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Thyroid problem

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Tash -- I'm so sorry for your troubles. My DH and I dealt with a big, beautiful male Lab with an underactive thyroid for several years. He was on the same medication used for humans, different dosage of course, twice a day. An end result of the thyroid issues was a compromised immune system, and ultimately red mange, which required a labor-intensive treatment regime all it's own. He went for several years before being diagnosed, because each of the several Vets we consulted diagnosed him as having a flea allergy, and treated him with steroids and antibiotics, which resulted in temporary relief from the symptoms. The underlying problem remained untreated till, in desperation, we consulted a Vet we knew through a family connection. His office is 75 miles from our home but we drove once a month for injections to boost our guy's immune system. By the time he was diagnosed and put on medication, our dog had become very ill and weak, and it was almost too little, too late. He never really recovered, and we had him put down several months ago. He was 12 years old, so other problems related to age had become a factor.


We tried a natural approach, paying close attention to his diet, giving him natural supplements, etc., in addition to the thyroid medication. Had he been diagnosed earlier, and at a younger age, this might have worked.


I suggest you work closely with your Vet. Our experience has been that this is a tough problem, and ongoing treatment and frequent monitoring will be necessary.


Good luck ..... SarahAnn

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Here's a site that may help you out. Thyroid while it can be very serious is generally not that difficult to diagnose. Dr. Dodd has lots of info on the site.




That or just ask your vet to do the blood draw and send it to Michigan - Small Animal Diagnostic Clinic. Both options will give you a complete breakdown and recommendation.


Good Luck!



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Immunoregulin (sp.?) was used for the injections. Soloxine was used to treat the thyroid issue, and we kept antibiotics on hand for the skin infections that popped up frequently. We also tried an iodine shampoo for the red mange, but it was stressful for our dog and seemed to be somewhat ineffective so we ultimately stopped using it.


We live in a small, rural community and at least one of the Vets who treated our dog admitted to not seeing many cases of an underactive thyroid; since the symptoms usually presented as a skin rash and responded well to antibiotics and steriods, the diagnosis was slow in coming. Skin scrapings were done, but it took a blood test to finally identify the underlying problem.

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Sounds like a lot more going wrong than thyroid with your poor dog. I have 2 on Soloxine but nothing else is required - it was easy diagnosis and they responded immediately. Both of them presented in what I consider the second classic type - thin on good food, thin sparse hair, loss of foot tone (collapsing feet and pasterns) and in the case of the female late and odd heat cycles. Nothing like the fat, greasy haired dog that is presented as classic.


Thanks for the name of the med - I like to read up on these things and keep for reference.

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My previous Border CollieXKelpie bitch (spayed) was eventually diagnosed with underactive thyroid at about 3 years of age, after being unsuccessfuly treated for hair loss/skin infection for some time. In those days, underactive thyroid in dogs was only just beginning to be recognised, and there was no test available for it down here. My vet was stumped, and sent us to another vet who could take a fresh look. A skin scraping revealed no demodex mites, so in desperation he gave us some Oroxine (I think the same as Soloxine - it's the human meds) to try and see if she improved. Thankfullly she did, so we played around with the dosage until the hair and skin were good, and she survived very happily for another 12 or so years - finally PTS at 15.5 years when old age caught up with her big time.


The bilaterally symmetrical hair loss, black lizard skin (and consequent skin infections) were the only thyroid symptoms Jess ever displayed - weight normal, appetite normal, behaviour normal ... but apparently the bilateral symmetry is a bit of a give-away.


Jess was a dog who needed her thyroid levels to be close to the high end of normal. Any lower and she started to get itchy.

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