About a week ago I posted on some health concerns with the dogs, and I have been thinking them through ever since. Hannah’s hair loss on her thighs remains a concern, as does Ross’s weight loss. He’s actually down a full 5 pounds which is a lot on a now 33lb dog!
In Ross’s case, I can think of several explanations. The optimistic one is that his thyroid has regained some function and his metabolism is speeding up. This is actually entirely possible, and as he is showing me very little else to worry about, my fingers are crossed that his bloodwork will come back with that result. Ross’s coat is great, his skin, ears, and eyes are not discharging in any way, his energy is fantastic and he’s generally behaving healthier than he ever has before. If it weren’t for his history of elevated kidney and liver functions for unknown reasons, I would have no reason to worry about him.
In fact, he is being almost a little over the top in his energy at times, which suggests perhaps a little HYPOthyroism. He is on thyroid supplements and if his thyroid is working better on its own, then the supplements could certainly lead to this.
I talked to a vet about this a couple of days ago, when I stopped into the clinic to renew Ross’s prescription. He said it was theoretically possible for a dog to regain some thyroid function, but that he’s never seen it happen. Well, I can still keep my fingers crossed that Ross will be the one to prove the case. The vet also mentioned that because Ross has lost weight, he is probably being overdosed with the thyroid meds, and so definitely could be hypothyroid now. I am going to reduce his dose a little while I wait for his bloodwork. Hopefully I can get it done soon.
Of course there are many other explanations for weight loss, and many of them are very worrisome. I won’t bother going into here as I’ll just stress myself out. Happy thoughts, happy thoughts. Bloodwork for the two dogs is going to cost around $500 and unfortunately I have to wait for a refund cheque that is pending from the conference I attended a few weeks ago (the joys of life on a student budget – argh!!). As soon as it comes in, I will be getting it done. In the meantime I need to be walking the dogs around public areas to get their exposure to vaccine shed up, in hopes for nice high titer results!
As for Hannah, I have examined her balding patches carefully and have found it to not actually be bald, but rather have stubble. This suggests that the fur is being chewed or licked off, not falling out on is own. I think that’s a good sign in terms of a potential diagnosis of hypothyroidism, but I’m not sure. Hypothyroidsm is a metabolic disorder and affects the system at a general level and has many, many symptoms as I have listed in other posts. I now have identified three in Hannah: itchiness, chilliness and irregular heat cycles. These are not the most common, so may not in fact be related. She is not showing other signs that I think are more common, like general hair loss, weight issues and temperament problems. So I’m really, really hoping this is not what we are dealing with.
If not hypothyroidism, then what? Well, I’m not sure. She’s definitely an itchier than average dog, which is part of her chronic disease. The dry winter air could be making her worse as she experienced the same symptom last winter, only less pronounced. I have upped her fat a little and am giving her fish oil to see if that helps. It could be linked to hormonal fluctuations, and any number of other things. I am wracking my brains for other possibilities, and for potential homeopathic treatment. So far nothing is coming up a good fit, but I’m not overly worried about it at this point as she’s not displaying anything else that I recognize to be of urgent concern. Guess I’ll just have to keep my fingers crossed until I get those results…