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Old 01-22-2008, 07:55 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Thyroid problems

I am very uneducated about the thyroid so please help if you can. The hair on Suri's thigh has been pretty thin for the past two months or so...I took her to the vet about two months ago and he checked her for mange, well that test came back negative. He didn't say anything about her thryoid...

I just got off the phone with my breeder and explained Suri's symptoms and she said to have her thryoid checked. What kind of test is involved to check the thyroid? If there is something wrong with her thryoid, what happens then? If something is wrong with her thyroid can they fix it?

Sorry for all the questions, I just do not know much on this subject in particular..

Thanks in advance

She's 10 months!
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Old 01-22-2008, 07:58 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Another note: The hair loss is only on one of her thighs...
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Old 01-22-2008, 08:00 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by DobeGirl07 View Post
I am very uneducated about the thyroid so please help if you can. The hair on Suri's thigh has been pretty thin for the past two months or so...I took her to the vet about two months ago and he checked her for mange, well that test came back negative. He didn't say anything about her thryoid...

I just got off the phone with my breeder and explained Suri's symptoms and she said to have her thryoid checked. What kind of test is involved to check the thyroid? If there is something wrong with her thryoid, what happens then? If something is wrong with her thyroid can they fix it?

Sorry for all the questions, I just do not know much on this subject in particular..

Thanks in advance

She's 10 months!
It's possible a 10 month old dog could be hypothyroid, but not probable..that's generally a problem that occurs later in life. A simple blood test can diagnose it, and it's easily treated with meds twice a day.
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Old 01-22-2008, 08:04 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Thanks Murreydobe, I will take her in and have it checked...if it's not her thyroid what will they do next?

If it is thryoid, will she be on med her whole life? How common is it?
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Old 01-22-2008, 08:10 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Thanks Murreydobe, I will take her in and have it checked...if it's not her thyroid what will they do next?

If it is thryoid, will she be on med her whole life? How common is it?
Hypothyroidism is very common in dobermans (and many other breeds). Yes, if she's hypothyroid, she'd have to be on meds for the rest of her life.

I usually get a free T4 test done when checking thyroid, this will diagnose hypothyroidism something like 98% of the time.
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Old 01-22-2008, 08:13 PM   #6 (permalink)
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It is pretty common in Dobes to have a hypothyroid problem (low thyroid). My boy was borderline low on his bloodwork but had dry flaky skin and lots of itchiness, so we started him on thyroid supplementation and he grew in a new haircoat that was glossy. He seemed to be less itchy, although he does have environmental allergies that crop up every summer.

He's on synthroid 2x day for the rest of his life. We check his bloodwork annually....2x year for the first 18 months to be sure the dosage was correct to start.

So- if she does end up with a low thyroid, you just have to supplement once or twice a day depending on the dog.
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Old 01-22-2008, 08:14 PM   #7 (permalink)
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There are many things that can cause hair loss/thinning - parasites (fleas, demodex mites, sarcoptes mites, lice, cheyletiella), hormone imbalances (thyroid, growth, sex, adrenal), infection (staph most commonly, but also yeast, fungus), trauma - chronic rubbing; to name a few.

Is she itchy? Is the skin red? Some things are easy to diagnose - demodex, fleas - and some can be hard to find - sarcoptes. I assume your vet did a skin scraping? If there are any lesions present (pustules, scales/flakes, crusts, etc) sometimes cytology or culture can be done of these. Blood test can rule out thyroid. Like Murreydobe said, it would be uncommon to see hypothyroidism in dogs under a year, but is possible.

By far the most common things in a young dog would be staph infection (ususally the pustules rupture very quickly and you just see the aftermath in furry areas- a motheaten appearance) and demodex mites.
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Old 01-22-2008, 08:16 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Also, rate of hair regrowth can really vary from dog to dog and depend on what stage (growth/resting) the hair was in when the problem occurred. We see some dogs who have lots of hair grown back at 2 wks after a surgery and some that take months to regrow hair.
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Old 01-22-2008, 08:29 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I have noticed itching....I give her flea meds and heartworm meds monthly...

The vet did do a scaping but didn't tell me much about it..

When I take her to the vet, what all do I need to have done?
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Old 01-22-2008, 08:33 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Get at least a four panel test that is sent to a LAB. The in office tests are often not sensitive enough to catch low/normal or high/normal results.
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Old 01-22-2008, 08:35 PM   #11 (permalink)
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When I got Rudi as a skinny malnourished (20 lbs underweight) his initial free T4 was borderline low. Had it rechecked about 6 months after I brought him home and put 15 lbs on him.....still came back borderline low. He never really picked up weight very quickly but his coat has always been on the thin side and his cold sensitivity is pretty bad. He chatters his teeth if it's below 65 degrees! I just had the MSU thyroid panel done and everything was normal. Hypothyroidism is very prevalent in Dobes and since he is a rescue and I don't know his lineage I will have him tested atleast every 2 years if not atleast a free T4 with his yearly exam. Good luck!
The MSU test ran about $112 at my vet which included shipping.
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Old 01-22-2008, 08:38 PM   #12 (permalink)
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If she is itchy, she may need an antihistamine/omega 3 FA, or since sarcoptes is difficult to find on scrapings (only find about 50% of the time it's there) we often just treat for it.
I would talk to your vet and tell him/her that Suri is itchy.
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Old 01-22-2008, 10:49 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Just for the record, although I have heard that it is uncommen.....Rommel has a low thyroid, and was diagnosed very young. Around a year old. So I wouldnt totally rule it out. As said before, he takes meds twice a day, and will for the rest of his life.

Good luck.
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Old 01-22-2008, 11:03 PM   #14 (permalink)
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If it is only one thigh, are you sure she isn't a flank sucker? Could she be sucking on that area when she's putting herself to sleep as some do?

The itchy part doesn't fit the theory but the thin hair on only one side might.
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Old 01-23-2008, 12:18 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Riggs was diag at an early age, 1.5 years. Have the test sent to MSU or Dr. Dodds. Run the FULL panel test. Riggs' T3, T4, Free T3 and Free T4 are all normal but his TSH (thyroid stimulation hormone) was way, way off. Working 4X harder to keep up. If that is her problem, don't worry, simple meds is all she needs.
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Old 01-23-2008, 01:42 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Last time I was at the vets place, for the shots, I ask if she would look at Zabar's T4, she said he is a little bit young for it, but if you want it we will do it, so she look at it, she calls me up at night and said you are right its way to low, so she did a check on his TSH, and indeed he needs medicins.

he had some bold spots on his tail and the back of his ears, so he gets the same medicine as Yordi gets. Zabar is 2,5 years old
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Old 01-23-2008, 04:55 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Is there anything besides thyroid that can cause flank thinning on a non-sucking dog and a thin coat on the topline? We wrestle with staph occasionally, but it usually is only a few bumps and not on those spots, so I don't think the thinning is staph related. I'll be going in to see the doc on the 6th for W's neuter.
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Old 01-24-2008, 02:08 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Extra info on thyroid med--it is relatively cheap. Unlike most other things relating to dobies (sigh).
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Old 01-24-2008, 09:16 PM   #19 (permalink)
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DobeGirl07, Maybe your dog suffers from a type of contact dermatitis: itching and skin irritation at the site of contact with chemical, detergent, paint, dye, etc. Does your dog always lay down on the side with the hairloss? What does your dog lay on?

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Old 01-24-2008, 10:01 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Never red, never itchy. It's directly on his topline and he doesn't usually gator around on his back. He either lays on a primopad and 2 blankets, the couch or my bed.
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Old 01-24-2008, 10:23 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Is there anything besides thyroid that can cause flank thinning on a non-sucking dog and a thin coat on the topline? We wrestle with staph occasionally, but it usually is only a few bumps and not on those spots, so I don't think the thinning is staph related. I'll be going in to see the doc on the 6th for W's neuter.
Yes, seasonal flank alopecia.

Seasonal affective disorder can be culprit for canine hair loss - DVM
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Old 01-24-2008, 10:32 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Oh, OH! Maybe that's why melatonin helps blue coats? I may pick some up and see if it makes a difference. It's such a benign thing that i'm not terribly concerned.
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Old 01-28-2008, 12:59 AM   #23 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by jatango View Post
Maybe that's why melatonin helps blue coats?
I am still not convinced with this. I have had numerous conversations with vets about it and they don't seem to be convinced by what is out there either. I have tried it as well to Asher with no change to his coat condition. I guess I will remain a skeptic.
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Old 01-28-2008, 11:51 AM   #24 (permalink)
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I have not used melatonin for CDA. I have used it for seasonal flank alopecia and for some storm phobias. Since CDA is not seasonal (i.e. related to day length) I don't know how much/if melatonin would be of any benefit, but imagine it would not or would be very limited.
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Old 08-06-2009, 03:41 AM   #25 (permalink)
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about thyroid problems

Is there someone here who has recently had thyroid problems happening?
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