View Full Version : Rozee hormone imbalance??

Roxee's Dad
02-27-2010, 09:18 PM
Rozee went for her yearly check up a bit early this year because we felt her hair was a bit thin and much like Debbie’s Chewy, she has lost her beautiful bushy tail. I was pretty sure it was thyroid as she tested low last year but was chalked up to her and Roxee going through a very rough bout of diarrhea.

Vet called about a week ago and he “suspects” a hormone imbalance! Isn’t that another phrase for Atypical? :( Needless to say I was in shock and speechless for a short time.

Vet suggested 4 mg of melatonin for 45 to 60 days and if no improvement seen to go ahead and do some expensive test. So I asked if he was referring to the UTK panel. With a very surprised look on his face he said yes and asked how I knew about this? I fessed up and told him I just lost Rozee’s littermate sister last July and that she was diagnosed with PDH cushing’s. (This vet didn’t know about Roxee or our cushing’s experience)

She has no other symptoms. No excessive thirst or need to urinate. No increase in appetite, little pot belly but she has always had a barrel shape since she was a puppy. Vet’s have always mentioned her belly but we have always said she just never lost her puppy fat. She has had a few ear infections in the last year. Persistant cough vet claims was from an overinflated trach tube during her dental. So I am in serious doubt but will follow instructions and we will see.

There is one other symptom that bothers me, she tends to shiver or shudder after a deep breath or yawn.

So for now I am going to put this thread into “Everything Else”, as it is only a “suspected” “hormonal imbalance”. If needed we will follow through with the UTK in 45 to 60 days.

Shih-Tzu / Lhasa mix (spayed)
14 years old
14 pounds

Abnormal blood work:
March 2009

ALK 265 (5-131)
Pot. 5.9 (3.6-5.5) (probably because of the diarrhea)
T4 0.8 (1.0-4.0) Low

Feb 2010
ALB 4.5 (2.5-4.4)
ALK 457 (10-118) (increase over last year)
Calcium 11.6 (8.6-11.6)

T3 55.0 (30-180)
T4 1.7 (1.0-4.0)

02-27-2010, 09:26 PM
You could get her estradiol level checked very cheaply by UTK - it doesn't even need a stim - I think it's only about $50.00 for that one. If it comes out high you could save time and start her on flax as well as the melatonin.

Are you going to redo the thyroid testing?


Roxee's Dad
02-27-2010, 09:38 PM
You could get her estradiol level checked very cheaply by UTK - it doesn't even need a stim - I think it's only about $50.00 for that one. If it comes out high you could save time and start her on flax as well as the melatonin.

Are you going to redo the thyroid testing?


Hi Ali and thanks,
I will inquire with her vet on the estradiol level and yes, she will be checked again in 45 to 60 days. Her level now seems to be just under the middle of the range, but I have been reading that some dogs do a bit better in the upper range. :confused:

BTW - I forgot to mention she was spayed at an early age.

Harley PoMMom
02-27-2010, 10:45 PM
Hi John,

Poor Rozee :( I just looked on the UTK website and to get just the estradiol tested is $25.00. To get estradiol/progesterone/testosterone tested together is $65.00.


You know for a while there with Harley only his estradiol was really elevated and he had all the cushings symptoms except drinking tons of water and peeing excessively, now man does he have bad hair days...poor guy. :eek: rat tail! He also had a low T4 which was checked out by a Free T4 by ED and came back ok, and Dr Oliver said that the elevated estradiol would not affect his low thyroid level anyway, but would help in raising his blood pressure that was high.

Hope you find answers about Rozee. Keeping you all in my thoughts and prayers.

Love and hugs,

02-28-2010, 07:31 AM
Hi John,

It is possible that Rozee's thyroid level is a little too low. When Corky's level went down, he was also shivering and shaking. I even spoke with Dr. Dodds about this, and she felt that Corky's medication was too low at that time.

I hope you are able to get answers that will help Rozee.

John II
02-28-2010, 07:40 AM
Hi Brother John,

I'm crossing everything that whatever this turns out to be is resolved quickly.

02-28-2010, 05:30 PM
John with the alk phos edging up, something is definitely going on. Just to put PDH or ADH concerns aside immediately, why not do a UCCR ASAP? I was so worried about Chewy having Cushing's I insisted on a UCCR being done last fall.

What about possible allergy issues? Dr. Lewis, my derm vet, says that hair loss is not common with allergies, but not impossible, & with the persistant ear infections that also makes me suspicious. Chewy had 3 ear infections in about a year, before I had Dr. Lewis work him up. The other thing I'm thinking of, (thanks, Glynda), since Chewy's allergy shots have not resolved the hair issues is that, in his case, I might be dealing with Alopecia X.

Just my thoughts.


02-28-2010, 06:11 PM
Deb, do you know whether or not the test would indicate atypical cushings? Just curious. Thanks. K

02-28-2010, 07:00 PM
I assume you mean the UCCR? No, it only measures cortisol, but with the alk phos going up, I think a "rule-out" of PDH/ADH is warranted, IMO.


02-28-2010, 07:03 PM
Sorry, I see that you clearly stated that. :o John had mentioned atypical so my mind was there.

John, fyi... I am in a similar situation. My other dog Annie had almost identical alk readings the last 2 tests as your dog. :( I too am trying to determine next step. She is hypothyroid (or so they say)...have you had any thyroid issues? Kim

Roxee's Dad
02-28-2010, 09:12 PM
Deb, I think a UC/CR may be a good idea to rule out any cortisol issues. Her skin is good, although she has developed some fatty type tumors over the years. (fat>estradiol, think I read something about that) The only outward sympton was I felt her coat was a little thin. The ear infection I still chalk up to the vet tech. They did a complimentary ear coring during her dental which immediately resulted in an ear infection. Probably didn't sterilize the hemo's. She's never had her ears cored as I don't believe in it and she nor Roxee or Mickee have never had an ear infection.

Ali, Lori, I'm thinking any further blood testing, I would do the full panel. One test, one poke and Rozee would only need to go through the blood draw once.

Kim, Terri, thyroid tested out as follows:

March 2009
T4 0.8 (1.0-4.0) Low

Feb 2010
T3 55.0 (30-180)
T4 1.7 (1.0-4.0)

Thank you all for your thoughts and inputs, outwardly, she really seems to be fine. Healthy appetite, still likes to play, chase her toys, jump up on the couch. Still would rather to take a nap in her bed or on the couch, not looking for any cool places. Rozee is still the boss, she tells us when it time to eat and when it's time to go to bed.:D:o:) I wanna know where she hides her watch? :)

02-28-2010, 09:25 PM

I've nothing to add, but wanted you to know I checked in and will be praying that it is nothing but a weird blip on the screen. I agree with you about the get it done with one poke, if possible, but that's bc of my own bad vet visits...I think the more you can get done, the better. Faster answers too...but then again, I am not a good "waiter"...

Anyway, just wanted you to know I was here checking on you and will be praying for only the best!!!

Love and hugs, Beth

03-01-2010, 03:39 PM
John, Sorry to have not responded earlier.

Yes, I think you have it nailed in particular given the suggestion of administration of melatonin, it sounds like Atypical, very likely estradiol and Ali is right, you do not have to stim for estradiol.

I would also ask about lignans as these work in conjuction with the melatonin to my understanding. I am glad you caught it early and am hoping a conservative treatment works.


03-03-2010, 12:26 AM
Hi John,

I'm with the others in hoping that whatever is going on with Rozee, is nothing serious. Hoping for the best for you both,

Jane, Franklin and Bailey xxx
Vermont medical marijuana (http://vermont.dispensaries.org/)

03-03-2010, 04:54 AM

No advice to offer but I am reading along to see what is happening. It seems like cushings is more common than I thought and it is being picked up much more by our vets. So many have been through it with one dog and then another is diagnosed even ones that are not litter mates. It isn't the "rare" disease that I originally thought and the only bonus (if you can call it that) is that with the second dog we are much better informed about testing and treatment options.


Squirt's Mom
03-03-2010, 10:56 AM
Hi John,

How is Rozee feeling today? And you, Dad? ;)

Squirt has shown very little signs with her Atypical which made her last UTK panel a surprise when it came back with levels still elevated....estradiol and the progesterones specifically. If I were you, I would go ahead and add the lignans to the melatonin. They work together in some manner to help control these intermediate hormones. I'm not sure just the melatonin will be enough to manage these on it's own...but what do I know. :rolleyes::p

I'm with you on having the one blood test right now...less stress on Rozee for sure. :)

Leslie and the girls - always