Wanted to thank Fitzmar...

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DobermanGuy's picture
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Can't remember the exact thread or her exact comments but it pertained to thyroid testing and her comments led me to start doing some reading on my own so I could learn more...

 

I found this one list of 'Signs of Hypothyroidism in Dogs' and my girl Patience nailed the first three symptoms they listed...

- Weight gain, sometimes without an increase in appetite.

- Lethargy and lack of desire to exercise.

- Cold intolerance.

 

In order from above:

- Patience has got up to an even 100lbs and consumes slightly FEWER calories than her 75lb sister and fewer calories than the 55lb rescue here. That is not 'right'.

- As of late the other dogs seem to be the ones doing all the playing and roughousing while Patience just wants to 'watch' them from her spot. Not right again...

- A few weeks ago I saw Patience shivering and looked at the temp in the room. It was 74 deg F... No other dog around even remotely seems cold except this one. Very not right...

 

Decided to try out a new Vet and took her for an exam and full blood work including thyroid panel. New Vet is an older guy that used to do a lot of work with racing Greyhounds back in the day. Figured we would give him a shot and see what he thought.

Patience failed her Thyroid panel. Was 'almost' in the normal range from what I can tell but still below the mark. Picked up her meds today and we go back in 2 months to have her levels checked again to see where she is at. In the meantime I got a lot more reading and learning to do...

 

Very much appreciate your comments here with respect to all of this Fitzmar. You pointed me in the direction that I 'needed' to be looking for a more healthy and happy Doberman.

Can't thank you enough. :)

You are very welcome - glad you recognized the signs.  What is funny is that as much as I know about low thyroid in dogs, I totally missed it in myself a few years back. You would think that my hair becoming brittle would have raised a question - haha! 

DobermanGuy's picture
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You are very welcome - glad you recognized the signs.  What is funny is that as much as I know about low thyroid in dogs, I totally missed it in myself a few years back. You would think that my hair becoming brittle would have raised a question - haha!

 

Had no idea that what I was seeing were 'signs' of anything medical until you got me reading on the subject.

Patience has the very thin hair as well. One of the signs I read about... Also read about how thyroid problems can mess up their cycles and never put 2 and 2 together to understand WHY these girls could never sync up their cycles like every other pair of females I have had has done previously. Usually healthy pairs get closer and closer and sync up within a relatively few cycles but not this pair. Even after 3 years these girls are still months apart. Not at all normal in my experience...

I would almost bet they sync up in short order once I get Patience back on track. 

 

Anyway, Patience is on meds now and I am still reading and trying to learn more as we work to get her back to as 'normal' as possible.

 

Can't thank you enough for your wisdom and help here Fitzmar. A healthy Doberman is a true blessing and you got me well on my way to getting Patience back to that point.

:)

 

 

Low thyroid is just so common in Dobermans that I start checking for it at age 2 - that is when it showed up in my Jezebel.  I just did a full thyroid panel through Michigan State Univ for Mabels first thyroid test and it came back normal - she is 2 1/2.  I will check yearly from now on - but just do a T-4 on a regular blood test through my vet unless something weird comes up.  I like to do a full thyroid panel for the first one - especially if I think I might breed that dog in the future. 

My Harvard was normal till age 8 - he went on thyroid after that. His mother, Louise, stayed at low normal her whole life.  

For whatever reason, Michigan State Univ vet school is the gold standard for thyroid testing in dogs. 

DobermanGuy's picture
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My Harvard was normal till age 8 - he went on thyroid after that. His mother, Louise, stayed at low normal her whole life.  

For whatever reason, Michigan State Univ vet school is the gold standard for thyroid testing in dogs.

I am trying my butt off here to learn.

Patience was at the low normal according to the lab that tested her. No idea how that lab defined 'normal' with respect to Dobermans.

Pretty sure you just pointed me to a better place to get my girls blood tested.

 

If I'm reading this right, her T4 was .5 and normal is defined as 1/1 - 4.0  

So yes, she is definitely low. My vet likes to see T 4 anywhere above about 2.5

Every lab may use different numbers to define normal - Michigan State Univ uses totally different numbers so I can't even begin to compare with Mabel's numbers. 

Dogs on thyroid meds may often test over the norm, but that is fine.  My Jezebel's latest T4 was 4.9 and Harvards was 4.5

DobermanGuy's picture
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She has been taking her thyroid meds for a couple of weeks now and I have noticed a definite change in her level of activity / playfulness.

Acting more like a Doberman girl should now and nowhere near as mellowed out / lethargic. Instead of laying there and watching the other girls play / wrestle like not too long ago - Now she is getting up and in the middle of it every chance she gets.

:)

That is great news! 

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That is great news!

 

She is still a tad bit slower than I think she should be but improving and getting back to her old self more and more every day. :)

 

White dog used her for a springboard a few days ago so she could sail over the top of both of them and run away. Caught both of them by surprise with that move! LOL! 

 

 

 

 

 

hahahaha!!

DobermanGuy's picture
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Went back today for our 30 day follow-up appt. Vet took another blood test to see where her T4 levels are at currently so he will know if the medication dosage needs to be adjusted or not. Will find out and pick up those meds tomorrow after he gets results back from the lab.

The biggest surprise for me this visit was her weight. Would not have believed it if I had not seen the scale and weight myself both times (today and a month ago). 'Chunk' went from 95.6lbs a month ago to 84.6lbs today. 11lbs gone in a single month of her being on the thyroid meds! Zero changes in her feeding routine or portion size...

Very hopeful that in time she will be back down to about 70 to 75ish lbs or so. That weight looked good on her. 95+ lbs did not...

:)

Thanks again Fitzmar!!!

 

That is wonderful news - it really can be magic to see how thyroid meds can change their life.  Hope she continues to do well. 

DobermanGuy's picture
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it really can be magic to see how thyroid meds can change their life.

 

Pretty much exactly my feelings here. Like someone waved a magic wand and 'Poof' - Here is the dog you 'used' to have back! LOL!

:)

 

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Curious (Fitzmar or anyone else that has went through this stuff) if you noticed any skin issues when dealing with the changes once they were medicated.

 

Girl went from have very thin fur / coat but clean healthy skin before to now having very, very dry skin. The dandruff coming off her is ungodly and unrelenting.

Normal routine here is to use compressed air to clean them off before settling in for the night and it usually takes less than 30 seconds per Doberman to get them spotless (so long as it is dry stuff being removed). I spent a few minutes cleaning Patience tonight only to have the flakes show back up less than a minute later...

It's as if all of her natural body oils have left town. :(

 

Huh - my experience has been a better thicker coat, but I've never had excess dandriff.  I do get some dandriff - especially in the winter, but nothing that is not normal.  I don't bathe my dogs very often unless they are showing as I don't want to strip the natural oils in their coat. 

Do you give any kind of fish oil or other type of oil for their coat?  

DobermanGuy's picture
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Huh - my experience has been a better thicker coat, but I've never had excess dandriff.  I do get some dandriff - especially in the winter, but nothing that is not normal.  I don't bathe my dogs very often unless they are showing as I don't want to strip the natural oils in their coat. 

Do you give any kind of fish oil or other type of oil for their coat?  

 

Same thing here with respect to bathing them - If they are clean and have no smell I avoid stripping their natural body oils with soaps.

The dandruff 'seems' to be lessening a slight bit but is still way excessive as compared to her sister.

 

Guess I need to consider some suppliments for their coats as you mentioned and see how that does for the one with the excessive dandruff?