Will your dog eat your pig thyroid jerky?

Will your dog eat your pig thyroid jerky? I couldn’t sleep last night thinking about this.  My mind jumped from one question to the other.

Recently I’ve been working on an update for the Hypothyroidism Self-Study Course.  As part of this I’ve been slicing and dicing pig thyroid tissue in my kitchen, and currently have a little “thyroid jerky” in a baggie on the counter.

All would be OK if not for Waffles, my goldendoodle who will sniff out any scent of blood (Kotex included . . . yuck).  I don’t think that little bit of thyroid tissue would hurt her (not much, anyway).  It’s one lobe of a pig thyroid I processed into “thyroid jerky.” She’s already hyper and might become more so for awhile, but a little transient hyperthyroidism would likely resolve within days or weeks.

But then, what if she ate the whole dozen I have in a clump in my freezer?  Now that might cause some serious thyrotoxicosis. And this set me to thinking: surely wild animals eat thyroid tissue, and they don’t go bananas.  In fact, I wonder if it doesn’t perk them up a bit.  But in the wild, they could not get hold of a dozen at once.

Then that set me thinking.  Of the endocrine glands, some are purposefully (or accidentally) ingested.  Doesn’t a warm kidney stew sound yummy?  But if the adrenals are not dissected away, you might be enjoying a little adrenal stew as well.  Carnivores no doubt eat adrenal glands now and then, probably boosting their steroid levels transiently. 

And then there’s prairie oysters, dusted nuts, cowboy caviar, Montana tendergroins.  Although these tasty testicles are harvested from young animals, they still would contain at least a little testosterone.  And again, wild carnivores would eat whatever they could – testicles, ovaries, kidneys, thyroid, and then there’s the pancreas.

Now the pancreas is another question altogether.  Everyone knows insulin is produced by and can be harvested from the pancreas (though not easily).  But whereas thyroid hormone, steroid hormones, and sex hormones can be absorbed from the gut, insulin cannot be.  As a protein, insulin is digested rather than absorbed.

Being a creationist, this makes sense, actually.  What if a hungry wolf chowed down and ate an entire deer pancreas?  If the ingested insulin were absorbed, he’d likely drop over in a hypoglycemic coma.  And evolutionists should agree this would not be a good thing. 

Of course, God has not protected us from all harm, including rabid raccons, poison mushrooms, and freeway accidents.  I wish I knew the mind of God in the matter of insulin.  Diabetes Type 1 is, of course, the deadliest problem.  Must the treatment be only injectable insulin? (Maybe not, but that’s a topic for another article.)

Tomorrow I’ll have the assay back on my pig thyroid jerky.  It should be interesting.

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About Cynthia J. Koelker, MD

CYNTHIA J KOELKER , MD is a board-certified family physician with over twenty years of clinical experience. A member of American Mensa, Dr. Koelker holds degrees in biology, humanities, medicine, and music from M.I.T., Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, and the University of Akron. She served in the National Health Service Corps to finance her medical education.
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2 Responses to Will your dog eat your pig thyroid jerky?

  1. Carole says:

    I would say, yes, your dog would eat your pig thyroid jerky. I left my Armour Thyroid out one morning, while I got something to drink. When I came back, my cat was eating my pills; four 60 mg. My dogs like anything the cat likes, so if the cat likes it, the dogs would, too.

  2. Charles says:

    You bring up some interesting points and definitely things to ponder. Even so, this is by far the funniest article I’ve ever read here. 🙂

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