The Diagnostic Center for Population and Animal Health (DCPAH) is a full-service veterinary diagnostic laboratory offering more than 800 tests in 11 service sections. In the more than 30 years since its inception, DCPAH has become one of the country's premier veterinary diagnostic laboratories, handling more than 220,000 cases involving approximately 1.5 million tests annually.
The Michigan State University Diagnostic Center for Population and Animal Health is an invaluable professional resource, making quality, trusted, and comprehensive veterinary diagnostics widely available. Income from the laboratory is reinvested in teaching, research, and outreach for the purpose of protecting human and animal welfare domestically and around the world.
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This alert was issued after a recent investigation into reports of three dogs in different households that showed signs of hyperthyroidism. That investigation led to the voluntary recalls of two pet food products.
The MSU Diagnostic Center for Population and Animal Health can provide all of the tests FDA has shown to be altered in this incident, endocrinology interpretations, and phone consultations.
We encourage our clients to read the FDA's letter to veterinarians related to Exogenous Hyperthyroidism and Thyroid Hormones in Pet Foods. This letter contains case information, results of dog testing and food testing, instructions for reporting suspected cases of exogenous hyperthyroidism, and additional background on thyroid gland in pet foods.
Tests run on the dogs included a full thyroid panel for T3, free T3, T4, free T4, TSH, thyroid autoantibodies, and iodine. The FDA has published the results but not the specific values and ranges due to variations between laboratories. However, the following overall patterns were seen:
Active (T3) and inactive forms (T4) of thyroid hormones
HIGH total T3
LOW total T4
Protein bound and unbound forms (free T3, free T4) of thyroid hormones
HIGH free T3
LOW free T4
Thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH)
low NORMAL TSH
Autoantibodies (T3, T4, thyroglobulin)
NORMAL autoantibodies (T3, T4, and thyroglobulin)
elevated total iodine
This pattern of results led the consulting veterinarian at the FDA reference laboratory to suspect an exogenous source of thyroid hormones, ultimately resulting in identification of the contaminated food products.
For more information, please see:
FDA Alerts Veterinarians and Pet Food Manufacturers about Potential Presence of Thyroid Hormone in Pet Foods and Treats
Exogenous Hyperthyroidism and Thyroid Hormones in Pet Food - Veterinarians