. Dodds: Aggressive Behavior and Thyroid Connection

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Question:
I have a puppy who has been showing aggression at time so I took him to vet and his TT4 is <0.5mg/dl. My question is at this age would it be beneficial to send and have full panel done and possibly treat hypothyroidism? The vet suggested euthanizing him since children are in the home. If this aberrant behavior is related to thyroid low, I would have an even more difficult time making that decision.

Questions to client for overview:
– What laboratory did your vet send the blood work to?
– What is your dog’s weight and are there any other health issues you’ve noticed besides aggression?
– Did anything happen socially with other dogs or people to trigger this behavior?

Response:
The lab was done in-house at my veterinarian’s office. I was going to have them also send to you but started questioning myself when they did not seem very hopeful about temperament. He is a great dog 95% of the time. That is the problem, we do not know of any identifiable triggers. He just flips a switch at times. He weighs 46 pounds and has been healthy other than an ear infection a couple months ago that has been quickly resolved. The only s/s of anything off is very thin hair on backs of hind legs and his behavior.

Dr. Dodds Says:
Your young puppy may indeed have a significant thyroid dysfunction contributing to his aggressiveness, and should have a complete thyroid antibody profile run at Hemopet (Thyroid Profile 5) or the equivalent profile at MSU. Autoimmune thyroiditis with sudden inset behavioral problems can start at puberty, when sex hormonal changes and maturity occur.

W. Jean Dodds, DVM
Hemopet / NutriScan
11561 Salinaz Avenue
Garden Grove, CA 92843

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