Thyroid illness in cats and dogsWritten by Nick Carmichael
Common clinical signs of hypothyroidism in dogs include weight gain, lethargy, reduced exercise tolerance and poor coat quality. However, disease affects almost all body systems and as a result a wide variety of signs can potentially be associated with this endocrinopathy. Diagnosis is complicated by fact that many non-thyroidal illnesses (NTI) may present with similar features to hypothyroidism and can result in reduced thyroid output. There is no perfect lab test for diagnosis of hypothyroidism and available alternatives all have their own strengths and weaknesses that need to be taken into account. Often best approach is to use multiple tests that complement one another and help to improve diagnostic accuracy.
Where hypothyroidism is a consideration, making diagnosis requires three distinct steps:
1. Exclude non-thyroidal illness (NTI).
By excluding other disease conditions first predictive value of thyroid tests will be significantly increased. In practical terms this phase may include a profile including FBC and smear evaluation and where necessary screening tests for Cushings. The latter can be important as both endocrinopathies can result in alopecia, weight gain and marked reductions in T4.
Lemon TetraWritten by Linda Paquette
Glassily transparent, lemon tetra (hyphessobrycon pulchripinnis) could appear to be just a sunbeam flashing through your community tank if not for background elements like plants and driftwood. Another member of large characin clan, lemon tetra has a fairly elongated body like its smaller relative neon tetra and like neons and other characins, lemon tetra does best if kept in small schools of six to eight fish.
One of most distinguishing features of lemon tetra is their large eyes. The upper part of lemon tetra’s eye is brilliant red, which is a sharp contrast to yellow pastels it displays in its body colors. Actually, though, lemon tetra is quite colorful on close inspection. Body coloring is a delicate pale yellow, flanks are silver, and leading edge of anal fin is shiny-bright-yellow and sharply divided from other rays, which are black. In male, rest of anal fin is broad and fringed in black, a characteristic that is missing in plumper female. As many male characins do, male lemon tetras also have tiny hooks on their anal fins. Both males and females have tetras’ characteristic adipose fin, which is also pale yellow in color.