My homeopath wants me to have Hannah’s thyroid tested. When she told me this, I was floored. Hypothyroidism was the last thing I suspected when I told her of the patterned balding on Hannah’s thighs.
Hannah had a similar pattern of fur loss last winter, only less pronounced. It started with a grey patch on the front outer edge of her thigh, right where the leg joins the stomach. Grey because the black hairs were falling out. I thought at first she had scraped herself and lost some hair, but the patch kept growing for several weeks. I then suspected either a nutritional or vitamin deficiency, or perhaps a hormone imbalance related to her heat cycles. The black fur grew back in after a few more weeks, and I forgot all about it.
The same thing is happening this winter, except there is a patch on each thigh now, and the right side is actually bald in the center. She also is losing a little pigment on her nose, where part of it is turning slightly liver coloured.
I am the first to admit that I am somewhat of a hypochondriac when it comes to my animals. But for good reason as far as I’m concerned. I knew in my heart for years that my old Jake was sick, but the vets kept telling me nothing was wrong, and test after test proved supported their assertion. Then one day he collapsed and they discovered he was in acute kidney failure. I have since learned the homeopathic view of health and that all the little signs I saw in Jake meant something very important. It was a very hard lesson to learn, but I will never again ignore those little red flags.
For example, Ross has recently slimmed down to the weight I’ve always wanted him to be. I’d be happy, but I can’t help worrying why the sudden weight loss? When I first adopted him I was very worried about his state of health, and bloodwork revealed elevated kidney and liver function, and hypothyroidism. His last blood tests said all was normal now (he takes thyroid pills every 12 hours) but I still worry about him. Especially since he goes through episodes of “empty stomach” early morning vomiting.
I have never been completely happy with Hannah’s vitality. Still, I never thought of Hannah as suffering from low thyroid. She had whipworms as a puppy (born with them), which caused her to become very ill about 5 weeks after her second set of puppy shots (the shots depressed her immune system, allowing the worms to take over). Ever since she has had a delicate digestive system. She also developed chronic itchiness after one homeopathic remedy moved her chronic disease from her mind outward. (Chronic disease moves outward when being cured homepathically, with mental issues being the deepest level to skin problems being the most superficial) I was thrilled to have her mind cleared, but we have not been able to move past the itchiness and other minor skin and fur issues. Perhaps they are more significant than I thought.
Some time in the next couple of weeks I will be sending samples of both Ross and Hannah’s blood to Jean Dodds at Hemopet.com to have a full blood panel, thyroid test, heartworm and titers done. I have been sending Ross’s blood to that lab for two years now, as Dr. Dodds does a more thorough thyroid test than any of the local labs, and even with shipping her prices are lower. She also takes into account the dog’s breed and age, and analyses each case on its own merits. Ross would have been considered ‘normal’ by my regular vet, but Dr. Dodd’s evaluation identified him as needing thyroid supplements, which have made a night and day difference in his life. Ross was suffering from many of the classic symptoms of this autoimmune (often vaccine related) disease: aggression, weight gain, heavy shedding, low energy, and chronic ear and skin problems. Other symptoms can include “hyperactivity, poor concentration, passivity, phobias, anxiety or neuromuscular events such as seizures” (www.canine-epilepsy.com/Lowthyroid.html)
Hannah is only showing some itchiness, sporadic hair loss and low cold tolerance. But that is enough to make bloodwork worthwhile. It still seems surprising to me that she may be hypothyroid. This disease can be inherited, but neither of her parents show any overt signs of having it (I know them both well; her mother is nearly 7 and her father is 10). Otherwise, it is strongly correlated to vaccines, but Hannah is very minimally vaccinated. Hypothyroidism is the most common ailment in dogs today, yet I can’t believe I may have two out of three of mine suffering from it. I guess I’ll have to wait for the bloodwork to know the answer.