The Rip Van Wrinkler, Volume XIV, Issue 3, August 2009

Page 14 <previous page > next page

Rather amazing development with Hank's deafness..........(deafness & hypothyroidism)

by Cheryl Silver

Okay--stick with me here.

Hank is 12 1/2 and has had Fanconi Syndrome since the month of his 4th
birthday and about 6 years ago he was also diagnosed with
hypothyroidism. Then a few months ago he had a bout of problems with
his gallbladder but all is just fine now. He is on a daily dose of a
medication that dissolves the stuff that was congesting his gallbladder.


About a year ago I realized that he was going deaf and soon it was clear
that he didn't hear anything. Trust me when I say we tried *everything*
to get a response out of the silly boy, but nothing at all happened.

Well, a couple of weeks ago I went to a seminar by Dr. Jean Dodds that
was given up in Dallas (it was wonderful). It did not focus on thyroid
issues--included lots of info about vaccines, nutrition, etc.

I took the opportunity to ask a thyroid question because one of my dogs
takes a relatively large dose of soloxine. Dr. D asked about how I give
the meds to the dogs and she made it clear that it should be given 1
hour before a meal or 3 hours after the meal and that it is best to not
hide it in meat or dairy products......she said peanut butter is a good
vehicle to deliver the pill.

Well, I started doing that and by the end of the first week, Mr. Hank
was like a lively pup---sparkly and joyful. Then....a couple of days
ago I let him out to potty while I stayed up on the deck watching him
about 15 feet above him. He was sniffing around exploring when I
remembered that I needed to get him in the house so I could meet a
friend. I don't know what prompted me to do it, but I clapped my hands
very loudly and that boy jumped, turned his head upward and looked right
at me as if startled. Since that incident I have tried this numerous
times and it is clear some hearing is coming back. Now I am believing
that this change of process is making the I did a
google search of "canine deafness hypothyroidism" and saw that HT is
sometimes a cause of acquired deafness.

So--I will continue doing what I am doing and hope for improvements.
Call me crazy but I am very excited about this.

Per Dr. Dodds, the active ingredient in your dog's thyroid meds gets bound up by soy and calcium reducing effectiveness, therefore, she recommends peanut butter which is low in calcium.

Anne MacMillan
Eddie approves of the switch from low fat cream cheese to peanut butter! Thanks for the explanation, Cheryl.
Anne in Tampa

Cheryl Silver in Austin,TX
After reading my first post about Hank, a basenji friend sent me the following and gave me permission to crosspost. Please realize that in Hank's case I changed the food I used to give him his pills *and* I started giving him the pills an hour before his meal.

"Hi Cheryl,

In her late 60's and early 70's, my grandmother gradually lost her hearing. An audiologist diagnosed her with severe sensorineural hearing loss. That's the sort of hearing loss that is attributed to nerve damage and it is generally regarded as permanent. She had hearing aids but even with her hearing aids, she couldn't hear very well. We always had to shout at her. One day, she had a doctor's appt for a sore knee. Her regular doctor was off and she saw a different one who didn't know her. He took one look at her and ordered blood tests because she had all the textbook symptoms of low thyroid. So she finds out she has severe hypothyroidism and starts medication. (She was later told by her doctor that he couldn't believe she could get around and function at all with such low thyroid.) In a short period of time after taking meds, she realized that she no longer needed her hearing aids. She called our family on the phone and said she was talking without her hearing aids. It was hard to believe. Family who live in the same town as her confirmed that it was like a miracle. Her doctor thought she was a little nutty because he didn't realize there was a connection with low thyroid and hearing loss. This was 1991 and I asked my audiologist coworker who shared an office with me about it. She didn't know about it and very skeptical. So I went to the library and did research and found one little isolated research article about a couple cases of reversible sensorineural hearing loss after thyroid treatment. I mailed a copy to my grandmother who took it to her unbelieving doctor! Not sure if this has become common information now or not.

In Hank's case, it's particularly AMAZING about how much more effective those meds are when taken with PB instead of dairy products. That's something all vets should know and tell their clients about administering those meds!


by Marj Baker
I do know if you have to pill a Basenji it can be very difficult. You can stuff a pill halfway down a B's throat and he will bring it right up, no problem. You can hide a pill in almost anything and they will find it, eat the good part and spit out the pill. Pill pockets are yummy and chewed up, pills spit out. With other type pills other than thryroid pills you can use something they like - soft cheese with the pill buried inside but then, this is important, you have another goodie to give them right away. They swallow the first goodie with the pill in it to get the second goodie. I think someone mentioned her vet taught her to do this. It has worked like a charm for our old boy who needs his pills twice a day.

I don't know why peanut butter is ok with thyroid piling? Peanuts are goitrogenic which interfer with thyroid production and absorbtion because they block the absorbtion of iodine. Peanut butter would be no better than cheese. I would think a very small amount of meat or fish would be a better wrap for a thyroid pill. Actually the stomach should be empty so the pill can be absorbed and nothing afterward for an hour or two.

With humans who have hypothyroid ( I do), goitrogenic phylochemicals restricts iodine which is essential to the thyroid. Diary products, soy, pine nuts peanuts, beans, oats, rye, flax, vegetable such as cabbage, corn, broccoli, turnips, mustard greens, kale and spinach if uncooked as well as fruits such as strawberries, peaches and pears are goitogens. Most Basenjis don't often eat any of these however, oats dairy and soy are often found in dog foods. High fiber is good for hypothyroid humans.

So what's up with peanut butter? We should ask Dr. Dodds why she suggest it. {Ed. - I suggested Marj do that & report back}

About using peanuts, etc.

by Karen P. Christensen

First glance, two factors occur to me that this is not a problem: first, that the amount of peanut butter being administered is pretty tiny, probably 1/4 teaspoon, and thus unlikely to be a significant factor in iodine absorption and second, that in a hypothyroid dog being supplemented with levothyroxine, no iodine absorption is required. Levothyroxine (T4) is tetraiodothyroxine, already
contains the maximal amount of iodine in the molecule that is distributed. Processing to T3 (levothyronine, triiodothyroxine) involves removing, not absorbing, iodine. Chemicals that compete at the thyroid gland uptake site for iodine, including bromide, fluoride, and perchlorate, would not be a factor in a dog receiving a thyroxine supplement because the thyroxine manufacturing process of the thyroid gland is effectively bypassed.

The same should hold true for humans receiving a levothyroxine (Synthroid) or liothyronine (Cytomel) replacement for T4 or T3 -- to the extent that the supplement replaces all of the thyroid function. If there is still some endogenous thyroid hormone production, that could be affected by those foods, but if the dose is replacing all endogenous thyroid hormone including goitrogens
in the diet should have no effect -- the manufacture process of T4 in the body is circumvented, and the supplement goes in fully loaded with as much iodine as it will need.

Marj Baker - Jean Dodds' answer to my question about peanut butter:

Dear Marj:
Hello! Thyroxine binds to calcium and soy in foods, so if one needs to give a treat to hide the pill in, we suggest only something like putting it inside a cooked green bean, a tiny marshmallow or smooth peanut better. So meat and cheese are "out" Best wishes, Jean

11561 Salinaz Avenue
Garden Grove, CA 92843
Tel #: 714-891-2022
Fax #: 714-891-2123

Kim McNeill's suggestion:
Sweet potato fries.
I just sort of stumbled accross it. We had green chili cheeseburgers (homemade) and sweet pot. french fries and peach cobbler for dessert. I went to give the boyz their pills and saw the saved "dog" fries and just stuffed that little pink pill in that french fry. Easy peasy and down the gullet it went. Don't know why I didn't think of it earlier. The sweet pot. fries are really very, very good. Zest was eating the peaches as I cut them up for the cobbler. Boyz weren't interested in them. Zest has the stomach of a lab.

M asks if she can still have her cappuccino spuma in the morning.

<previous page > next page