CASE DESCRIPTION A 7-year-old castrated male Havanese was evaluated at a veterinary teaching hospital because of a 12-week history of hyperactivity, aggression, and progressive weight loss despite a healthy appetite.
CLINICAL FINDINGS Tachycardia was the only remarkable finding during physical examination. Serum 3,5,3′-triiodothyronine (T3) and free T3 concentrations were markedly increased, and thyroxine (T4), free T4, and thyroid-stimulating hormone concentrations were at or decreased from the respective reference ranges. Thyroid scintigraphy revealed suppressed uptake of sodium pertechnetate Tc 99m by the thyroid gland but no ectopic thyroid tissue, which was indicative of thyrotoxicosis induced by an exogenous source of T3.
TREATMENT AND OUTCOME The dog was hospitalized for 24 hours, and its diet was changed, after which the clinical signs rapidly resolved and serum T3 and free T3 concentrations returned to within the respective reference ranges. This raised suspicion of an exogenous source of T3 in the dog's home environment. Analysis of the commercial beef-based canned food the dog was being fed revealed a high concentration of T3 (1.39 μg/g) and an iodine (82.44 μg/g) concentration that exceeded industry recommendations. No other source of T3 was identified in the dog's environment.
CLINICAL RELEVANCE To our knowledge, this is the first report of clinical thyrotoxicosis in a dog induced by exogenous T3, although the source of exogenous T3 was not identified. This case highlights the importance of measuring serum T3 and thyroid-stimulating hormone concentrations in addition to T4 and free T4 concentrations when there is incongruity between clinical findings and thyroid function test results.