Renal proteinuria has been associated with both subclinical and clinical hypothyroidism in people; however, little is known about the effect of renal proteinuria on the thyroid status of companion animals. The purpose of this study was to determine if thyroid status, assessed by total T4 (TT4), free T4 (fT4) and thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), differed between ill dogs that were proteinuric versus non-proteinuric.
Ill proteinuric dogs, defined by a urine protein/creatinine ratio (UPC) > 1 with negative urine culture, and ill non-proteinuric dogs were prospectively enrolled in this cross-sectional study. All dogs underwent physical examination, complete blood count, serum chemistry, urinalysis, and thyroid panel; urine from proteinuric dogs was submitted for culture and UPC. Descriptive statistics and student’s t-tests were used to determine differences between groups, with significance of p < 0.05.
Twenty-two ill proteinuric dogs and 8 ill non-proteinuric dogs were enrolled in the study. Serum total protein concentrations were higher in non-proteinuric dogs (p =0.015), though albumin levels did not differ between groups (p = 0.06). Median UPC for proteinuric dogs was 5.1 (range 1.9 – 16.5). Interestingly, proteinuric dogs had a significantly higher mean serum cholesterol than non-proteinuric dogs (p = 0.04). No significant difference in mean TT4 (p = 0.403) or fT4 (p = 0.396) was found between proteinuric and non-proteinuric dogs; however, mean TSH was significantly higher in proteinuric dogs (p = 0.002).
These results suggest that renal proteinuria influences thyroid homeostasis and should be considered when interpreting thyroid status of dogs.
Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine
Dr. Palerme is an assistant professor with the internal medicine service at the College of Veterinary Medicine at Iowa State University. He earned his DVM from the University of Montreal and an MS from McGill University. He pursued his veterinary training by completing a rotating internship at the Ontario Veterinary College, as well as an internal medicine residency at North Carolina State University. Prior to coming to ISU, he worked as an internal medicine clinical veterinarian at NCSU.
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