Blood tests revealed Reno did indeed have low thyroid levels, and we started him on Soloxine. There was a definite change for the better after we started the supplements.
Some of the more common symptoms of hypothyroidism include :
Dry skin, recurrent skin infections
Ivan is our second basenji with hypothyroidism. He has been taking Soloxine (levothyroxine) for several years as a replacement for the hormone that the thyroid gland normally produces to regulate the body’s energy and metabolism.
Our vet in Florida carried the brand name Soloxine, and we learned that different brands of levothyroxine may not work the same. Long time basenji enthusiasts recommend against using generic medication. Our current vet does not stock Soloxine, so we ask for a prescription and order it from a reputable source.
Thyroid medication is relatively inexpensive and has always been easy for us to dispense as Ivan, like Reno before him, can be bribed with food. Ivan gets his pills in a small dab of sweet potato one hour before he eats. I just say “Thyroid pill” and the Munchkins appear in the kitchen. Dasa gets a placebo bit of sweet potato when Ivan gets his pill. Giving the pill one hour before or two hours after meals appears to increase its effectiveness.
BRAT’s recommendation for checking your Basenji’s thyroid levels:
Have the vet draw blood and send it to Dr. Jean Dodds of Hemopet. You can find out what test to ask for and where the sample should be sent by going to:
Be sure that you order the complete thyroid panel D8T (T3, T4, Free T3, Free T4, T3 auto antibodies and T4 auto antibodies)
Our current vet practice was very helpful about sending serum to Hemopet for testing. I made a few phone calls to Dr. Dodds’ staff at Hemopet to check on shipping details, and then sent Dasa’s serum. After her blood draw I took Dasa home by way of the Dairy Queen drive through for a hamburger to reward her for being such a good girl. I then picked up the serum and per their instructions, sent it overnight to Hemopet in California. (The Hemopet staff person I talked to said a lot of people even use priority mail, but I felt better using the overnight option.) Dasa gets tested regularly, and Dr. Dodds’s tests revealed that Dasa’s thyroid levels are still normal.
Then I took Ivan in for a blood draw and sent his serum. Within a week, we got the results. This full panel of tests provides our vet with the information needed to adjust Ivan’s medication to the correct level. We would perform any complicated arduous task needed to keep our Munchkins healthy, so we don’t hesitate to do this simple thing to care for them.