Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Cookie's Fur Analysis: Lithium

The first element on Cookie's fur analysis results I decided to research closely is lithium (Li). These elements weren't included on Jasmine's analysis, and I don't know anything about it. More importantly, the notes from the lab state the following:

"Lithium is found occurring naturally in some water supplies. Lithium accumulates primarily in the pituitary and thyroid glands. If excessive, lithium will interfere with iodine uptake by the thyroid gland, possibly blocking thyroxine release or thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH). Therefore, long-term lithium excess may possibly contribute to decreased thyroid activity, fatigue, and weight gain."


Since there clearly have been issues with Cookie's thyroid function, this element stood out to me the most.


Now, none of the other possible conditions associated with excess lithium have been present. Those include:

  • increased urination
  • increased thirst
  • blood sugar disturbances
  • alkaline urine
  • heir loss
  • osteoporosis
  • hypercalciuria
  • leukocytosis


The first thing I did was to consult with Dr. Dodds.


I emailed her the analysis results and asked specifically about the potential connection between lithium levels found in Cookie's fur and poor thyroid function. Mainly since Cookie was negative for autoimmune thyroiditis.

She replied that the analysis would not explain Cookie's hypothyroidism.

It is also true that ratios between nutritional elements indicate normal thyroid function which we now know was not normal. So what does one make of all this?

What is lithium?


You might be familiar with the use of lithium in rechargeable batteries. But what the heck would it be doing in Cookie's fur? Was it from water? Cookie gets bottled water to drink, but she also drinks water from puddles and ditches. I plan on having both water sources analyzed (makes the most sense to do both at the same time) which means, though, that I have to wait until the outdoor water thaws out.

Trace amounts of lithium can also be found in plants. It can be found in kelp, fish as well as in dairy, eggs, and meat in minute concentrations. Legumes and grains contain it too, but Cookie doesn't eat those.

Some sources cite there is no known function of lithium in the body, others assert that lithium plays a role in B12 transport to cells, as well as neurological function.

So far I'm none the wiser.

Now, during the winter, Cookie only has access to snow and the bottled water we give her. It will be interesting to see how much the levels will reflect that change. As well as once the puddles and the ditch thaw out, I will have the water tested and see what we can learn.


Related articles:
From The End Of A Lead Line To Casa Jasmine: Meet Cookie, Our New Adoptee
And So It Begins Again(?) Our First Health-Related Heart Attack With Cookie 
I Didn't Know I Could Fly: Why Cookie Wears A Harness Instead Of A Collar
C.E.T. Oral Hygiene Chews For Dogs CAN Be A Choking Hazzard 
Our First Health-Related Heart Attack With Cookie: The Knee Or The Foot?
Creative Solutions And An Incidental Product Review
Too Young For Pot: Cookie's Snack With A Side Of Hydrogen Peroxide  
Taming Of The Wild Beast: Cookie's Transition To Civilization  
Staying On Top Of The Ears: Cookie Is Not Impressed  
Putting The Easy Back Into Walking
Cookie's Ears Are Still Not Happy 
The Threat Of The Bulge Is Always Lurking 
Today Is Cookie's Three-Months Adoptoversary  
Cookie Meets The Electric Horse Fence And Her First Chiropractic Adjustment  
Why Examine Your Dog's Vomit? 
Why Is That Leg Still Not Happy? Cookie's Leg Keeps Getting Sore 
Cookie Too Is Insured With Trupanion
Does Being Insured Mean Being Covered? Our First Claim With Trupanion
Is Cookie's Leg Finally Getting Better?
Is Cookie Going To Be Another Medical Challenge Or Are We Looking Too Closely? 
The Project That Is Cookie: Pancreatitis Up Close And Personal  
Pancreatitis: Cookie’s Blood Work   
Another Belly Upset: Pancreatitis Again Or Not?  
Happy Birthday, Cookie 
Incontinence? Cookie's Mysterious Leaks 
Who's Training Whom? Stick And Treat 
Don't Just Stand There, Do Something? Cookie's Mysterious Bumps 
Cookie's Mysterious Bumps Update
One Vomit, No Vomit 
Happy One-Year Adoptoversary, Cookie!
Cookie's Leaks Are Back: Garden Variety Incontinence Or Not?
Cookie's Leaks Update 
Don't Panic, Don't Panic: Know What Your Job Is 
The Continuing Saga Of Cookie's Leeks: Trying Chiropractic Approach 
Cookie's Minor Eye Irritation
Regular Wellness Exam: Cookie's ALT Was Elevated 
Cookie's Plantar Paw Pad Injury 
How Far To Take It When The Dog Isn't Sick?
Cookie Has Tapeworm Infection 
Cookie's Elevated ALT: The Ultrasound and Cytology  
Cookie's ALT Update
The Importance of Observation: Cookie's Chiropractic Adjustment
Sometimes You Don't Even Know What You're Looking at: Cookie's Scary "We Have No Idea What that Was" 
Living with an Incontinent Dog 
Summer Dangers: Cookie Gets Stung by a Bald-faced Hornet 
To Breathe or Not To Breathe: Cookie's Hind Legs Transiently Fail to Work (Again)
Figuring out What Might Be Going on with Cookie's Legs: The Process 
Figuring out What Might Be Going on with Cookie's Legs: The Diagnosis 
Cookie's Iliopsoas Injury Treatment: Trazodone  
Cookie's Iliopsoas Injury Treatment: Other Medications 
Cookie's Iliopsoas Injury Treatment: Laser, Hydrotherapy, and Chiropractic 
Cookie's Recovery from Iliopsoas Injury: ToeGrips 
It Never Rains ... Cookie's New Injury 
Mixed Emotions: When What You Should Do Might Not Be What You Should Do for Your Dog 
Cookie's New Injury Update 
Cookie's Iliopsoas Injury: The Symptoms 
Cookie's Iliopsoas Injury: Battling the Zoomies 
Cookie's Muscle Injuries: What Else Is Going On?
Theory and Actual Decisions for an Actual Dog Aren't the Same Thing: Cookie's Knee Injury
Does Your Vet Listen to You? Cookie's Post-Sedation Complications
Would I Ever Treat a Symptom Directly? 
Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) Treatment for Cookie's Bad Knee(s)
Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) for Cookie's Bad Cruciate Update 
Injury or Surgery Recovery: Mishaps versus Setbacks 
See Something, Do Something: Cookie's Lumpectomy 
Cookie's Lumpectomy Update 
Using Pressure Pads to Evaluate Lameness in Dogs: My Observations
Cookie's Musculoskeletal Challenges: What Supplements Am I Using?
Cookie's Musculoskeletal Challenges: Restricted Activity and Weight Management
Cookie's PRP Treatment for Partial Cruciate Tear: Update
Has Your Dog's Physical Therapist Taken Dog Training Classes? 
Cookie's PRP Treatment for Partial Cruciate Tear Update and Considering the Future
Cookie's PRP Treatment for Partial Cruciate (CCL/ACL) Tear and Leg Circumference
Cookie's Wellness Exam
Ticked Off at the Tick Situation: What Do You Use for Tick Prevention?
Ticked Off at the Tick Situation: The Verdict Is In (for Now)
Cookie's Annual Heartworm and Tick-Borne Diseases Test
One Yelp, No Yelp. But Two?
One Yelp, No Yelp - Update
Cookie's Rabies Booster
Is Your Dog Struggling with Weight in spite of Diet and Exercise? Cookie Is Hypothyroid (Part I)
What Does the Thyroid Do? Cookie is Hypothyroid (Part II)
Thyroid Replacement Therapy: Cookie is Hypothyroid (Part III)
Platelet-Rich Plasma Treatment (PRP) for Partial Cranial Cruciate Ligament (CCL) Tears: Would I Do It Again?
Thyroid Replacement Therapy Re-Check: Cookie Is Hypothyroid (Part IV)
Ticked Off at the Tick Situation: Tick Tag Results Evaluation
Cookie's Fur Analysis



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