Tag Archive: Dr. Michelle Nguyen

Hypothyroidism in Dogs

Hypothyroidism in Dogs

By: Dr. Michelle Nguyen Dr. Nguyen

Is your dog overweight? Is your dog not as active as he/she used to be?  Does your dog have skin issues as well (i.e. thinning hair, hair loss, recurrent ear infections, greasy hair coat, etc)?  If any of these clinical signs fit your dog, a veterinary exam and a routine blood panel may provide some answers for you.
These clinical signs may be consistent with a syndrome called hypothyroidism. This disorder usually occurs in middle-aged dogs between the ages of 2 and 9, and both males and females are equally affected.  Hypothyroidism most commonly occurs due to the disruption or atrophy of the thyroid glands. Fortunately with treatment, long-term prognosis is excellent.

The mainstay of treatment is oral thyroid hormone replacement. Your dog will be on a twice daily oral medication life-long. Luckily, most dogs do very well with oral medications, especially if hidden in pill pockets! The initial diagnosis of hypothyroidism along with fine-tuning the medication dosage will 


require two to three blood panels.  However once the correct dose of medication is achieved, your pet will only need annual blood work to make sure the thyroid level is within the therapeutic range.

If you think these clinical symptoms fit your dog, we would love to see him/her for a comprehensive nose-to-tail physical exam and possibly blood work. Give us a call at (775) 358-6880. 

              Things to Keep in Mind During Halloween 

By: Dr. Michelle Nguyen 

The spookiest night of the year is quickly approaching! Halloween!  With only a few days until you have goblins, witches, and fairies ringing your doorbell, please take into consideration your four-legged furry friends. During the week of Halloween, calls to the Pet Poison Helpline increase by nearly 12 percent. Although most of us already know that chocolate is toxic to our pets, many of us don’t know about the other dangers that may pose to our pets.  Here is a list of potential hazards to our pets:

Xylitol, an artificial sweetener, found in many soft and hard candies can cause hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar.

Candy wrappers can cause GI obstruction, which if severe enough, may require surgical intervention

Glow sticks, if punctured, can cause pain and irritation of the mouth.

Candy ingestion alone can cause GI upset and even pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas) which can potentially become a life-threatening condition.

Candles and any open flames are dangerous and we should keep them in areas where our pets are not able to access them.

Loud noises and strangers throughout the night can make your pet stressed and may even cause them to bolt when the door is open.  It may be best to keep them in a quiet area of the house away from any open doors. Also, please remember to have some form of identification on them in the event that they run away.

Baring Boulevard Veterinary Hospital wishes you and your four-legged family a Happy Halloween!

Dr. Michelle Nguyen

Dr. Michelle Nguyen was born and raised in Seattle, Washington.  She started her undergraduate studies at Washington State University in Animal Sciences.  After her junior year, she was accepted to WSU’s College of Veterinary Medicine.  After graduation, she sought a drier and sunnier climate, and now calls the Reno-Tahoe area her home.  In her free time, she enjoys skiing, backpacking, hiking, rock climbing, and spending time with Tim, her three dogs, and two cats.  Her professional interests include dermatology, soft tissue surgery, internal medicine, and emergency and critical care.