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Ok, so Pebbles has been loosing hair like a tree looses leaves in the fall and she's been getting little sores on her back/butt/tail for a few weeks now. I thought it was just her allergies fairing up, but when it continued to get worse I took her to my vet when I was home from college this weekend. She thought it might be a food allergy so we took away all vitamins/treats/supplements.... and she is only allowed to eat TOTW-Pacific Stream.

She also wanted to see her last blood test because with the symptoms she thought it could be a thyroid problem as well. Well I got an e-mail back from her this morning and she said her T-4 was at the low end of the scale and that she could benefit from a very low dose of thyroid meds. I'm kicking myself now for not getting the full thyroid panel run back when we were dealing with all the SA but nothing I can do about it now. So I did some research and she has a FULL list of the symptoms for a hypothyroid dog...exerts taken from "Canine Hypothyroidism: Frequently Asked Questions, Diagnosing and Treating Underactive Thyroid Problems in Dogs" by Mary Shomon.

*While there is a genetic predisposition for thyroid disorders, environmental factors such as pollutants and allergies probably play a role as well.
*Most dogs contract hypothyroidism between the ages of 4 to 10. It appears to affect males and females equally, however spayed females are at a higher risk than unspayed females. (It really started to flair up about a month ago, after she was spayed, and she'll be turning 4 in July)
SYMPTOMS INCLUDE:
* Bacterial infections of the skin
* Dry skin
* Hair loss, especially on the trunk or tail (“rat’s tail”)
* Discoloration or thickening of the skin where hair loss has occurred
* Cold intolerance/seeking out warm places to lie down
* Severe behavioral changes such as unprovoked aggression, head tilt, seizures, anxiety and/or compulsiveness
* Depression

So anyone with hypothyroid dogs? I'm going to be getting her on medication the next time that I go home. What can I expect? I've been reading that most dogs, once on medication, go on to lead long, normal, happy lives. And the medication is fairly cheap? $10-15/mo? She weighs 12.6lbs so anyone who has a small dog on medication could you tell me your cost and the area where you live? We're in NW Ohio, vet is in SE Michigan.
 

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If that diagnosis is in consideration I'd also ask the vet to rule out adrenal issues, just to be cautious.
 

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I don't remember the cost but it was not that much for the meds. Our last dog was perfectly fine after the medication.Also switching to another better food helped. We went from a basic store brand to Canidae, and then actually cut his meds back a bit. I think he would still be chasing his ball at top speed right now if it wasn't for a tumor that developed in his spine at age 10. You will just want to watch for any mood changes or signs of going hyperthyroid or the other way. If I remember we also changed his dosage between summer and winter(not much mind you). He was also about 65 pounds, although he made it to about 75-80 before the diagnosis of thyroid problems.He became very lethargic, then after the meds he was like a puppy again, except he did not trip over his own feet:D
 

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*raises hand*. Yup Chazz is on Thyroid meds. My suggestion would be to check out Valleyvet.com. I have found them to be the most inexpensive. I pay $58 +/- for 1,000 tablets and no shipping charges. Price depends on the dose your vet recommends.

Your vet just faxes the script to them before or after you place your order and they mail them to you. Pretty simple.

My vet said it's important that the meds be given no more than every 12 hours, so if you feed on an irregular schedule you'll have to adjust that. Check with your vet though.

Chazz goes in every 6 months for a recheck to make sure his med doesn't have to be adjusted but that's it. Otherwise, he says he's pretty happy. :D
 

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Thanks so much guys this is what I wanted to hear! Talked to my vet again today and since I won't be home again until the 24th, she wants to wait out the food change just to be sure it isn't a food allergy. Her energy is really good, I'm very strict about her diet so I haven't seen a significant weight gain, but I think we are catching it early too. She said her T-4 are within normal range but on the very low end, with a minimal dose she hopes to put her to the middle of the range, and hopefully that will improve her coat and skin condition.

Renoman, thanks for the advice about valleyvet! I use them for horse meds and that sort of thing but I always forget they have a pet catalog too!
 
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