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Old 11-02-2012, 10:36 AM   #26 (permalink)
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Make sure your vet does indeed do a full panel thyroid test. Seems like most of them think a full panel consists of only TSH. TSH alone is worthless.

How is his brisket as far as hair goes? And the backs of his legs? Is his neck looking any thicker? These were all signs my last boy had when he was pretty low thyroid (in addition to the goopy eyes/freezing temps).
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Old 11-02-2012, 11:35 AM   #27 (permalink)
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Brisket? As in upper quads/rear? Thin. But again I thought that was normal. It wasn't until I saw the thinning back that it dawned on me that we might have a problem. Now he is biting himself pretty fiercely esp. in the anal area so maybe the glands have to be expressed too... sigh...

I have an appt. today at 11:15 PT. I am going to ask for full panel including T3 T4 Free T3 Free T4. Does it HAVE to be sent to a Dr. Dodds-certified lab? How do I "word" it? AND THANK YOU!!!
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Old 11-02-2012, 12:00 PM   #28 (permalink)
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Quote:
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Brisket? As in upper quads/rear? Thin. But again I thought that was normal. It wasn't until I saw the thinning back that it dawned on me that we might have a problem. Now he is biting himself pretty fiercely esp. in the anal area so maybe the glands have to be expressed too... sigh...

I have an appt. today at 11:15 PT. I am going to ask for full panel including T3 T4 Free T3 Free T4. Does it HAVE to be sent to a Dr. Dodds-certified lab? How do I "word" it? AND THANK YOU!!!
Brisket...as in his chest. Specifically the underside of it. Kai's was almost bald when he was first diagnosed.

My vet did the blood draw and sent everything in for the MSU test.
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Old 11-02-2012, 02:30 PM   #29 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dobiewankanobi View Post
Brisket...as in his chest. Specifically the underside of it. Kai's was almost bald when he was first diagnosed.

My vet did the blood draw and sent everything in for the MSU test.
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Hi Dobiewan... the hair is thinner there but not unusually so. The reason I know is I just returned from the vet where he re-did a full exam and looked at his underside and his "brisket" and said, the chest looks normal, the underside was still bare but still normal for his age. But he did tell me that the "undercarriage" as it gets closer to his anus is getting a bit more thin than usual. The good news is that since he's been on ZD Science Diet I've noticed a HUGE improvement in the dander problem, and good progress with regard to his smell, but no improvement in the itching, eye goop, and his aversion to cold.

Anyway the vet and I discussed everything I've learned from this board, Lori and Asmit and you and he really was very open and receptive to thyroid testing, which was a relief! He said that they don't suggest thyroid testing to owners unless the food allergy chase proves futile. The simple reason being to keep cost down for the family. Which was kinda nice to hear too. He did say they will absolutely do a thyroid test if I so desire, any panels I want, and send them to either Michigan which is a teaching hospital so he said they were the "gold standard" as well as to Dr. Dobbs if that's where I prefer because they think highly of them too. So I was relieved I didn't get any hemming and hawing from him.

He recommended we do as many of the panel as we can afford cause some of the very basic ones are also very unreliable. Net/net:here's the cost and breakdown of what each test covers:

$133 - Thyroid Panel 2 (T4, Free T4)
$194 - Thyroid Comprehensive Screen-Canine: (Free T4 endog. CTSH, thyroglobulin autoantibody)
$304 - Thyroid Panel 5 - Canine (CTSH, T34, T3 autoantibody, Free T3, T4, T4 autoantibody, Free T4, thyroglobulin autoantibody)

Of course my gut says do the big one rather than keep going back ...
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Old 11-02-2012, 03:10 PM   #30 (permalink)
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I'm so happy for you. It sounds like you have a terrific vet. I'd ask where he thinks is best to send and MSU (Michigan) is great. Do the one he thinks best if you can afford it.
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Old 12-02-2012, 04:47 PM   #31 (permalink)
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Thank you Lori Z

LORI Z hit the nail on the head. We battled the last 3 years with our dobies goopy eyes, itchy/flaky skin, rashes, hot spots, constant itching, and that distinct odor. We too were told by the vet to give a weekly bath with high dollar shampoo, switch food, etc. Finally, after finding this forum and the post by "Lori Z", I insisted that our vet check his thyroid. The test cost us less than $80. He does in fact have low thyroid levels and now he is on a thyroid pill. Seriously, I can't believe the difference after 2 weeks. He doesn't have goopy eyes, any of the skin issues, no itching, and best of all NO SMELL!
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Old 12-02-2012, 04:50 PM   #32 (permalink)
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THANK YOU LORI Z! See my post that i just submitted.
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Old 05-22-2014, 10:37 AM   #33 (permalink)
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It's Low Thyroid Levels for Duke!

Dear friends and support network, first let me apologize for not having updated in so long. Because the test was so $$ we tried to figure this out on our own and let me just say this to anyone who has the symptoms Duke does (see original post): Don't waste your time or money. Start with the Thyroid test.

We FINALLY got a great vet who charged $155 for the big big thyroid test and sent it to MSU. So Duke is within the "normal" range but on the low end which as everyone has told me, is low for Dobies. My vet agrees. She said that the "range" takes into account all breeds so it skews the results insofar as where breed-specific numbers should be. So we are starting him on meds (low dose for the first two weeks and then bumping up to higher dose. At 8 weeks she wants to retest to make sure that the levels are stabilizing or are not too high.)

In the meantime, I cannot tell you how much worse this dog's itching, dander, goopy eyes, and ODOR. OH MY GOD THE ODOR ... It's like horribly pungent yeast. We wash him Sunday, by Tuesday it's unbearable. You go past the bedroom where he sleeps (on the floor on his bedding) and the smell wafting from that room is gag-worthy. But even worse was the paw licking. So bad that we would have to soak the wounds in betadine and bandage. By the time THAT wound healed, there's another hot spot/wound on another leg.

We could hear him up all night chewing, licking, etc. Nothing worked, he found a way to remove every muzzle we found. Cones, too. We would wake up listening to himself chewing his legs, scratching his belly so ferociously his nipples were getting red and raw. That's when we thought ENOUGH. We though we could put up with it but when HIS torture became unbearable for us, we went for it.

I am praying praying praying that this is the magic bullet. Please cross your fingers for us. Much love to you all and to the incredible help, support, and private messages you all sent.

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Old 05-22-2014, 11:23 AM   #34 (permalink)
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What do you mean, "We thought we could put up with it, but his torture became unbearable FOR US...."

You know...this really upsets me that you let the dog SUFFER 24/7 and only when you all, none of you itching and scratching, couldn't take the noise you finally shelled out the money. I guarantee if one of you were itching that badly not two days would pass before you sought medical treatment.

I'm just going to shut up here, but I'm glad your suffering dog FINALLY received medical treatment and is better. I sure hope he's okay, too.
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Old 05-22-2014, 01:36 PM   #35 (permalink)
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Linda, in re-reading my post, I can see why you might infer that we have left this dog to practically chew himself alive while not caring about his pain. Nothing can be further from the truth. I was painting the picture of how things had gone from bearable smell, dander, goopy eyes, and some itching to full-blown symptoms that progressed to this stage.

Duke is only 3 and half so his symptoms started out milder and got worse. The situation I describe above (the paw licking and nonstop itching) started two months ago at which time we redoubled our efforts to figure out the problem.

Up until then, please know we had left no stone unturned. We didn't proceed just because as you say his itching annoyed US and kept us awake at night but because we would lie awake listening to see if he was ok and were heartbroken when we could tell that things were not quite right. We brought him everywhere with us so we could keep an eye on him and distracted him when he wanted to lick, and even scratched him to while he lay in our arms so he would have some relief.

And we had really been assured it was not thyroid by every vet because he is very active, not at all overweight, and very young. We believed it until the last couple of months and when we found a new vet who would treat him. In the meantime I wish you could see the love and devotion and constant care and attention we heaped on him. Allergy and skin tests of every kind, potions, lotions, shampoos, expensive food diets, until I realized the one thing it still could be was thyroid.

I wish you had emailed me privately so I could explain, before going on the thread and castigating me so publicly. Before you judge based on what you decided was "offensive", kindly make sure you know for certain whether our dog was left to suffer without regard or compassion. Note that other Dobie owners have described the same symptoms and traveled similar journeys until they themselves figured out the problem so please accord us the same respect I hope you gave them, rather than hurl veiled insults at our family.

Your love for animals obviously runs deep, like ours, and this is why we rescued our Duke when he was abandoned by his family as a young pup. It is also the reason we volunteer at shelters and donate money help other animals. We are not the bad guys here. Just misguided and trying to learn and figure things out with the help of this board.
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Old 05-22-2014, 02:12 PM   #36 (permalink)
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It is actually best I said it on you're thread cause if you think I'm the only one that thought it you are very mistaken. I'm actually surprised no one else said more.

I quoted exactly the part of what you wrote that upset me. It was what you wrote, not what I decided based on some vague writings.

I own a dog that has both environmental and food allergies, so I know how they can suffer. We've also had enough dogs come on here that everyone thinks has allergies because the symptoms are so similar, but who suffers from low thyroid. You were told to get his thyroid checked when you first posted how many months ago. You are your dog's advocate, his only hope. If a vet refuses to do what your request, find one that will.

Again, I'm glad he seems to have recovered, but I still feel it was too long in coming and I'm only going on what you have publically written on this thread. I don't often get onto people who post here, but honestly you made it appear his treatment, or lack thereof, was outrageous.

I'm sorry if I jumped on you without cause, but I'm still not so sure I did. You just seem to be back pedaling now.
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Old 05-22-2014, 02:35 PM   #37 (permalink)
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Linda, he has not recovered yet. His test results came in yesterday.

I am not backpedaling, merely explaining that it was a long, arduous road that went from puzzling to worse, but after two vets we found someone who will help. I may have put the thyroid on the back shelf because vets assured me it was unnecessary. We now know better.

Regardless, I know how I have treated my dog, how my family has doted on him and what precisely we did to help him. I don't need anyone's validation that I am a good parent. However, it seems like you (and apparently others) have made up your mind so there is not much I can or will say to dissuade you.

This would have been the last place I would come, if I didn't care about my dog and animals in general. Judging from the number of your posts, you are obviously held in high regard on this forum and you know more than I, but you don't know me personally and you don't know my family. I am not a prolific poster but I was hoping this would be a community where I could come to share experiences, successes, failures and a place where we could find support, not a public flogging.
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Old 05-22-2014, 03:13 PM   #38 (permalink)
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Wow. I do feel really sorry for that boy. Low thyroid function affects every system in the body, not just the skin. Your dog suffered in ways that you don't even realize. It is hard to understand why you waited so long to actually do the thyroid test.

By the way, Linda H hardly ever fusses at anyone. She only stated what others will surely think. However, we are all human and we have all made our own mistakes. As my Daddy used to say, the best thing to do with a mistake is admit it, learn from it, and and vow never to make the same mistake again.
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Old 05-22-2014, 03:22 PM   #39 (permalink)
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I had to make my vet test my boy for a low Thyroid because he didn't believe that was the case. He wanted me to try supplements (even though he was already on a good food and supplements). The reason I pushed for a thyroid test is because he started losing his hair and became itchy. He also had a lot of dander too.

Zildjian had just turned 2 and the results came back that he was hypothyroid. I actually think doing the test first was a lot cheaper than trying different foods and other treatments etc. Within 4-6 weeks his coat grew back nice and glossy

I love my vet but my vet doesn't live with my dog. Sometimes you just gotta push back when you know something is wrong and nothing is working.

Glad your boy has his diagnosis now and he will start to feel much better!
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Old 05-22-2014, 03:48 PM   #40 (permalink)
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Yes, now I know. I have not owned a dog before and just trusted my vet and then switched doctors and was told the same thing again (too young, too active, perfect weight, etc.). I knew in the back of my head that the thyroid was a possibility but ... ugh.

Please know I am angry at myself and do feel awful for him and are glad we found a vet who listened and sent the test to MSU. Every time we tried a new "cure" his symptoms seemed to improve for a few days but then they'd go right back. So yes a lot of wasted time and money trying to find a problem.

I am praying it's what is causing his itching and licking. The vet said that it was in the normal range but on the lower end. Some numbers were good. But I told her let's try the pills regardless because I had read on this forum a couple of weeks ago that for Dobies, even if it's in the normal to low range, they can still benefit from the meds.

Crossing fingers because if after 8 weeks, and also when they retest, there is no improvement, I have no idea what next steps will be. But this vet assured me she will leave no stone unturned to figure it out. Unlike other vets who told me this is just how he is (!!!!) Thanks again everyone.
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Old 05-23-2014, 11:45 AM   #41 (permalink)
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We all started somewhere, learning about the breed, making mistakes along the way. The important thing now is that youre on the right track, however LindaH's post wasn't unreasonable based on your own statements. Thanks for the additional clarification.

For me personally, when it comes to dobermans and vets... I'm going to use the advise given by people who have 50+ yrs of cumulative experience of the breed and I'm going to take that advise and do my own research to confirm and then proceed to the vet for the exam to be performed. Vets aren't always able to keep up-to-date on treatments and oftentimes many don't have the necessary breed specific knowledge to diagnose and treat a doberman properly.

The thyroid test is just one of the first tests a doberman owner should invest in when they bring a rescued dobe home with an unknown background, even more so if they are exhibiting classic symptoms. Other tests are testing for the von willebrand factor and a echo holter. Since I'm responsible for educating the vet on my dogs and the vet is responsible for performing tests, reading results and helping to diagnose based on the info I provide her. If I tell my vet I want a exam done and present the clear evidence supporting my request, a vet isn't going to say no.

I adopted Saul almost 3 months ago with the exact same symptoms plus pretty bad demodex. The rancid yeasty frito smell made me want to gag. His feet were raw, oozing and infected which caused him to constantly lick his paws and make them even worse, his face was sliced up from scratching, he had patches of hair missing but was full of energy and weighed 78 lbs. Energy and weight shouldn't be a deciding factor in getting the thyroid test... espcially when all the other symptoms scream classic thyroid issues.

Like I said, all of us started somewhere and have gained insight and valuable experience with the doberman breed and members here are always eager to help someone and point them in the right direction. If they come off as critical, it's because they love the breed and it's not personal, even if it feels that way. Reading about what others experience is often a shortcut into properly diagnosing your own dogs issues. It saves you from having to experience it yourself if you read about someones dobe experiencing the same exact issues as your dog and then read about a positive resolution. It can mean the difference between months of an issue going untreated or mistreated, as it seems you have experienced since 2012 with Duke.

I have a female whose been on thyroid meds since I got her 9 years ago so I'm familiar with the symptoms but the first week I had Saul, I polled the forum about his symptoms, suspected thyroid related issues... we had a thyroid test done to confirm and his results came back low, he got put on .7mg of the medicine and now almost 3 months later no smell, no scratching, no infected oozing paws, bald patches went from elephant skin to skin as smooth and soft as a baby's butt and hair is slowly starting to grow back in some places and this has enabled Saul's personality to shine more and more each day.

I discontinued his antibotics, started the thyroid medicine, a raw diet w/veggies and additional vitamins E , fish oil, garlic, coconut oil, colodial silver and astragalus. All these contributed to his health going from horrible/miserable to AMAZING in approx 3 months.

I've had 8 dobermans over the years and still learn from other owners on the forum every day. My current two Hera and Saul have been able to benefit greatly from the advise I've recieved from members of this forum.

I'm glad to see you finally found a vet who is willing to listen to you and treat Duke accordingly. The quotes you posted in a 2012 post were ridiculously high! I think you will be pleasantly surprised at the change in Duke once the thyroid medicine starts to work.
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Old 05-27-2014, 11:49 AM   #42 (permalink)
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USMC, thank you so much for the thorough and thoughtful reply. I apologize the reply is coming late; we were gone due to the holiday. And before it's too late, may I offer my thanks to you and all servicemen and women, who serve and protect this country and its people.

I actually had read some of your earlier posts, and particularly the one about Saul testing in the low end of the normal range and how that is abnormal for the Dobie breed. My vet is wonderful! She was the one who suggested, unprompted by me even though I was about to ask, that we put Duke on thyroid pills because the "range" takes into account all breeds, so it skews the results for Doberman-specific numbers which need to be much higher.

I am praying this will work. I am hopeful because he just needs to be happy and pain-free again. I know itching can drive anyone crazy so we distract him with long walks and play and dog parks but the minute he is alone, it's back to licking his paws and furiously scratching.

The weird thing is his coat recovered from hair loss after we initially used Ketoseb shampoo. And the dander got better. It was the smell that never quit, and as I mentioned above, the scratching that started a few months ago and progressively got worse, and then of course, the worst, which is the furious, relentless paw licking that started a couple on months ago and just doesn't stop. Sigh. So his coat is thick, albeit not glossy and somewhat rough and wiry. Yesterday I noticed little white dots/pimples on his chin! UGH

One more question if I may... How long do you think before we see some improvement in itching and licking? I know you said after three months on the pills combined with a raw diet Saul is a new dog, but would you mind giving me an idea on how long it takes for thyroid pills to start turning the tide?

Thank you all again. If I came off as defensive, it's because I was at my wits' end, but so relieved to have finally found the likely reason. So I bristled at the implication that we didn't care about his pain and suffering although yes, I will admit, it took long to get the test done and we only did it when the itching and licking started. Lesson learned.

I also have no idea what the other two diseases you mentioned are, so I will look those up just to make sure our Duke doesn't have any of those issues. Many thanks again to you and all the helpful owners on here.

H.
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Old 05-27-2014, 02:38 PM   #43 (permalink)
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H.

I started Saul on thyroid meds during the first month after bringing him home. If your doing the thyroid meds without the raw diet and supplements, I think it may take a lil longer. Saul lost his stink after the first month of the thyroid meds and stopped licking his feet towards the end and beginning of 2nd month. I know that noise youre describing and it's extremely annoying like someone who chews with their mouth open, kind of annoying. I felt like I was repeating myself over and over to get him to stop licking. I never left him alone to lick and when he was crated during the day I put socks on his feet and loosly wrapped them. That and espon salt soaks to dry them out and help the healing... it's hard to say if 1 thing in particular worked but def the thyroid med was a key if not major component to regulating his body and getting the ball rolling. It's one less thing your dobe has to work to fight. I'm still working on cleaning his pores on his bare spots... the gunk that comes out is gross and nasty and stinks.. but he doesn't anymore and his skin is starting to get really soft and smooth.

After starting the meds, everything else took about 2-2.5 months to really start to see a dramatic difference. His eyes are still gooy from allergies but he's pretty darn healthy looking now, even with some bare spots that may or may not grow hair back if the follicles have been destroyed.
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Old 05-31-2014, 10:14 AM   #44 (permalink)
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I wasn't sure if I should post his results here, or start a new thread so if this is in the wrong place, let me know. But I wanted all those who chimed in and helped to see Duke's thyroid numbers. Four of which seem to be in the middle but the rest are at or close to the bottom end.

TT4: 30 Reference range is [11-60]
TT3: .8 Reference range is [0.8-2.1]
FT4: 14 Reference range is [6-23]
FT3: 3.8 Reference range is [1.2-8.2]
T4 Autoantibody: 7 Reference range is [0-20]
T3 Autoantibody: 2 Reference range is [0-10]
Thyroid Stimulating Hormone: 28 Reference range is [0-30]
Thyroglobulin Autoantibody: 12 Reference range is [0-35]

Thank you everyone. I will keep you updated on the progress. Crossing fingers!
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Old 05-31-2014, 10:16 AM   #45 (permalink)
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Thank you USMC for the information. My vet said the same thing 2weeks to 2months to see results. In the meantime, to help the itch, we've started him on 10mg Claritin 2x per day and I rub his undercarriage with Benadryl gel. It seems to help, so hoping it's a good stopgap measure until the hormone levels get up to where they need to be.
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Old 06-03-2014, 07:37 AM   #46 (permalink)
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Hope everything gets better!

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Old 06-03-2014, 08:38 AM   #47 (permalink)
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It is handier for the whole story to be here, thank you.

Great news that Duke's problem seems to have an answer and he's on his way to finding relief.

We thank you and I'm sure Duke does, too.

Have we seen a picture of this boy yet? How about a couple? A new thread for pictures would be appropriate.
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Old 06-03-2014, 10:19 AM   #48 (permalink)
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Thank you Linda!

I just put his picture as my avatar and there is one that I posted but I'm still learning my way around this forum. I am fairly comfortable with technology but wow, I will admit, posting pics is not as easy as I thought. I uploaded a bunch, thought I captioned one of them correctly, but alas, only one (albeit beautiful one!) showed up with the wrong caption. I need to work on file size.

I know I am biased but our boy is so handsome If it weren't for the itching and smell, you'd never guess from looking at him that anything is wrong. After the first few months with us, his coat filled in again, nice and thick, and the dander while not totally gone, is not bad at all. And very muscular, lean, and strong.

Aaaaanyway. Back to our reality... Poor Duke. Claritin may or may not be helping, we *think* the itching has gone down a bit although he hates the Benadryl gel we rub on his underside. Also a few days ago I wanted to wrap him in ACE bandages but he made quick work of that... so I put a t-shirt on him and cinched it at his back, leaving only his penis exposed. He was so rough with scratching his belly it was starting to get red and angry. At least now when he scratches he's not roughing up his tender underside.

Going to the beach helps, maybe it's the salt water, so do long hikes and doggie parks. Thank you all for the support. Just pray that we see results sooner rather than later. xoxoxo
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Old 06-04-2014, 08:46 AM   #49 (permalink)
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Maybe it's easier to direct any of you who'd like to see Mr. Handsome to this Flickr link: https://www.flickr.com/gp/39135127@N08/92246Q/
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Old 06-04-2014, 10:13 AM   #50 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hiba R. Fennelly View Post
Thank you Linda!

I just put his picture as my avatar and there is one that I posted but I'm still learning my way around this forum. I am fairly comfortable with technology but wow, I will admit, posting pics is not as easy as I thought. I uploaded a bunch, thought I captioned one of them correctly, but alas, only one (albeit beautiful one!) showed up with the wrong caption. I need to work on file size.

I know I am biased but our boy is so handsome If it weren't for the itching and smell, you'd never guess from looking at him that anything is wrong. After the first few months with us, his coat filled in again, nice and thick, and the dander while not totally gone, is not bad at all. And very muscular, lean, and strong.

Aaaaanyway. Back to our reality... Poor Duke. Claritin may or may not be helping, we *think* the itching has gone down a bit although he hates the Benadryl gel we rub on his underside. Also a few days ago I wanted to wrap him in ACE bandages but he made quick work of that... so I put a t-shirt on him and cinched it at his back, leaving only his penis exposed. He was so rough with scratching his belly it was starting to get red and angry. At least now when he scratches he's not roughing up his tender underside.

Going to the beach helps, maybe it's the salt water, so do long hikes and doggie parks. Thank you all for the support. Just pray that we see results sooner rather than later. xoxoxo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hiba R. Fennelly View Post
Maybe it's easier to direct any of you who'd like to see Mr. Handsome to this Flickr link: https://www.flickr.com/gp/39135127@N08/92246Q/
Back on page one Lori Z gave you some advice about testing for thyroid and how she had gone thru a bunch with here boy Eli. I do remember her saying how he wasn't so stinky or itchy when he was able to swim in her salt water pool, but once the drained or covered the pool for winter, his symptoms were so much worse. So if you could maybe swim him at the beach it would help as you already noticed.

I use a half white vinegar half water solution on Parker to keep yeast and bacteria at bay during the summer when his environmental allergies flare up. But it will sting on raw places like alcohol would, so I can't suggest it for extensive raw areas. If his raw places get better, you could use it as it kills yeast and bacteria which immediately relieves the itching associated with the yeast. The vinegar also deoderizes and cleans the skin and coat. I have used this in the place of medicinal baths ever since I tried it and it worked so wellif you want to try this let me know and I will explain more in depth. You cannot get in eyes, nose, penis, sheath opening or anus cause of the sting. It also has to get to the skin and dry there.

I didn't see where the allergy pills would help with itching if he didn't have allergies, but wasn't going to argue about it cause who knows? And if someone said it worked for them it certainly wouldn't hurt to try.

You have some precious pictures of Duke on your flicker account for sure. I love the one of your daughter on the computer with her hand on Duke while he's laying beside her.

You can post pics from flicker, but they improved it and it was so difficult and time consuming from my phone that I finally gave up. They will email back and forth with you to help you tho if you want to try that.

Be sure to keep us up to date on how he's doing, especially when he finally gets relief from the itching, please.

Thanks for the pictures. Duke is very handsome. Your assessment in that department is totally correct.
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