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Old 04-30-2012, 03:39 PM
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Default Anyone had a dog with thyroid issues before?

I never have, but Ripley's coat has me confused. A while ago he had a bacterial infection that left him greasy and bumpy and flakey and his coat looked thinner. That seemed to clear up with two months of antibiotics. Now he's itchy, his coat is thinning on his back and when I blow dried him after a bath the other day, he had little red dots along his back. They didn't look like hives, but I couldn't tell if it was a rash or not. The only way to see them is to really push the hair out of the way with the dryer. You can sort of see by parting the hairs on your own, but not very well. I don't know what he'd be allergic to if it is an allergy, and thryoid issues, while common in the breed, are not common in his lines. But one of their sisters did have a thyroid problem, so you never know.

Then there is Keira. Coat looks fine, except it's a little noticeably thinner on her chest, in her armpits and near her tuck up. And she smells slightly funny, which isn't normal for her. Even after she dries right after a bath, she still has the same smell.

I'm thinking about getting a thyroid panel done on both of them anyway, just because. But I have no idea if these issues present as thyroid problems or not. There is no point getting a vet to check Keira out, as the differences aren't things anyone who doesn't live with her would notice. And Ripley I'm thinking could be allergies (unless it's the same infection coming back, but I don't think so), but I have no idea what to. Or even if it is. Neither one has any weight problems at all. If not for Keira's odour, I wouldn't care about her slight hairloss as it's really not major. But Ripley looks horrible compared to what I know his healthy coat should.
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Old 04-30-2012, 03:54 PM
Saeleofu Saeleofu is offline
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Checking the thyroid won't hurt. Any skin issue *can* be a symptom of thyroid issues. Gavroche went mostly bald, but I didn't really notice until his hair came back after he was on the thyroid pills.

The hair being thin in the armpits and tuck sounds normal to me, but if it's a change that can be a red flag.
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Old 04-30-2012, 03:55 PM
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I don't know if it really sounds like thyroid, although recurring skin infections can be a symptom. Nothing else is jumping at me though. Of course the "typical" symptoms are weight gain, decreased energy, hair loss... not all dogs present like that and there are numerous other things that can be caused by hypothyroidism. One of the more common "atypical" symptoms is behavior changes, usually reactivity/aggression and anxiety.

I don't think it sounds like hypothyroidism but you never really know what a panel will reveal. If you're suspicious, it doesn't hurt to test and maybe just rule it out, to kind of-sort of start narrowing down the possibilities.
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Old 04-30-2012, 03:58 PM
JessLough JessLough is offline
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Not a dog, but Ren is a lot like Ripley and he has thyroid issues. Mind you, he also has a ton of other issues that may cause it
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Old 04-30-2012, 05:44 PM
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Thanks, guys. It doesn't really jump out at me as thyroid either from reading about symptoms, but I thought I'd ask as I don't know what else it could be. Until these two, we'd really never experienced skin or coat issues at all. Or allergies. So it's all new to me.

Yeah, thin hair in the tuck and armpits isn't really a red flag. It's just the fact that it's noticeably thinner than it was (on Keira) and the fact that she smells funny (not yeasty or overly foul, just oddly doggy I guess and pretty noticeable).
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Old 04-30-2012, 06:49 PM
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I did a lot of reading about skin issues when I was fostering a pug with demodex. What are you feeding? I did notice quite a bit of info that with some foods, if they are too high in sugar, yeast (a fungus) can develop or go out of control and cause the coat to be funky. Changing things up to a low glycemic diet (like..meat and oatmeal, I found) can help.

Of course it could be thyroid or something, but if there are no other symptoms, I wouldn't say it was likely.
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Old 04-30-2012, 07:32 PM
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I guess you never know. Their issues don't come across as typical food allergies to me, but with all of their food issues, I can't say that I'd be surprised. They're both eating Acana right now. Keira is on Pacifica but transitioning to Duck & Pear, and Ripley is currently eating Lamb & Apple but is also transitioning to the Duck & Pear. Both of them have had more food issues than any dogs I've ever known. Keira was stuck eating the same food for most of her life because she couldn't seem to tolerate anything else, but so far so good with the duck. I only bought a small bag as with both you can usually tell right away whether something will work or not, and this one seems to be going over well so far. Though I kind of think maybe grain free might be better for Ripley, but I just haven't found one that works for him. The foods he's been eating are not heavy in grain, but there are oats. I've wondered for a bit if his skin issues could be related to that at all.

It's so frustrating not knowing. And the vets don't really know either. It's all a big guessing game.
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Old 06-25-2012, 01:34 PM
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Not sure if anyone actually cares since it's mostly just good news to me, but I think we finally figured out what's wrong with Ripley! We had no choice but to find a new vet as ours retired, so we took him in last week to a new one and she thinks he has environmental allergies combined with seborrhea (or something like that - there is a correlation, but my mom was at the appointment as I was working). Seborrhea is what I thought he had in the first place after some Doberman people mentioned it, but everyone else dismissed the idea as to look at him, his skin issue did not look severe. But our new vet gave him some medication for it and a special anti fungal shampoo for seborrhea and I can definitely see a huge improvement. And he doesn't smell as icky anymore either. So here's hoping that this new vet is actually right for once! Apparently it's a life long thing and can't be cured, but treatment is easy enough and we have to be careful with laundry soaps and different things around the house that might irritate him.

And now there's just Keira, who looks perfectly fine to anyone that doesn't live with her. She just smells really doggy sometimes and has minor hair thinning in her flanks and armpits. But otherwise her coat is thick and shiny and healthy looking. All these skin issues are totally new to us as prior to these two we'd never had a dog with allergies or skin problems or anything of that nature. It's a lot of work trying to figure things out and seems to be a big guessing game.
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Old 06-27-2012, 03:20 PM
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Glad you found some answers about Ripley.
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