Independent Thyroid Register for Alaskan Malamutes

Testing Info


TgAA (Thyroglobulin Auto-Antibody) Testing Information

In America the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) registry was set up initially to have an open database for Hip Dysplasia. As new tests became available to diagnose other genetic diseases, the decision was made to include those diseases also. The OFA use the TgAA (Thyroglobulin Autoantibody) test along with the Free T4 and TSH Assay to determine Auto-immune Thyroiditis and dogs are given a certification number based on their result. For further information on the OFA thyroid register visit their website at

There are only minimal tests available in Australia to determine a Thyroid problem. The Free T4 blood test is usually the first test to be done and if this is low, your Vet will normally do a TSH (Thyroid Stimulating Hormone) assay. Whilst this is suitable for diagnosing that there is in fact a thyroid problem, it does not tell you whether or not it is hereditary.

I am pleased to announce that we also have another blood test available called the TgAA (Thyroglobulin Autoantibody) test. If these antibodies are present in the blood, it indicates Auto-immune Thyroiditis which has been proven to be hereditary. It is recommended that tests should be carried out at ages 1, 2, 3 & 4 then every 2 years after that. It is accepted by specialists in the field that if the antibodies are not present by age 4, your dog is unlikely to develop them later in life.

If your dog does have these antibodies before age 4, it is likely to go on and develop the disease. Some specialists believe that animals that are treated when the antibodies first appear, even without exhibiting symptoms of Hypothyroidism, will not develop the disease and that upon re-testing after treatment, no longer have the antibodies in their system. These dogs however, should not be used for breeding as the condition is hereditary, so the genes for the Thyroglobulin autoantibody production may still be passed on to the offspring.

This is a very valuable tool for breeders and I hope that many will take advantage of this test. Please keep in mind that your dog may develop a thyroid problem that is not genetic and therefore this test will not determine that so you still need to test the Free T4 level on a regular basis. 

In summary you should test the following.

1. TgAA test (annually until age 4, then every other year)

2. Free T4 levels (annually)

3. TSH Assay (if Free T4 is low)

Most Laboratories are able to do many of these tests in Australia, however the TgAA blood test is sent to America for analysis. It was able to be done in Australia by Idexx as I personally arranged for the kits to be brought out many years ago. Due to lack of interest in the test, Idexx ceased doing it.  Another option is to send blood directly to Dr.Jean Dodds at hemopet for testing. Hemopet offer a very comprehensive thyroid test at a reasonable price. Hemopets website is



Contact Details

Fionna Paton
Gold Coast, QLD, Australia
Phone : 0419 561 009
Email : [email protected]