Treatment For Low Thyroid In Dogs

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. QUESTION:
    What could cause a super low red and white cell count in my dog?
    My dog seemed lethargic last few days and had trembling last day and a half. Appetite is fine, doesn't have parasites. No fever. Took her in to vet. Has super low red blood count and white blood count. Potassium is super low. Thyroid is a little below normal. Put on Prednisone with antacid for next month. What could be causing this?

    • ANSWER:
      If you took your dog to the vet, then why didn't you ask the vet who diagnosed and is treating your dog and knows your dogs medical history a lot better than anyone here does, what could be causing this? In all honesty, it there could be a lot of things causing this and the vet is the one and only person who can give you that answer and tell you what you need to do to treat it. You need to call this vet back, ask to speak directly to him or her and ask the vet to explain everything to you in detail about your dogs condition and treatment.

  2. QUESTION:
    Is there any home treatment for dogs that itch a lot. She doesn't have fleas, on allergy med and meds thyroid?
    5 yr old dog with skin problems. Has been on allergy meds, use front line, dx with low thyroid and is on meds for that. She is still broken out and itches all the time HELP?? Is there some home remedy that I can do to help her?

    • ANSWER:
      i think you should change her food...my dog used to itch all the time, till we found out he was allergic to corn.

      when we changed it, about a week after that he was fine.
      i'm not saying this is whats wrong with her, but she COULD have severe allergic reactions.

  3. QUESTION:
    Is there any home treatment for dogs that itch a lot. She doesn't have fleas, on allergy med and meds thyroid?
    5 yr old dog with skin problems. Has been on allergy meds, use front line, dx with low thyroid and is on meds for that. She is still broken out and itches all the time HELP?? Is there some home remedy that I can do to help her?

    • ANSWER:
      Oils, olive oils, even fish oils will help. Just add it to her food.

  4. QUESTION:
    Can hairloss on a healthy Chihuahua be a sign of a thyroid problem?
    My 2 year old Chihuahua has a lot of hairloss. He has a great appetite and is full of energy, but my vet told me he could have a thyroid problem. Has anyone ever heard of this or anything similar to this?

    • ANSWER:
      Thyroid problems can cause hair loss in dogs. Dogs usually get low thyroid levels rather than high. They are usually tired, seek out warmth, tend to gain weight and eat normal to less than normal amounts of food. Your dog is only 2 and young for thyroid problems but it happens. Make sure he gets 1. skin scrapings for mites, done by your vet. There are mites that are not itchy but still require treatment. 2. tested by culture (NOT just the black light) for ringworm and 3. Complete bloodwork including thyroid level. There are other endocrine things that can cause hair loss and some can be found on bloodwork.

      I'm sure common sense will prevail here, but please don't do that ice water thing that someone suggested. OMG!!

  5. QUESTION:
    What is the life expectancy of a dog diagnosed with Cushing's disease?
    My 7 year old terrier has recently had blood work done which indicates the possible existance of Cushing's disease.

    He had elevated ALP of 146 last year and this year it is 176.
    His thyroid is low at 0.49.

    The vet thinks he might be pre-cushings, hence the only slightly elevated alp levels.

    He shows no other symptoms of the disease, no excessive drinking or eating, no incontinence or frequent urination. He is active and playful and has no intolerance to heat.

    My question is how might the presence of cushing's disease effect his life expectancy?

    • ANSWER:
      Cushing's disease, also known as hyperadrenocorticism Left untreated, Cushing's disease will progress and can lead to life-threatening disorders such as diabetes, congestive heart failure, and liver and kidney failure, and to chronic maladies such as hypothyroidism and infections of the skin, ears, gums, eyes, or bladder. Cushing's disease cannot be cured, but the treatments available can prolong your pet's quality of life and keep him around for years longer. If an adrenal tumor is causing the disease, surgery may be indicated. Either way, it's better to get started on treatment.

      There are 3 forms of Cushing's Disease:

      Pituitary-Dependent Cushing's Disease - This is the most common form of Cushing's Disease. It accounts for approximately 85% of cases. It occurs when a very small tumor develops in the pituitary. This tumor sends excessive messages to the adrenal glands to produce and release steroids beyond what the body needs.

      2. Adrenocortical Tumors - Tumors of the adrenal glands account for the other 15% of the cases. These are functional masses which are malignant about 50% of the time. The majority of dogs with adrenal tumors are female.

      3. Iatrogenic Cushing's Disease - This form of the disease is caused by excessive and/or prolonged steroid administration.

      The life expectancy of a dog with Cushing's is shorter than for normal dogs. The average survival time after diagnosis is 2 years with the appropriate treatment. Complications that may arise include embolisms, infections, hypertension, heart failure diabetes, pancreatitis, and other illnesses.

      Owning a pet with Cushing's Disease can be problematic.

  6. QUESTION:
    How much money do you pay in vet bills for an accident?
    Tell me about a time when your dog or cat needed a vet's care--cancer, broken bone, ate chocolate, snake bite, etc.--and how much it cost, how many visits it took, how much the medicines were. I'm curious to see how much these things cost and how much the cost varies. Be specific about the procedures if you can. Thanks!

    • ANSWER:
      Pancreatitis attack in one of our cats, he got in right away, they had him there for 3 days. The list was tremendously long, but the total bill came to 0.

      I just had 4 teeth removed in one of my cats, she had a blood test 2 weeks ago prior to the surgery being scheduled, that was , they don't do any surgery until they know how the organs are all working. Turns out her thyroid was way off with her weight loss so the meds we had her on were the wrong dose. I had to dose her differently for 2 weeks, she was retested, another , and was back to being regulated so she just had the dental surgery Monday. In and out in one day--9.

      One of our others is scheduled to have 2 teeth removed and a lump taken off his back paw next week. for his blood test (a different test, he's diabetic) and they quoted me 0 for his proceedure. I won't know how much till they actually get in his mouth and check his other teeth, but two for sure have to come out, one is broken, the other has a hole in it.

      We lost one to cancer last year. The bill on her for 3 emergency visits to the regular vet while they tried to figure out what was wrong ended up to be ,200. She went into shock on their table and they had me take her to the emergency clinic on the north side---,500. We had to have her euthenized when they said she was too far along. They did the autopsy and found out it was cancer padding under her hip bone, which wasn't seen by the other x-rays, so was misdiagnosed as a colon problem at the other vets. She wouldn't have made it, but we at least had a chance to say goodbye, she was 14.

      My oldest cat is 16, he's got kidney disease, but it's not very advanced yet.

      The cat with the 4 teeth just taken out, she's hyperthyroid--her meds cost per month. It was that or have the radioiodine treatment but they'd quoted me ,300 for that and it doesn't work in 20% of the cases. We took the lower amount. I can put the medicine into her ear twice a day every day for the rest of her life. She's on methamazole.

      The diabetic cat--he's on 2 shots a day, the insulin has to be bought in 5 tubes at a time, that's how they're boxed. It lasts 9 months for us, but it's a good 0 chunk of cash all at one time. The syringes are a box. He gets a fructosamine test twice a year to see how he's regulated if he doesn't show any problems meantime. Those tests are 0.

      I'm NOT made of money. These guys are expensive, but I'm obligated as owner to give them health care as needed.

  7. QUESTION:
    My dashchund is 2 and when she stretches in the morning she makes a crunching noise?
    It's like a creaking of the bones noise. She is completely healthy and has no movement problems or noticable aches or pains. Is this normal????
    She creaks when she does her long back stretch after a big sleep and also with her morning yawn.

    Perhaps there is a good supplement?

    • ANSWER:
      ugh this is not normal for a dachshund. Dachshunds can have slipped disks that will need to be fixed by a vet. This breed is very prone to back problems and every sign, like yours, needs to be checked out. This is the best method to keep your doxie in good health. Not doing so can cause a lot of problems for your pet.

      HEALTH.

      The breed is known to have spinal problems, especially intervertebral disk disease (IVDD), due in part to an extremely long spinal column and short rib cage[11]. The risk of injury can be worsened by obesity, which places greater strain on the vertebrae. In order to prevent injury, it is recommended that dachshunds be discouraged from jumping (something many seem to enjoy doing anyway) and taking stairs, and encouraged to instead take the elevator (though some veterinarians say that slow stair-climbing is unlikely to lead to injury). However, according to the same article above, dachshunds that climb stairs regularly may actually be less problematic probably because the exercise helps to keep them fitter and healthier, and positive correlations were found between physically fit dogs and a lower incidence of IVDD. Hence the importance of keeping the dog at a good body weight. Holding the dog properly is also important, with both front and rear portions level. Under no circumstances should a dachshund be exposed to rough play or handling, as their spines may not tolerate such treatment.

      As it has become increasingly apparent that the occurrence and severity of these spinal problems, or intervertebral disk disease, is largely hereditary, responsible breeders are working to eliminate this characteristic in the breed. Treatment consists of various combinations of crate confinement and courses of anti-inflammatory medications (steroids and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like carprofen and meloxicam). Serious cases may require surgery to remove the troublesome disk contents[12]. Others may need the aid of cart to get around if paralysis occurs.

      A new minimally-invasive procedure called "percutaneous laser disk ablation" has been developed at the Oklahoma State University Veterinary Hospital[13]. Originally, the procedure [14] was used in clinical trials [15] only on dachshunds that had suffered previous back incidents. Since dachshunds are the poster children of dogs with back issues, the goal is to expand this treatment to dogs in a normal population.

      In addition to back problems, the breed is also prone to patellar luxation.

      Some double dapples have problems with deafness and blindness. Therefore they need an owner who understands a disabled dog's special needs.

      Other health problems include hereditary epilepsy, granulomatous meningoencephalitis, dental issues, Cushings disease, thyroid problems, various allergies and atopies, and various eye conditions (cataracts, glaucoma, progressive retinal atrophy, corneal ulcers, nonucerative corneal disease, sudden acquired retinal degeneration, cherry eye, etc.). It is important to buy from breeders who can guarantee that their stock are free from these genetic problems and whose dogs have been certified for eyes (esp in miniatures).

      It is important to follow a good dental health regime, including an annual cleaning if possible.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dachshund

  8. QUESTION:
    Do you have advice for an out of control dog?
    We adopted a beagle/terrier mix a year ago. She was an owner surrender becaue of behavioral issues. The pound said the owner had some issues herself and they felt the dog would improve in a good home. Allie was ok at first, if a little on the grouchy side. She had a seizure two weeks ago and went down hill after that. We can't move her or lay by her without her growling or snapping. She is attacking other animals. All the things she did with the previous owner. Her vet is going to put her on epileptic drugs and says that epilepsy often affects personality, but if no improvement, he recommends putting her down as she may have severe neurological issues that could lead her to be a danger to us or the other animals in the house. Does anyone have advice on things I can do to help her so that she doesn't have to be put down?
    No, she is not hurting. She has had full check-ups. It's more of a territorial thing. If she is laying in the bed she doesn't want anything or anyone disturbing her or around her. She is just very aggressive and don't want to be bothered unless it is on her terms. The dog she attacked wasn't even by her...didn't even touch her. He was standing looking out a window and she just turned around and tore into him to the point she was bleeding from her gums and he from his neck. She came and sat by my daughter. Neither of them was moving or doing anything and all of a sudden Allie lunged and bit her in the face. She has always been grouchy, just kinda a loner and doesn't like to be disturbed while trying to sleep. After 7 pm, It's best to stay clear. That is when she gets sleepy. We thought it was cute, just a personality quirk, but since the seizure it isn't cute anymore.
    The vet also mentioned brain tumor. That is just a wait and see. Hopefully meds will help, dogs can have chemical imbalance just as people and have severe mental illness. We lock up criminally insane people. Criminally insane pets get put down. I am really just looking for answers to help behaviour issues. She is not hurt in her body. She has seizures and behaviour issues.
    The vet also mentioned brain tumor. That is just a wait and see. Hopefully meds will help, dogs can have chemical imbalance just as people and have severe mental illness. We lock up criminally insane people. Criminally insane pets get put down. I am really just looking for answers to help behaviour issues. She is not hurt in her body. She has seizures and behaviour issues.

    • ANSWER:
      Before putting her down, have your vet run a full thyroid panel..not just the T4 but the whole panel, he will know what I mean. Seizures and aggressiveness can be signs of Hypothyroidism. If your dog tests low normal, treat it and you may see a big improvement in the aggressiveness and elimination of the seizures.
      The blood should be sent to Michigan State, not any local lab (your vet will have the address, all of them do) and when the results come back , the endocrinologist that reads the test will explain what the scores mean and what you should do about it.
      Treatment is very cheap, although it's for life, and the test only runs around 100.00. Lots less than it costs to euthanize your dog.

  9. QUESTION:
    I have a 5 year old golden retriever who has been itching himself so bad that he has scabs forming on his skin?
    He is actually losing hair because of this. I don't see fleas on him. Are these hot spots? What other reason would he be itching himself so much and what do i do to help him?

    • ANSWER:
      Oh please have your vet test your dog for Hypothyroidism. It is epidemic in Golden Retrievers, causing a drop in the immune system, making them allergic to their food, surroundings, creating hot spots, itchy, flaky dry skin, red ears, a tragic expression on their lovely face, and lethargy.
      Do not accept a simply T3 test that most vets want to do. Tell your vet you want a full panel and the blood sent to Michigan State for evaluation (all vets have the address). If the results come back low normal, ask for an 8 week course of treatment and if that brings the level back to mid normal then you have an active case of Hypothyroidism and will have to treat it for life. This poor breed is suffering from this horrible thyroid problem and not enough breeders or vets are taking it seriously enough to get it out of the lines. I had three of them.
      In the meantime, find a dog food that doesn't contain any corn, wheat, soy, by-products or chicken, and possible a protein the dog has never had before, such as duck or venison. This should give some relief until the test results come back. Good luck, but fight your vet over this if you have to as I did.
      For more information, read Dr. Jean Dodds book, The Canine Thyroid Epidemic

  10. QUESTION:
    My puppy has two circular dry patches of skin that he itches. He tested negative for ringworm. What is it?
    One patch is under his arm pit, the other is under his neck. He was tested for fungal infections twice and the results were negative. What else could this be?

    • ANSWER:
      It could be mange or it could be a hot spot, it could also be a sign of hypothyroidism.

      The first is seen primarily in dogs with a compromised immune system - dogs on long-term strong medications, dogs that are malnourished, dogs fighting off or recovering from major diseases or illness, and dogs that are very stressed. Treatment involves killing off the mites with medicated shampoo and improving the dog's overall health.

      A hot spot is most common on dogs with long hair and is caused by moisture, heat, and/or dirt being trapped next to the skin and irritating it. These will be hot to the touch, and are not dry when forming, though the bare patches left behind may be. The treatment focuses on getting lots of air to the affected spot and keeping it clean and dry while it heals.

      The third is a hormonal condition, almost certainly genetic, that affects primarily middle-aged and older dogs. The thyroid controls a lot of hormones in the dog's body and when it is functioning at a lower-than-normal rate, your dog's hair does not get the signal to keep growing or to grow back. Thus, a patch where the hair is being worn away will remain hairless because it doesn't grow back fast enough to replace it. Treatment involves daily medication that simulates thyroid hormones so that his body functions like it should.

      Talk to the vet again, and maybe get a second opinion as well.

      P.S. are these patches where his collar/harness always sit? Does he wear them every day? If so, the hair may just be worn away and you have nothing to worry about.

  11. QUESTION:
    Veterinary question about high Packed Cell Volume in dogs?
    If a dog has high packed cell value (PCV) but a normal total protein (TP) count- what medical condition does this suggest?

    • ANSWER:
      Has her thyroid been checked? Her kidneys are obviously ok.
      ---------------------------------------------------
      edit--
      Ticks?

      I am assuming the dog isn't just dehydrated because that would show up in the protein values, same with kidney failure.

      You need to speak to a vet who actually knows something about this. Most of us know very little about advance medical diagnosis.
      ----------------------------------------
      edit again--
      Think of any disease that would lower the water value in the blood but not the blood cell count when you consider this disease==
      dehydration, sunstroke, heatstroke
      kidney failure
      thyroid or adrenal issues
      old age
      perhaps(?) leukemia unless the cells were examined and found to be ok already
      or even a normal variant of polycythemia which wouldn't have to be aggressively treated

      This question will bother me for days. If you hear anything on a diagnosis and treatment, will you please tell me what it was? I am curious. I will be in the vet's office Tues, so I will ask them too.
      ------------------------------------
      my final edit here--
      Dr H said lots of ticks, fleas, (but any vet would see that and could diagnose it), dehydration, some sort of hemolytic anemia or other bone marrow disease such as leukemia, polycythemia which should be treated by spleen removal or regular bleeding, tick disease, or some sort of adrenal issue that causes severe water loss and panting like hyper thyroid issues. He did mention it was "probably" an infection related to a tick bite called tick fever (or something like that)if it wasn't dehydration that your vet missed.
      I hope I relayed this message correctly and I hope you see it.

  12. QUESTION:
    which dog food is good for skin problems or allergies dog .?
    My golden retriever has skin allergies problem , there are red rashes and something like dandruff on his body ,currently i give him BLACK WOOD LAMB AND RICE . Which dog food can prevent skin allergies for dog ? can someone help me please ?

    • ANSWER:
      You happen to own a breed that is terribly susceptible to food allergies and Hypothyroidism.
      Many of the problems can be helped by having your vet do a thyroid panel on your dog and treating a low normal result with Soloxine.
      Please read this for symptoms of Hypothyroidism;
      http://www.leerburg.com/thyroid.htm
      It is easy and very inexpensive to treat, and treatment will clear up the skin problems.
      In the meantime, make sure what you are feeding, including all treats, contains no corn, wheat, soy, by-products or chicken (lately found to be an allergy trigger). If food allergies are the problem, they will clear up if you eliminate these ingredients.

  13. QUESTION:
    why low sperm count in beagle dog?
    4 year old male beagle dog with low sperm count, can this be corrected?

    • ANSWER:
      First, you shouldn't rely on one test. Some dogs might test perfectly normal on a subsequent test.

      Routine checking of thyroid levels should be done on any dog with a low sperm count.

      If this level is low (or on the lower limit of normal), thyroid replacement is necessary and should be commenced as soon as possible.

      Once the thyroid level is back in the normal range, wait 6-8 weeks before re-checking the sperm count.

      If the sperm counts are still low, then specific hormone treatment may be required. This would apply to those dogs with low sperm counts and normal thyroid levels.

      The hormones used to stimulate spermatogenesis are gonadotropins (follicle stimulating hormones FSH), which act indirectly to stimulate sperm production and as a side effect,
      also produce natural testosterone which stimulates the libido. These hormones are given for 4-6 weeks and then the semen is re-evaluated. If this fails to sufficiently increase sperm production, the possibility of other hormone imbalances may need to be further investigated.

      Injections of testosterone are contra-indicated in fertility problems in the male. Giving injections of testosterone directly to a dog will not stimulate sperm production and, in
      excess, can act as a contraceptive by lowering sperm production.

      Edit: I also agree with the above poster and don't breed dogs with thyroid problems since it is hereditary.

  14. QUESTION:
    How can you tell the difference between a BYB and a good breeder?

    • ANSWER:
      BACKYARD BREEDERS ARE -

      **Anyone who has a litter for fun, profit or by ‘accident’.
      **Anyone who is so uninformed that they think having AKC papers means that their pet is breeding quality. REDICULOUS!!
      **Anyone who advertises their litters in the local paper for sale. (respected breeders only advertise in trade magazines)
      **Anyone who thinks that by finding their puppies good homes that they somehow don’t have to play by the rules or take responsibility. MANY WILL STILL ULTIMATELY END UP IN THE POUND AFTER YEARS OF ABUSE OR NEGLECT!!!
      **Anyone who thinks they found their litter good homes, simply because everyone that took one, smiled honestly and ‘promised’ to treat them well.. Thus insisting on no background check, no enforceable contract or any type of follow up. A PERFECT RECIPE FOR A SAD LIFE FOR THE POOR PUPPY.
      **People will provide erroneous information to the potential adopters regarding the required care and treatment necessary for the pet - simply for their own personal gains and claim to know much more than they really do for ego boosts.
      **Respectable breeders will have walls adorned with trophies and certificates which represent the numerous championships they’ve acquired over the years.

      Often, BYBs breed dogs with faults. This perpetuates fault and problems in the breed. They do nothing to prove their dogs are of sound temperament and that they are breeding good representatives of the breed, etc. They just breed. And often, they do not even breed purebreds. Some BYBs "create" neat sounding things and think they are breeds - like Dalimers. This was seen listed in the Washington Post as a rare, German breed. Well, they are mutts - crosses of Dalmatians and Weimeraners, nothing more than a back yarder trying to make a buck

      What is the asking price of the puppies? Some breeders will ask the same for pet quality and show potential puppies. Compare prices with other breeders of the same breed and if the price is considerably higher or lower do not hesitate to ask why. Do not hesitate to ask why if there is a big difference in pet and show pups. Unless there is a visible disqualification or the puppy visibly will not be showing potential, the younger the pup the harder it is to determine show quality. A person who really knows the breed can have a good idea what pups have show POTENTIAL and what may not. Much happens while the puppy grows and that eight week show prospect may not be show potential at 9 months! And avoid ANY breeder who charges different for males or females or who charges extra if you want a pedigree or registration. It is not that expensive to register a litter so the potential owners can individually register puppies. (Many kennel clubs like the AKC require all litters to be registered by the breeder. Then papers are sent out that are given to buyers of puppies so the owner can register them in their name).
      . What health tests have been done on BOTH parents of the litter? Any dog should have hips (OFA or PennHip), eyes (CERF) and ideally thyroid prior to breeding. Then is up to you as potential buyer to know what other tests the breed you are looking at should have. Even crossbred puppies are prone to hereditary health issues and parents should be tested prior to breeding for anything common within the two breeds crossed. Though a reputable breeder will NOT cross as the predicability in outcome is less and there are too many negligent litters of crossbred pups from unaltered pets. The breeder should be able to show documentation of all tests and do not hesitate to verify the results. Do not blindly accept their word – some dishonest breeders will lie and say all tests have been done. And if the breeder says there is nothing in the line so testing is not important, avoid this person as well. Some health problems are polygenetic (more than one set of genes involved – not a simple dominant/recessive). Some health problems take years to show fully or may be there but not showing outwardly. For example, some dysplastic dogs never show signs of having it and it is only diagnosed upon testing.

  15. QUESTION:
    My lab has diabetes insipidus, what are the side effects of Desmopressin?
    He is only 6/12 and was diagnosed w/ diabetes insipidus last Ocotober and has been on Desmopressin the synthetic hormone in an eye drop form since Oct. He went from an active dog to a lifeless stuffed animal, he doesn't want to do anything he used to do. He is also on thyroid meds. He was just at the vet last month and all of his levels are normal. Does anyone know the side effects of desmopressin b.c. I think that is causing all of his terrible side effects. I just want my old dog back :(
    We have spent over ,000 on Koby and this disorder. We get him tested every three months. We do not have any children yet so he is like our son and we will do anything it takes to get him back to his normal self.

    • ANSWER:
      This is something I found when researching DI...

      Therapy is not mandatory for DI as long as the pet has unlimited access to water, and is kept in an environment where constant urination is not a problem. This usually applies to outdoor pets. Therapy with DDAVP can be administered intermittently, when severe thirst and excess urination is especially undesirable, for example, if guests are visiting. Unrestricted access to water is absolutely imperative.

      Follow-up

      Optimal treatment for a pet with diabetes insipidus requires both home and professional care, with follow up being critical. Administer prescribed medications and alert your veterinarian if you are experiencing problems treating your pet. Follow up includes:

      Periodic rechecks by your veterinarian, especially if the diabetes insipidus is suspected to be caused by a tumor affecting the part of the brain responsible for making ADH.

      Seek immediate veterinary care if any illness develops that causes vomiting or causes the pet to reduce his water intake, as there is a risk of life-threatening dehydration if water is withdrawn from pets with DI for even a few hours.

      Does your dog have unlimited access to plenty of fresh water? Did the vet do plenty of tests to rule out other illnesses which can also have the same symptoms of DI?

      The diagnostic tests recommended will help differentiate DI from these other conditions that can cause excessive thirst and urination:

      Diabetes mellitus (excessive sugar in the blood)

      Renal glycosuria (excessive sugar in the urine, but not diabetic)

      Chronic kidney failure

      Pyometra (infection of the uterus)

      Hypercalcemia, a condition of excessively high calcium levels in the blood

      Liver failure

      Hyperadrenocorticism, also called Cushing's disease, a condition of overactive adrenal glands

      Pyelonephritis, an infection of the kidneys

      Hypokalemia (low potassium levels in the blood)

      Hypoadrenocorticism, also called Addison's disease, a condition of underactive adrenal glands

      Hyperthyroidism (excessive thyroid activity)

      Acromegaly (excessive production of growth hormone)

      Psychogenic polydipsia (excessive drinking due to psychological reasons, such as a change in the pet's environment

      I'd definitely talk to the vet about other forms of treatment, such as:

      Treatment In-depth

      Desmopressin acetate (also called DDAVP) is a synthetic form of the hormone ADH. It is the standard therapy for central DI. It comes in two forms: injection and nasal drops. The nasal spray can be transferred to a sterile eye dropper bottle and applied to the eye if the dog won't tolerate nasal drops. One to four drops administered once or twice a day usually controls the clinical signs. (which you are currently using)

      Chlorpropamide may reduce urine output in some dogs, although results can be inconsistent. Severe forms of central DI often don't respond.

      Thiazide diuretics – while it may seem paradoxical to give a dog with DI a diuretic to increase urine output, the net result is usually a reduction in overall urine output.

      Salt restriction has a net effect of reducing urine output, and may be used sometimes as the sole therapy for central DI.

      Good luck.

  16. QUESTION:
    I have a dog with re-occuring yeast infections please help?
    I have a Labrador Retriever that is about 3 years old, and hes on his 4th yeast infection within the last 6 months. Poor baby :( I have been back and forth to the vet getting antibiotics, antifungal meds and prednisone.The vet has done thyroid tests (came back normal), and skin samples to ensure it is not any kind of mite etc. I have tried changing his food multiple times, but nothing seems to work. He gets treated and gets better then within a few weeks gets it right back again :(. I have inquired about the new "allergy test" that is VERY expensive 500.00, and have friends that have had it done with a non-conclusive result. I am wondering if anyone out there has any good advice for me? I am looking for a good food that will not trigger a yeast infection. One I am looking at is by IAMS and says its for "sensitive systems". I am almost at the point where I may just feed him a diet of chicken and rice, its a lot of work but if it helps Oliver its worth it. Thanks in advance!!

    • ANSWER:
      Steroids are very dangerous and do not cure anything, they just mask the symptoms temporarily but the underlying cause remains. In your case, they may even be the cause of your dog's skin problems.

      As Dr. Karen Becker, DVM states - "Steroids (also called prednisone, cortisone or the nondescript “allergy shot”) are the least optimal treatment choice, as they work by suppressing your pet’s immune system. Not only can steroids have a negative effect on your pet’s liver, adrenal glands and kidneys, but suppressing your pet’s immune system with steroids also allows for opportunistic yeast and bacteria to grow on your pet’s skin..." Please read the information below: 'Steroids The Great Pretender - Even Low Steroid Doses Can Be Trouble'.
      http://www.shirleys-wellness-cafe.com/steroids.htm

      Many vets assume that pet owners just want to see their pets get better at all cost or if they are not sure about what the problem is they will prescribe steroids knowing the risks.

      If you want to get your dog cured for good, stop the steroids and try the following remedy. For any skin infection (bacterial or fungal) such as the ones commonly caused by the use of steroids like prednisone, cortisone or the allergy shot or any secondary infections caused by scratching, I recommend a powder called 'Flowers of Sulfur' (also known as 'brimstone' or 'sublime sulfur').

      This substance has been used for thousands of years to cure all kinds of skin ailments including fungal and bacterial infections and if there is itching, it will stop it very quickly. Google it to learn more about its healing properties.

      Even vets have forgotten about this wonderful and inexpensive remedy but fortunately you can still purchase it at your local pharmacy for very little money. You can also buy it online at http://www.pennherb.com/search?mp=s&se=Flowers+of+Sulphur+Powder

      Flowers of sulfur is safe to apply to your pet's skin but take care not to inhale sulfur powder.

      You can dust this powder on your dog's skin OR mix it with an oil to rub on the skin. I prefer the latter.

      The dusting can easily be accomplished if you use a powdered sugar duster or an empty talcum powder bottle. Separate the hair as you go around dusting to expose the skin until you have covered it.

      Alternatively, mix 2 tablespoons of flower of sulfur with 1 cup of Jojoba oil and put it in a bottle. Always shake to mix well before applying to the skin as it tends to separate. You do not need to wear gloves as it is not toxic to humans either.

  17. QUESTION:
    Which Dachshund is better (that has the least amount of shedding)?
    I am curious to know if the long hair dachshunds shed more than short hair because I think they look a little cuter. And I've heard they have back problems, at what age do they develop these problems and are they serious? If they're back problems are serious can you tell me how can I prevent back injuries and are they're back injuries genetic?

    • ANSWER:
      Some people think that the long-haired doxies will shed and be harder to keep looking nice and there will be grooming expenses.

      The longhairs grow an undercoat for winter and it does shed out in the spring. just use a wire grooming brush. brush against the fur and the undercoat comes out as the result of about three baths. It is a little deal.

      You do not have to have a longhair professionally groomed--ever.

      As with the shorthairs, keep the ears clean and they will not smell.

      Fleas love a longhair doxie, but the new treatments, like Advantage, take care of the fleas just fine.

      So, they are easy to care for; they don't shed .

      As for the the Health of a Dachshund The breed is known to have spinal problems, especially intervertebral disk disease (IVDD), due in part to an extremely long spinal column and short rib cage. The risk of injury can be worsened by obesity, which places greater strain on the vertebrae. In order to prevent injury, it is recommended that dachshunds be discouraged from jumping (something many seem to enjoy doing anyway) and taking stairs, and encouraged to instead take the elevator (though some veterinarians say that slow stair-climbing is unlikely to lead to injury). However, according to the same article above, dachshunds that climb stairs regularly may actually be less problematic probably because the exercise helps to keep them fitter and healthier, and positive correlations were found between physically fit dogs and a lower incidence of IVDD. Hence the importance of keeping the dog at a good body weight. Holding the dog properly is also important, with both front and rear portions level. Under no circumstances should a dachshund be exposed to rough play or handling, as their spines may not tolerate such treatment.

      As it has become increasingly apparent that the occurrence and severity of these spinal problems, or intervertebral disk disease, is largely hereditary, responsible breeders are working to eliminate this characteristic in the breed. Treatment consists of various combinations of crate confinement and courses of anti-inflammatory medications (steroids and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like carprofen and meloxicam). Serious cases may require surgery to remove the troublesome disk contents. Others may need the aid of cart to get around if paralysis occurs.

      A new minimally-invasive procedure called "percutaneous laser disk ablation" has been developed at the Oklahoma State University Veterinary Hospital. Originally, the procedure was used in clinical trials only on dachshunds that had suffered previous back incidents. Since dachshunds are the poster children of dogs with back issues, the goal is to expand this treatment to dogs in a normal population.

      In addition to back problems, the breed is also prone to patellar luxation.

      Some double dapples have problems with deafness and blindness. Therefore they need an owner who understands a disabled dog's special needs.

      Other health problems include hereditary epilepsy, granulomatous meningoencephalitis, dental issues, Cushings disease, thyroid problems, various allergies and atopies, and various eye conditions (cataracts, glaucoma, progressive retinal atrophy, corneal ulcers, nonucerative corneal disease, sudden acquired retinal degeneration, cherry eye, etc.). It is important to buy from breeders who can guarantee that their stock are free from these genetic problems and whose dogs have been certified for eyes (esp in miniatures).

      It is important to follow a good dental health regime, including an annual cleaning if possible.

  18. QUESTION:
    When picking out a new puppy what should I look for to pick a healthy dog?

    • ANSWER:
      The dog should have a clean, shiny coat, free from rashes, bald spots, or potential parasites, like fleas and ticks.
      The dog should be in the normal weight range for this breed or mixture of dog.
      The dog should be sturdy on its feet and not limping.
      The dog should be playful and happy, not overly aggressive, or overly lethargic.
      The dog should have bright, clear, open eyes. There should be no signs of bloodshot, discharge, squinting or rubbing.

      Some telltale signs that there might be a problem include:

      Thick, colored mucus drainage.
      Licking of the genital area
      Coughing
      Vomiting
      Watery diarrhea
      Excessive hair loss

      I also advise you to do:
      Learn a little about the ailments that can affect dogs, and the ones most common in your choice of breed. This one is admittedly hard. It's hard to find information about non-genetically linked diseases, and many reported incidences of disease can be skewed by statistcs and alarmists. Learn what you can. Take what you learn with several grains of salt, and make sure you get a good guarantee (more on guarantees in a minute).
      Meet the parents. Of all the things I can do when buying a puppy, missing this one is a sure deal breaker. Not only will you learn a lot about temperment of the dogs and the breeder when you see how she interacts with the male and female dogs, but you can visually look at appearant health. Ask the breeder to show you their teeth, ask about dental issues, abcesses, fast tarter buildup, lost teeth, extractions etc. (especially important in small breeds). Is there any fur loss on the parents? Untreated thyroid problems, mange and more can result in fur loss. Are they in good condition? Grossly fat or super skinny? Give the bitch a little leniency here, weight fluctuations (both high and low) are common as a result of pregnancy and nursing, just like humans. But the breeder should be able to tell you if weight anomilies are due to the puppies.

      If the parents are sniffing and sneezing, that is a warning sign.
      Ask if the parents are on any medications or supplements or have ever been. It's fair to ask about every vet treatment, but realize you may not get a forthright answer.

      Vaccinations and worming. There are almost as many vaccination schedules as there are breeders. None are particularly right or wrong. In general, the bigger the breeders kennel, the more vaccinations the puppy will have had, while a holistic breeder may not have vaccinated at all. Be aware that an unvaccinated pup is more at risk of contracting some particularly nasty diseases and it may result in high vet bills or even the loss of the pup. Most breeders worm puppies at about 4 weeks, but worms are definitely something your vet will test for when you take the pup for it's first checkup.
      Inbreeding? One word. Run. A LOT of breeders inbreed, and they will tell you it is okay because they know their lines and there are no bad genes. Even if this were possibly true, inbreeding always doubles up the genes in the part of the body that controls the immune system. This doubling up weakens the immune system.

      Testing for genetic disease. There is a reason this is number 9. The most common screened for "genetic disease" is hip dysplasia. HD is only 30-40% genetic. Remember that just because both the sire and dam receive favorable ratings means nothing to the puppies. If you are considering a breed where HD is a serious problem, insist on seeing the screening results of all the sire's and dam's siblings, parents, aunts, uncles and grandparents, great aunts and great uncles. You want to see a overwhelming majority of good results in ALL those to gain any comfort that your puppy will be free of HD.

      If all a breeder can offer is screening results for the parents and a few relations, that is virtually irrelevent. Make your decision to buy on other factors, and make sure you get a good contract.

      Consider other genetic screening results in relation to the frequency of the disease in the breed, and it's treatability.

  19. QUESTION:
    My dogs fur is thinning. Can anyone tell me why?
    I have a 9 yr. old Black Lab/Shar pei mix male. His fur is thinning, he has flaky skin very bad and keeps biting and scratching at certain spots on his body. It almost looks like Mange, but he was non-responsive to treatment. Can anyone help?

    • ANSWER:
      It may be allergies, but I would have his thyroid checked. Low thyroid can cause thinning fur.
      http://www.vetmed.wsu.edu/cliented/hypothyroidism.aspx

  20. QUESTION:
    Has anyone's dog been diagnosed with anemia?
    My golden retriever mix was just diagnosed with anemia. Does anyone know anything about anemia in dogs? He's starting steroids today, but may need a blood transfusion in the future. Does anyone know a good dog medical web site? I want to check out this treatment & prognosis. I DO NOT want him to suffer & wonder about his quality of life. I just feel awful. Thanks!

    • ANSWER:
      I had a dog with idiopathic hemolytic anemia.She was suddenly stricken the day after Thanksgiving.This was about 25 years ago. Her gums were completely white and she could not stand up.We rushed her to the vet and they did a PCV,which was an unbelievably low 5! They asked us to bring another of our dogs in ( her sister) so that could give her a blood transfusion.We did,and they gave her blood and started her on Winstrol V and Amoxicillin.She stabilized and was sent home.I had to feed her raw liver every day and she did not like it,so I had to puree it and force feed her with a spoon.She was put on Pet Tabs Plus and Canine Red Cell.Still,she had to have a blood transfusion every 4-6 weeks from one of her three sisters.This went on for nearly a year,and we almost lost her a few times. Finally,she started to show signs of improvement,and her PCV slowly climbed,but it was never normal.We were finally able to stop the blood transfusions and Winstrol,and Farfel lived happily for another 4 years before succumbing to kidney failure. It cost us a pretty penny even back then.The vet never did figure out what caused the anemia.He said it may have been from a virus,a toxin,or even a reaction to her thyroid medication or a vaccination.I wish you good luck with your dog.Don't give up just yet!

  21. QUESTION:
    my pug puppy had red spot all over the body?
    and burr (hair) is dropping seriously due to this) and i had took him to vet this afternoon but the doctor only give him antibiotic for 10 days and nothing to stop the itchiness. Doctor suspect is due to change of pet foods but they want me to wait until my put puppy finish the medician in 10 days time. Should i get 2nd opinion from others vet ?

    • ANSWER:
      If it looks like this, it's called a "hot spot". Most skin infections are due to staph bacteria entering the blood stream due to a break in the skin and a lowered immune system. All people and dogs have staph on their skin, but with a healthy immune system, the white blood cells fight off the infection. The immune system can become weak due to several different things, but in dogs it's usually due to allergies (food the most common) or a condition called Hypothyroidism (do a google search for more info on this along with symptoms and treatment). It's treated by a dose of antibiotics for a 10 day period, and sometimes also a prednisone shot or medication.
      Make sure the dog food does NOT have any corn, wheat, soy, or by-products and this should take care of any possible food allergy. If the dog still breaks out ask your vet to test for Hypothyroidism, a simple blood test, but to make sure the blood is sent either to Michigan State (all vets have the address) or to Dr. Jean Dodds, the research thyroid expert for evaluation. A simple T3 and/or T4 is not enough to test (few local labs go any further than this) and Dr. Dodds suggests treating a low normal reading for at least 8 weeks and then test again. None of this costs a whole lot, and it's well worth it if the skin problem is cured.

  22. QUESTION:
    How to handle Symmetrical Lupoid Onychodystrophy in dogs?

    • ANSWER:
      What's wrong with his feet??
      By Suzanne Stack, DVM
      By far, in greyhounds, the most common reason for multiple nail loss from multiple feet is pemphigus - aka symmetrical lupoid onchodystrophy (SLO). In pemphigus/SLO, the nails separate at the base and come off. You may see normal looking nails and more blood upon losing a nail in newer cases and less blood and "funky nails" in more chronic cases. The nails that regrow are stumpy, crumbly and misshapen.

      Pemphigus/SLO as it occurs in the greyhound involves the nails only, there are no other systemic signs — though there may certainly be a poor appetite and/or lethargy associated with the chronic pain. All of the greyhound specific texts and articles I've ever read refer to this autoimmune condition as "pemphigus." These sources include "Care of the Racing Greyhound" (Blythe, Gannon, Craig), "Canine Sports Medicine & Surgery" (Bloomberg, Dee, Taylor), and "The Racing Greyhound - Management, Medicine & Surgery" (Herron, Gannon). On the other hand, a biopsy submitted to any commercial lab will be given the diagnosis of "SLO." Properly, as one of the IDEXX pathologists explained it to me, SLO involves nails and so is the correct histopathological diagnosis, whereas pemphigus involves footpads and interdigital skin. So "pemphigus" vs. "SLO" is unimportant and a matter of semantics — we are talking about the same clinical syndrome. Those of us who learned our learnings from greyhound texts and authors call it pemphigus, while those newly discovering it may call it SLO. While toenail pemphigus/SLO is an oddball diagnosis in other breeds, it should go straight to the top of the list in greyhounds experiencing multiple nail loss.

      While it is, of course, possible to get secondary infections in unhealthy pemphigus nails, you cannot resolve the problem without treating the underlying autoimmune disorder. Too many people spend too much time and money treating pemphigus as a "fungal" (the #1 misdiagnosis) or "bacterial" infection with foot soaks, topicals, and expensive oral medications. Common sense will tell you that culturing a nail as a means of diagnosis is quite likely to yield any number of cooties as greyhounds use their nails to walk across the (unsterile) ground.

      Unfortunately, the only way to definitively diagnose pemphigus/SLO is by amputating the whole P3 (end toe bone, including nail, just as you declaw a cat). A pathologist can make the diagnosis only by observing the skin/nail junction. The appearance/course of pemphigus in greyhounds is so classic that I feel it's a real waste of time/money, not to mention unnecessary pain and disfigurement for the poor greyhound, to go through this in the name of proving a diagnosis.

      The preferred treatment, as outlined in "Care of the Racing Greyhound", is the following:

      7.5 mg prednisone & 4 mg chlorphenerimine every 12 hrs for 5 days, then
      5 mg prednisone & 2 mg chlorphenerimine every 12 hrs for 10 days, then
      7.5 mg prednisone ONCE DAILY & 4 mg chlorphenerimine every 12 hrs for 10 days, then
      5 mg prednisone EVERY OTHER DAY, and
      2 mg chlorphenerimine every 12 hrs for at least 2 years
      Once healthy nails have regrown, it may be possible to wean the dog off of prednisone entirely. Though it takes 4-5 months for new nails to regrow, often there is a dramatic improvement in comfort within the first few weeks of treatment. My experience has been that the sooner you get on top of these, the better the chance for regrowth of normal nails. Chronic untreated pemphigus greyhounds will always have crumbly stumpy nails, but at least treatment even at that point will stop them from continuing to lose nails. It is also worth checking thyroid levels and supplementing greyhounds that are unequivocally low.

      There are alternative treatments using a niacinamide (NOT niacin)/tetracycline combination and DermCaps (vitamin E/Omega fatty acid supplement). Worth a try if prednisone scares you, perhaps, but hasn't worked in my experience. Do remember that because nails take a long time to grow, you may waste 4-5 months this route waiting for results that don't happen. Meanwhile, doing the greyhound no favors by withholding prednisone, which is the cornerstone of all autoimmune disease treatment. Please remember that we are talking about a maximum of 15 mg prednisone daily for the first week, tapering to 5 mg every other day for long-term — your basic chihuahua pred dose.

  23. QUESTION:
    What's the cost of a pup labrador?
    I have a low budget. please suggest some shops in NOIDA.

    • ANSWER:
      You could try Labrador rescue for your area or a local shelter. There is usually an adoption fee.

      If you are on a low budget then consider how you will pay for vets bills (which can be very large, cancer, thyroid, long term illness ect)

      Canine insurance is one good way, putting money aside each month, or knowing that should the dog require veterinary treatment, you would always be able to afford it.

  24. QUESTION:
    I have an 11 1/2 year old toy fox terrier who has been plagued by chronic ear infections and skin allergies?
    This has been going on for many, many, years! I have taken her to specialists, checked her for allergies, been on numerous medications (antifungal and antibiotics - you name it!) bought special shampoos, creams, ointments, ear cleansing solutions, natural, apple cider vinegar treatments, boric acid washes, and the list goes on. Her current vet thinks she is hypothyroid - looking back over records from a specialist I took her to in British Columbia Canada (we live in the states) her T4 was 9.5. My understanding is the normal range is 13-44 proving she does have low thyroid levels!! The specialist did not even mention this to me, instead wanted more expensive and elaborate tests!! Sorry for the long spill but I hate to see that my precious pet has suffered because of this so called specialist!!! My question-does anyone else have a dog diagnoised with hypothyroid? How did they respond to the medication and are there side effects?
    Does anyone have a dog with similiar symptoms especially the chronic ear/skin infections? After taking meds for hypothyroid did the symptoms clear up? Is your dog much happier and energetic?
    Vet prescribed soloxin .05 twice a day. He halved the regularly prescribed dose because of her age.
    Hoping this will help her and not cause any medication side effects. I'm a little OCD about medication for my little dog! :)

    • ANSWER:
      consider Canidae dry dog food, all life stages, for your dog to possibly eliminate the skin allergies....many yahoo answer people have said that their dogs had skin problems and other maladies that seemed to DISAPPEAR after switching to Canidae dry dog food, all life stages, which is an ALL NATURAL, NO BY-PRODUCTS, NO GRAINS OR FILLERS, ALL HUMAN GRADE INGREDIENTS, NO BEET PULP OR SALT, AND IS REASONABLY PRICED AND AFFORDABLE !!...IN MY OPINION, THE BEST DRY DOG FOOD, AVAILABLE ANYWHERE, ALL USA INGREDIENTS, MADE IN THE USA, WITH A MONEY BACK GURANTEE IF UNHAPPY !!.....check it out at Canidae.com for more information, and a list of dealers by Zip code.....MANY BREEDERS RECOMMEND CANIDAE, AND MANY YAHOO ANSWER PEOPLE SWEAR BY CANIDAE, AND HAVE USED IT FOR MANY YEARS WITH GREAT SUCCESS AND SATISFACTION !!..try it, what have you got to lose, and maybe your dog's skin allergies will disappear !!???...good luck to y'all !!!

  25. QUESTION:
    help my dog has red sores on his body?
    He is a stray mutt maybe 3 years old dalmation mix. Has sores on his legs and his crotch is swollen. I give him benadryl daily and changed his diet for months per my veterinarians advice.

    • ANSWER:
      Sounds like hot spots, and if so allergies and Hypothyroidism can cause them. Make sure your dog food has NO corn, wheat, soy, or by-products, and leave out chicken also. If the spots don't clear up and stay away permanently, then have your vet run a thyroid panel (simple blood test) and send the blood to Michigan State (vets all have the address) for a full analysis. If the results come back as low normal, treat your dog and call Dr. Jean Dodds at 1-310 828 4804 for her recommendation as to amount of soloxine to use for treatment. She's the number one thryoid expert in the country and her consult phone call is free.

  26. QUESTION:
    Should I give up on agility?
    my dog is way too slow, she doesn't want to go faster than a trot over jumps or over anything. when we practice running in a circle she only wants to trot. Should I give up on it, or is there a way to make her be more energized? Maybe her food isn't a good kind she sleeps most of the day and all night too. Thanks for the help.
    she's almost two and a king charles spaniel and female

    • ANSWER:
      I agree with Bobbie L. Have a FULL thyroid panel run. My vet did the test on my sheltie, and it came back low normal. I then had it redone with a vet that understands performance dogs. We sent it to MI State Univ. Turns out, she has a thyroid problem. She actually has an autoimmune disease that attacks her Thyroid. Before treatment, she trotted, once in a while ran, or just left the ring. We have been treating her since Jan for hypothyroid. She is now only 16 Q's from her C-ATCH in CPE agility. She is a different dog. I can barely keep up with her. Doesn't hurt to rule it out.

      Otherwise, better treats, more movivation. Don't correct something if your dog misses it. There are a lot of things you can try to help motivate the dog. There is a special issue of Clean Run, just for motivation. Gives a lot of good advice.

  27. QUESTION:
    Stroke, heart attack or vestibular disease in my 17 year old cat?
    About 3 1/2 days ago my elderly cat, Circe, had a very disturbing episode. Initial thoughts from the vet (when I phoned) were that it sounded like vestibular disease. She woke up in the afternoon & was acting like a drunk - extremely wobbly, barely able to stay upright though she did walk (after a fashion) and kept rearing up on hind legs, twisting & falling on her back. It was absolutely horrible to watch.

    Took her to the vet that night. About 3 hours after it first began she appeared slightly better with a little more control.

    Blood tests were done & were inconclusive. Nothing obvious showing other than what would be expected for a cat with Renal failure. The vet who saw her ruled out Vestibular disease due to the lack of the generally associated eye movements.

    We already know she has a heart murmur & probably has somewhat overactive thyroid. I opted not to do the thyroid test (and other tests) because it didn't lead to any useable treatments, given her advanced Chronic Renal Failure.

    The vet prescribed Fortekor.

    She continues to improve & is almost back to normal. The head tilt disappeared fairly quickly. I would love to have some idea of what really happened, so if anyone has any experience of anything similar or could shed some light on the matter, please answer this question.
    Thank you both. I've now done a little reading & found some videos on strokes in cats & it seems very likely that was the cause.

    I've known ever since the renal problems developed that her time remaining was limited & her quality of life is extremely important to me. She still eats, drinks, grooms & uses the litter tray & shows no sign of stiffness or pain as she gets around. Her jumping capability has decreased over the last few months but that is not unexpected in a cat nearing the end of life. The vet also said she had cataracts in both eyes but she can still see enough to get around confidently.
    I just remembered, at the vet visit she had little or no response to the (I think it was called) "threat" test - where you move a finger quickly toward the eye. She is now responding to that.

    Kristy, I'll take my time taking in all your information and, if you don't mind, may wish to ask some further questions. I understood that the potentially overactive thyroi
    Oops, YA had a hiccup when I posted the additional information. Here is the full last paragraph.

    Kristy, I'll take my time taking in all your information and, if you don't mind, may wish to ask some further questions. I understood that the potentially overactive thyroid, in masking the renal problems, actually benefited the cat by increasing the renal function, and treating it could make
    the kidney function worse. Is that the case?

    • ANSWER:
      A stroke, i think. A seizure would take much quicker to get over. There could be a chance of a brain tumor too.I think you should to thyroid bloodwork. You can easily treat for that, not cure, just maintain proper levels with dialy meds. She could become pretty miserable, meanwhile it is something easily dealt with. My 19 yr old cat has been on thyroid meds for a year, methimazole. The previous blood work should not be inconclusive, that means there may or may not be an issue, there is uncertainty. Bloodwork shows either the pet is outside of normal levels or wnl, within normal levels. Everything is on a numbers scale. Bad thyroid levels can also mask kidney levels and make them appear better than they are. At this point you are not trying to fix your cat, just keep her comfortable. If her quality of life is no there you may want to consider euthanasia if she gets to the point of eating very little. Again, I think you should reconsider doing thyroid bloodwork. There is a chance the lab still has the blood and may be able to do an add on test so you dont have to bring the cat back in. My cat has low renal failure, hyperthyroid and bad arthritis. At her age, I treat the thyroid issue and give her joint meds and pain meds. Instead of making her eat the kidney food, which she hates, at her age I let her eat whatever she wants. Even kitten food because its low in carbs and the protein is better for her because she has lost alot of muscle mass, although high protein may contradict kidney issues. Good luck, just get prepared, your kitty is old and you have to make some decisions at some point. I dont know any cats on fortekor (benazapril), just dogs at my vet.

  28. QUESTION:
    I am looking for free or low cost pet care for my cat in the Los Angeles Ca. area,?
    I am not able to work at this time and I need to get some medical care for my cat, he was a stray and has an eye problem and his ears are bothering him, he also needs to get his vaccinations, he had a broken leg when I got him and was very undernourished. I would really appreciate whatever help you may be able to give me. I am over 60 and alone and he is my companion, I love him very much. God Bless, and thank you.

    • ANSWER:
      Hi Daisy...consider contacting some of the area shelters in LA and ask them who offers discounted veterinary care for senior citizens.

      Here's one for vaccinations: http://www.pets90210.org/petinfo_shelter.asp
      Vaccinations - Low-cost vaccination clinics are offered year-round at locations throughout the City. Clinics provide inoculations against rabies and other dog and cat diseases. For 24-hour information, call (213) 89-8566.

      American Animal Hospital Association
      http://www.aahahelpingpets.org/home/
      "The heartbreak happens all too often…a pet owner is unable to afford treatment and their sick or injured companion animal pays the price. If the owner is elderly, disabled or on a fixed income, the cost of care may be too much of a stretch for their pocketbook.
      Perhaps they have been victimized by crime, property loss or a job layoff and are experiencing a temporary financial hardship…making it too difficult to afford pet care.
      And some animals, brought to clinics by Good Samaritans, don't have an owner to pay for treatment. Whatever the situation, the fact remains the same: When sick or injured animals are unable to receive veterinary care, they suffer. Through the AAHA Helping Pets Fund, veterinary care is possible for sick or injured pets even if they have been abandoned or if their owner is experiencing financial hardship."

      Angels 4 Animals
      http://www.angels4animals.org/
      "Angels4Animals, a non-profit organization and a program of Inner Voice Community Services, has a mission to serve as the guardian angel of animals whose caretakers find themselves in difficult financial situations. At Angels4Animals we believe that animal owners should not have to say goodbye to the animals that they love. Our work is accomplished in conjunction with veterinary clinics across the country, eager to assist as many animals, and their owners, as possible. Our services range from financial aid to complete treatment to those pets and pet owners in need."

      Los Angeles area:
      Actors and Others for Animals is a Southern California community-based organization serving the greater Los Angeles area. Among other services, the organization provides financial assistance for emergency medical procedures for those of limited income.
      http://www.actorsandothers.com/emergencyhelp.html

      Special Needs cats
      Cats in Crisis:
      http://www.catsincrisis.org/crisisFund.html

      Cats - Heart and Thyroid
      Cats in Crisis Stripes Fund
      http://www.catsincrisis.org/stripesFund.html

      Cats – Neurological conditions and mobility impairments
      Cats in Crisis Gillie Fund
      http://www.catsincrisis.org/gillieFund.html

      United Animal Nations established the LifeLine fund in 1997 to aid companion animals in times of life-threatening emergencies when their caregivers, with low or no incomes, are unable to afford the entire cost of treatment.
      http://uan.org/lifeline/index.html
      United Animal Nations
      P.O. Box 188890
      Sacramento, California 95818
      Telephone: (916) 429 2457 fax: (916) 429 2456

      Help-A-Pet is a nonprofit organization which provides financial assistance for the medical care of pets whose owners are unable to afford the expense
      http://www.help-a-pet.org/home.html
      Help-A-Pet
      P. O. Box 244
      Hinsdale, Illinois 60521
      telephone: (630) 986-9504 fax: (630) 986-9141

      Feline Veterinary Emergency Assistance Programs provides financial assistance for emergency medical care for cats.
      http://www.fveap.org/sys-tmpl/door/
      FVEAP
      1641 Elizabeth Lane
      Yuba City, CA 95993
      Fax: 888-301-4264

  29. QUESTION:
    how can i cure pyoderma for my dig and make sure it never comes back?
    shes a 3 year olde red doberman and shes had i for about 2 years and the vet gave antibiotics but it comes back

    • ANSWER:
      Your vet need to give her stronger antibiotics or topical antimicrobial therapy

      You also need to find out if its fleas causing this or something else

      Cause of/Risk factors for Pyoderma
      Parasites, such as fleas or mange mites
      Allergies, such as flea, food, contact, or hereditary allergies
      Hormonal disorders, such as hypothyroidism (low production of thyroid hormone by the thyroid gland)
      Inadequate immune system, such as in young animals or those taking steroids
      Animals with short coats, skin folds, or calloused skin
      Trauma from grooming, scratching, or rooting in dirt or garbage
      The German shepherd dog has a deep pyoderma that may respond to treatment only partially and frequently recurs

  30. QUESTION:
    my dog was diagnosed with hypothyroidism i got her level recheck today and it came as high, the doctor said?
    she is find and to keep her still on her half levothyroxine tablet. but my question is wasnt it supposed to come normal not high?
    OK THE INVOICE JUST SAYS THRYOID LEVELS = HIGH..
    but the vet said her levels where good
    OMG OK HER TABLETS HAVE ALWAYS BEEN HALF TABLET TWICE DAYLY HE SAID TO CONTINUE WITH IT

    • ANSWER:
      Well hypothyroidism means low levels of thyroid hormones.
      Treatment for hypothyroidism is to get synthetic thyroid hormones. They may have perscribed too much so they just have to lower the dosage.

  31. QUESTION:
    I am scheduled for a thyroid ablation. what should i expect and what are the side effects.?

    • ANSWER:
      Hi, it is hard to answer without knowing if you have already had your thyroid removed surgically, and this is for cancer or if it is a treatment for graves....and it is to kill off the thyroid and it is still intact. I can only address the first. I had thryoid cancer, had it removed and had 50mCi for my radiation. I had a pill, some people have a liquid. I went on a low iodine diet so that my thyroid would be starved for the radioactive iodine and then it would be better absorbed. They gave me the pill and let me walk out the door....the first person I saw was someone pregnant, and I just about ran the other way....as when we are radioactive (expecially the first three days,) we need to stay away from pregnant ladies and children...then I went home to remain isolated with a separate bathroom and bedroom for a week. I went downstairs and sat across the room from my husband to watch tv after a few days, and I walked my dog, because he was on a long leash..It took me a while to feel better because I was not offered cytomel (a fast acting synthroid) and I had to wait the 6 weeks for my synthroid to be fully absorbed. some people now can do it using thyrogen and never have to go through hypo hell...
      rather than go into more details I will refer you to two sites below that you can get all the info you need....good luck and good health.

  32. QUESTION:
    Slipped disk in my dog?
    I just came from the vet and found out my dog has a slipped disc. They told me to kennel him for 4-6 weeks and told me to give him Prednisone and tramadole for pain. Has anyone had this problem with their dog? and what was the prognosis?

    • ANSWER:
      My little schnauzer blew her back several times during the 8 years we had her. She did very well with treatment similar to what you're describing. We did the crate rest, and pred, she didn't get the tramadole, and she did fine. Hers was caused by the fact that she had been a kennel dog the first 7 years of her life, and also was low thyroid. We fixed the thyroid issue, gave her lots of area to play in, and she wasn't physically in shape for that sort of activity. :O( Anyway, after the initial one, I think she did it 3 or 4 more times, a bad hop off of furniture or some such thing....but she responded to treatment each time and did very well.

  33. QUESTION:
    Low thyroid treatment?
    9 yr old Golden Retriever on Soloxine for 1 month and while his energy level has improved his skin issues have gotten worse. He is practically bald on his sides and legs with dry patches and now his skin is peeling off in spots like when people get sunburn.. He eats home cooked beef,rice and veggies plus a fatty acid supplement. Just wondering if I'm being impatient waiting for the treatment to work or if it's not working the way it should. We go to the vet on Friday but looking for some insight.
    Thanks!

    • ANSWER:
      Whenever a dog starts a thyroid hormone supplement you need to do at least one, more often two or three followup checks for T4 or TGAA levels in the blood. This is because the free thyroid hormone fluctuates widely in healthy dogs throughout the day. If your dog is on any other meds sometimes these can influence the tsh levels, so doing a meds review with your vet is important before going forward with the thyroid diagnosis. Hair loss is common with low thyroid in the dogs (50% of the time) and takes 4-6 months to fill back in after treatment is started. I Hope your dog does well.

  34. QUESTION:
    side effects of phenobarbitol and bromide?
    My 12 yr old golden started having seizures 5 days ago. My vet checked her blood for 'causes', nothing abnormal showed up andshe said the cause of the seizures are very difficult to diagnose and it doesn't mean that Nikki has a brain tumour.
    She put her on phenobarbital and has not had a seizure since.
    Yesterday she also added Bromide....since taking the 2nd medication Nikki is having tremendous problems standing up.
    Once she gets going she is fine walking although very wobily at times. I've researched side effects on the web and this is a very
    common side effect...I would just like to hear from someone who has experienced this as well....perhaps the dose should be lowered? Many thanks, Bella

    • ANSWER:
      Side effects of phenobarbital

      Hepatotoxicity

      It is well known that phenobarbital will induce increases in liver enzyme activities (SAP, ALT) in most dogs (but interestingly, not in cats). Overt hepatic failure, with jaundice, cirrhosis, and encephalopathy, is less common (Dayrell-Hart et al., 1991). The mechanism of this hepatic failure is unclear, but it is likely to be a dose- and duration-dependent toxicity with modulating factors, rather than a true drug allergy involving an antibody response. Some dogs show resolution of clinical signs with only a dose reduction, not an absolute discontinuation, of phenobarbital (Dayrell-Hart et al., 1991). It is advisable to perform bile acids every six to 12 months in dogs treated with phenobarbital, or sooner if SAP or ALT activities are greater than three times the upper range of normal, if albumin or bilirubin become abnormal, or if sedation occurs without a dosage increase in phenobarbital. In our recent study of epileptic dogs treated with bromide and phenobarbital (Trepanier et al., 1998), the initiation of bromide and subsequent reduction in the dosage of phenobarbital was associated with a reduction in abnormal liver enzyme activities and/or bile acids in all of those dogs for which liver enzyme activities were measured.

      Altered thyroid testing

      Phenobarbital treatment can alter thyroid testing. Phenobarbital treatment is associated with decreased total serum T4 and decreased free T4 (Kantrowitz et al., 1999; Gieger et al., 2000). This may be due to induced metabolism of T4, increased biliary excretion of T4 due to increased bile flow, or increased peripheral deiodination of T4 to T3 (seen with phenytoin). TSH concentrations may be either normal (Kantrowitz et al., 1999) or increased (Muller et al., 1998). Thus, low free T4 in a dog treated with phenobarbital can lead to a misdiagnosis of hypothyroidism. Low free T4 and total T4 have been shown to normalize by four to six weeks after discontinuation of phenobarbital (Gieger et al., 2000) at which time thyroid testing, along with serum cholesterol levels and clinical evaluation, can be repeated.

      Altered adrenal testing

      Phenobarbital also speeds the clearance of dexamethasone, but should not affect low dose dexamethasone suppression testing in most dogs (Chauvet et al., 1995; Mueller et al., 1998b). Phenobarbital does not affect the ACTH stimulation test, or endogenous ACTH concentrations (Dyer et al., 1994). Dogs that are treated for Cushing’s disease with mitotane (Lysodren) that are also being treated with phenobarbital may require higher loading and maintenance dosages of mitotane (Kintzer and Peterson, 1991). This is most likely due to phenobarbital-induced increases in the elimination of mitotane.

      Hematologic toxicity

      Blood dyscrasias associated with phenobarbital administration appear to be rare. However, phenobarbital (or primidone) has been associated in dogs with thrombocytopenia and neutropenia, with or without anemia, after one to five months of therapy (Inzana, et al., 1998; Jacobs et al., 1998). Neutropenia was severe in some dogs (100–1000 cells/ul) and was associated with fever. Thrombocytopenia ranged from < 10,000 to 149,000 plts/ul. Hematocrits ranged from 14% to 36% in anemic dogs, and were regenerative in two cases. It is difficult to determine from these reports whether the underlying pathogenesis was the same for each case, since some anemias were mild and nonregenerative, and others were severe and suggestive of hemolysis. Possibilities for the underlying mechanism include deranged folate metabolism (seen with phenobarbital in humans), drug-induced immune-mediated disease, or direct marrow toxicity due to toxic drug metabolites. A CBC is indicated in any dog treated with phenobarbital that shows signs of fever, lethargy, pallor, or bruising.

      What side effects of bromide are most common and how should they be managed?

      Lethargy, sedation, ataxia, and hindlimb weakness are quite common with bromide and phenobarbital in combination. These side effects are dose-dependent and usually respond within several days to a 10 to 25% reduction in the dose of phenobarbital. Although a reduction instead in the dose of bromide can also be considered, the goal in most patients is to reach therapeutic serum bromide concentrations and to reduce the dose of phenobarbital over time, so that a dose reduction in phenobarbital is preferred. If lethargy and sedation do not respond within five to seven days to a reduction in the dose of phenobarbital, serum bromide levels should be evaluated. Other side effects of bromide with or without phenobarbital include polyuria, polydipsia, polyphagia with weight gain, and behavior changes. These side effects are a nuisance but are rarely significant enough to require drug discontinuation.

  35. QUESTION:
    my 11year old dog loosing coat ,why is this happening?

    • ANSWER:
      Abnormal hair loss, not just shedding can be caused by stress, allergies, mange, and other parasites More serious conditions such a thyroid imbalance, diabetes, or cancer can also be the cause. Low-quality food can also produce a bad coat. Have your dog checked by the vet to find out if it is a condition that needs treatment.

  36. QUESTION:
    7 yr. old yorkie... losing hair, gaining weight, mood change?
    I have a 7 year old yorkie female who a couple months ago started to gain weight, lose hair and have a personality change. Her coat has no more natural oils and its a complete 180 degree change. The vet said she has low thyroid and she has been on pills but still no change,.... WHAT ELSE COULD IT BE?

    • ANSWER:
      I went through the exact same thing with one of my senior dogs a few years ago. Vets weren't helping. It was my sister and my dog training friends that recognized her symptoms as those of Cushing's disease.
      Cushings is caused by a tumor (usually benign) on the pituitary gland, that causes the adrenals to overproduce. It's symptoms range from symmetrical hair loss to increased appetite/thirst, a pot-bellied look, loss of muscle tone/strength, and a host of other things that often get mistaken for the signs of 'old age'.
      Once I insisted my vet test for Cushing's, we had a positive diagnosis and with treatment my dog improved greatly and had 3 more good years of life (lost her at age 12).

  37. QUESTION:
    Why is my dog's nose is slowly, over time, evolving from black to pink.?
    What causes this?

    • ANSWER:
      Probably snow nose.

      The most common cause of a fading nose is "snow nose," says Grant Nisson, D.V.M., a veterinarian in private practice in West River, Maryland. Vets aren't sure why, but many breeds of dogs will lose pigment from their noses during the cold months. (This rarely occurs in cats.) People once thought that snow nose was caused by bright sunlight reflecting off snow and bleaching the nose white -- or by a combination of cold and trauma, since dogs often use their noses as miniature snow shovels. Vets have found, however, that even dogs living in warm, southern climates may get snow nose, so weather doesn't appear to be a factor.
      There is no proven way to prevent snow nose, although some breeders swear that giving pets vitamin E and kelp will help restore the color. (Your vet can recommend safe amounts.) Vets sometimes advise getting rid of plastic food bowls and replacing them with metal or ceramic bowls since some pets may be allergic to plastic. Finally, your vet may suggest a thyroid test be done. There is no evidence to prove that it is true, but some vets believe that low thyroid levels can cause the nose to lose its color.

      Snow nose isn't the only condition that can cause the nose to fade, although it is the only one in which the color eventually comes back. When a nose goes pale and stays that way, your pet may have vitiligo, a condition in which skin cells lose some of their melanin, or pigment. Pets with vitiligo may turn white on the paws, lips, and fur as well. Vitiligo appears to be a hereditary problem, affecting Doberman pinschers and Rottweilers more than other breeds. It will keep your pet out of the show ring but is otherwise harmless, says Dr. Nisson.

      A more serious condition that can cause the nose to fade is Vogt-Koyanagi-Harada (VKH), or Harada's, syndrome, which occurs only in dogs. Vets suspect that it is caused by an immune system disorder that damages the eyes and the pigment in the skin. It can turn any part of your dog's body white, and without treatment, it can lead to blindness, says Dr. Nisson. Vets often prescribe steroids to pets with this condition, which help keep the immune system from going out of control.

  38. QUESTION:
    Help!! My dog has thyroid problems?
    I have a 9 year old Shiba Inu, who may have thyroid problems..but im not sure..could someone please tell me the syptoms a dog could have if they have a low amount of thyroid..
    also is it common in Shiba inu's?

    Thx Alot :D
    <33
    Also what causes these problems..my dog seems very healthy and is a perfect weight, even slighter on the thinner side...
    I meant slightly not slighter..lol

    • ANSWER:
      Hypothyroidism manifests itself in a number of ways:
      Usually, the first thing noticed is gaining weight, even on lesser amounts of food.
      The coat is usually the next issue: It becomes thin, dull and brittle.
      Occasionally there are skin problems that do not respond to the normal treatments, which include shampoo, conditioners, and hot oil treatments.
      Fortunately, the treatment is simple, and relatively inexpensive. You have to give a thyroid supplement twice a day. (It should be twice a day to keep the thyroid level even throughout the day).
      Many, many breeds are predisposed to hypothyroidism, but an individual dog from any breed can develop it.
      If that's all that's wrong with a nine year old, you've got it made.
      Good luck

  39. QUESTION:
    My Dachshund has Acanthsis Nigricans.How do I treat her?

    • ANSWER:
      The primary form of the disease occurs in dogs less than one year of age. In this form the skin darkens and thickens, seborrhea develops, and secondary infections with bacteria or yeast can occur. It can affect large areas of the body.

      Primary acanthosis nigricans is not treatable, but the condition can be controlled with steroids, melatonin injections, and frequent anti-seborrheic shampoos. This condition is rare and is diagnosed mainly through breed history and biopsy.

      The secondary form of the disease is much more common. The darkening of the skin occurs because of one of three underlying conditions. 1) Friction caused by obesity or conformational abnormalities. 2) Endocrine imbalances including hyperthyroidism, Cushing's disease, or sex hormone imbalances. 3) Hypersensitivities due to food, inhalant (atopy), or contact allergies.

      In addition to blackening of the skin, secondary acanthosis nigricans is often associated with chronic hair loss and/or itching and other skin problems. If an owner sees these skin conditions developing, she should have the dog examined by a veterinarian and the underlying cause of the condition should be identified.

      The treatment for secondary acanthosis nigricans usually consists of treating the underlying condition, e.g., through weight loss, thyroid medication or allergy relief. In more severe cases, steroid therapy at low doses has helped to reduce inflammation in the skin. In addition, Vitamin E supplementation has shown to help in the recovery of some cases. The majority of time the condition will improve once the underlying condition has been identified and properly treated.

  40. QUESTION:
    My dog is sick, and I'm worried?
    The vets think he has Lupus, and since the prednisone has been working, we're pretty sure that's it. But I'm concerned. What exactly does Lupus do?

    If it helps, he's a 10 (almost 11) year old St. Bernard-Golden Retriever mix. Please help!

    • ANSWER:
      Systemic Lupus Erythematosus, also known as Lupus, is a rare autoimmune disease where the blood has unusual antibodies, which attack the tissues of the dog's body. Systemic Lupus Erythematosis causes disease to the skin, kidneys, joints, lungs, nervous system, blood and heart, affecting several organs at once.

      The symptoms of Systemic Lupus Erythematosis are commonly confused with other diseases and can be both sudden and chronic. The symptoms seem to recur in a cycle and they include fever, arthritis in multiple joints, shifting lameness, anemia, oral ulcers, skin lesions, low white blood count, inflammation of the thyroid, hair loss, painful muscles, enlargement of the spleen and the crusting of the skin. More advanced symptoms can be infections and/or failure of the kidney, infections of the blood, and septic arthritis. These symptoms can occur together or separately. Treatment for Systemic Lupus Erythematosis is generally life long and is usually tailored to the individual dog.

      Medicinal treatments are used such as corticosteroids and antibiotics. It is also advised that a dog that is diagnosed with Systemic Lupus Erythematosis should have limited sunlight since the ultraviolet rays can cause flare-ups of the disease.

  41. QUESTION:
    Dog scratching problem?
    My dog tends to scratch behind his ears a lot. I was cutting his hair and I guess I touched a sensitive spot because he yelped. I looked more closely and I found a little spot where it was red and sore. I don't know if its just that he's scratching too much or its a wound? I've been keeping up with the flea and tick drops and I make sure to rinse him thourghly. What could it be?

    • ANSWER:
      I would bet that the yelp was you accidentally cutting your pup, it happens a lot more than you think. Excessive ear scratching can be associated with ear infections - which certain breeds with long ears can be predisposed to, or can be associated with metabolic problems like low thyroid level or over active adrenal gland, or allergies. You doctor can help you out with which tests and treatment. Hope this helps.

  42. QUESTION:
    Is there no cure for thyroid (dogs)?
    Plz help.This is titu from India...My pet is suffering from Thyroid(as said by local doctors),from past 8months!! It is 7 year old pomerian(cross breed).. Its' body extremities are badly becoming sensitive and turning reddish, in such a way that, it cannot move. It became so weak from past one month! Firstly its four paws got badly infected, then the inner part of the both ears...then its lips.. we are using Ofloxacin 0.1% w/w,minoconazole Nitrate I.P 2.0% w/w,Clobetasol Propionate B.P 0.025% w/w, Base q.s lotion,which is a Anti Fungal,Anti Bacterial and Anti Inflammatory. This Lotion is temporarily curing the infected, but in the very next few days...another body extremity (may be ears, lips etc) are getting infected!! Local Doctors say that there is no cure for this!!

    Is there NO CURE? if it cant be wiped off permanently, then, will it atleast be temporarily cured with better medicines than the one which i mentioned above?

    What should i do now?? PLz doctors help me out!!

    • ANSWER:
      Hypothyroidism
      Veterinary & Aquatic Services Department, Drs. Foster & Smith, Inc.

      Hypothyroidism is a common problem in dogs, but rarely occurs in cats. The thyroid gland has a number of different functions, but it is most well known for its role in regulating metabolism. Hypothyroidism is the condition that occurs when not enough thyroid hormone is produced. Hypothyroidism causes a wide variety of symptoms, but is often suspected in dogs that have trouble with weight gain or obesity and suffer from hair loss and skin problems. Hypothyroidism is easy to diagnose with a blood test that checks the level of various thyroid hormones including T3 and T4. Most hypothyroid dogs respond readily to treatment with synthetic thyroid medication such as Soloxine. Many dogs suffer from a low thyroid hormone level for years without treatment. If your dog has chronic recurrent skin problems, she may be suffering from hypothyroidism.
      What causes hypothyroidism?

      Hypothyroidism results from the impaired production and secretion of thyroid hormone. The production of thyroid hormone is influenced by the pituitary gland, the hypothalamus, and the thyroid gland. Although dysfunction anywhere in the complicated hypothalamic-pituitary-thyroid pathway can result in hypothyroidism, more than 95% of all cases occur as a result of destruction of the thyroid gland. About half of the causes of thyroid gland destruction are suspected to be caused by the dog's own immune system killing the cells of the thyroid gland. The other half is caused by atrophy of the thyroid tissue and resultant infiltration of the tissue by fat. The cause for this form of the disease is unknown.

      Who gets hypothyroidism?

      Although the onset of clinical signs is variable, hypothyroidism most commonly develops in middle-aged dogs between the ages of 4 to 10 years. The disorder usually affects mid to large size breeds of dogs, and is rare in toy and miniature breeds of dogs. Breeds that appear to be predisposed to developing the condition include the Golden Retriever, Doberman Pinscher, Irish Setter, Miniature Schnauzer, Dachshund, Cocker Spaniel, and Airedale Terrier. German Shepherds and mixed breeds appear to be at a reduced risk of contracting the disease. There does not appear to be a sex predilection but spayed females appear to develop it more often than intact females.

      What are the symptoms?

      Thyroid hormone is needed for normal cellular metabolic function. A deficiency of thyroid hormone affects the metabolic function of all organ systems. As a result, the symptoms are usually variable and non-specific. There is not a specific symptom that is diagnostic for hypothyroidism. There are, however, several symptoms that when combined together make the veterinarian more suspicious of the likelihood of the animal having the disease. A study on hypothyroid dogs revealed the following information on the variety and frequency of symptoms seen with the disease:

      Clinical Symptoms Percentage of Dogs Showing Symptoms
      Lethargy/mental dullness 70

      Hair loss 65

      Weight gain/obesity 60

      Dry hair coat/excessive shedding 60

      Hyperpigmentation of the skin 25

      Cold intolerance
      15

      Slow heart rate
      10

      High blood cholesterol 80

      Anemia 50

      How is hypothyroidism diagnosed?

      There are several different tests used to diagnose hypothyroidism in the dog. The test chosen will depend on the symptoms and the availability of different tests to your veterinarian.

      Baseline T4 Test: The most common test run is the baseline T4 test. A blood sample is drawn and tested by radioimmunoassay to determine the level of T4 thyroid hormone in the bloodstream. The T4 hormone is produced only in the thyroid gland and dogs with a failure of the thyroid gland will have a lowered level of this hormone. However, there are other conditions that can cause a lowering of T4 so if this screening test is positive for hypothyroidism another more specific test is often done to confirm the diagnosis.

      Baseline T3 Test: Another screening test that can be run is the baseline T3 test. T3 is another form of thyroid hormone found in the bloodstream. This test can be used as a screening test instead of T4. The T3 test is not as accurate in early cases of hypothyroidism and occasionally will be normal when the T4 level is reduced. For these reasons, this test is often used in combination with the T4 test or with the TSH stimulation test.

      TSH Stimulation Test: The TSH stimulation test is the most definitive blood test available for diagnosing hypothyroidism in the dog. If a dog has a low T4 or T3 level, this test may be performed to confirm a diagnosis of hypothyroidism. A small amount of Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) is injected into the vein. After 6 hours, a blood sample is drawn and the T4 level is checked. A dog without thyroid disease that may have other conditions causing a low T4 will have a high T4 level after the TSH injection. A dog with true hypothyroidism will not have an increase in T4 after the injection.

      As mentioned earlier, 95% of thyroid disease is caused by destruction or loss of the thyroid gland function. If hypothyroidism is suspected but not confirmed by these three described tests, then it is possible that the condition may be caused by one of the other 5% of conditions that cause hypothyroidism. To diagnose those problems, one or several of the following tests may be used: TSH stimulation test, serum total reverse T3 concentration (a radioimmunoassay), serum free T4, and serum free T3 concentration.

      How is hypothyroidism treated?

      A hypothyroid dog will need to be on thyroxine for the rest of his life.

      One of the nicest things about this disease is that it is easily treated. Treatment consists of putting the dog on a daily dose of synthetic thyroid hormone called thyroxine (levothyroxine). There are numerous brand names of this drug. The dose and frequency of administration of this drug varies depending on the severity of the disease and the individual response of the animal to the drug. A dog is usually placed on a standard dose for his weight and then blood samples are drawn periodically to check his response and then the dose is adjusted accordingly. Once therapy is started, the dog will need to be on treatment for the rest of his life. Usually after the treatment is started, the majority of the symptoms resolve.

      References and Further Reading

      Bonagura, J. Kirks Current Veterinary Therapy XII. W.B. Saunders Co. Philadelphia, PA; 2000.

      Bonagura, J. Kirk's Current Veterinary Therapy XIII. W.B. Saunders Co. Philadelphia, PA; 1995.

      Ettinger, S. Textbook of Veterinary Internal Medicine. W.B. Saunders Co. Philadelphia, PA; 1989.

  43. QUESTION:
    My dog has lost use of his hind legs?
    He is a beagle mix that we rescued about three years ago. He was already old and he already had some back problems and arthritis in his legs. Actually he walked with his back to one side. But while we had him that straightened out quite a bit but unfortunately we kind of felt sorry for him and he put on a lot of weight while we had him around 17 pounds. He had a low thyroid test come back so he has been on thyroid medicine and also tramadol for pain. So now in the last four months he started losing the ability to walk. He has incontinence problems and we are seeing a problem peeing now as well when we do take him out he has to make a greater effort to pee. We have asked the vet to find out when is the time to put him down but she has been evasive and asked us to take him to a orthopedic specialist. We do not have the money to start a new course of treatment for this animal as we have other animals in the house now that need medical attention too. What should we do? He still drinks and eats anything and everything. He has eye growths and now he wakes up with really goopy eyes as well unless I remember to medicate his eyes. I ust think we are not doing him a favor keeping him around. Anyone with any suggestions?

    • ANSWER:
      I am so sorry, it sounds like you have given him a wonderful life, full of lots of love and health. When they can no longer walk or enjoy anything it's time. It hurts like hell but you have to be there for them when they are sick as well. Here's a passage from the 10 commandments for dog owners. ( Go with me on difficult journeys. NEVER say "I can't bear to watch it" or "Let it happen in my absence" Everything is easier for me if you are there. Above all, remember, that I Love You. ) They depend on us to do what is right and to take care of them one last time.

  44. QUESTION:
    I have hypothyroid. Its very long since Ive had fever.why ?
    I am taking Thyroxin 150mcg daily. whenever there is a infection, I feel tired, body pains, headache and all that EXCEPT that I DONT run HIGH TEMPERATURE. Like everybody else, after taking in proper drugs, I feel alright after a couple of days.
    During my chilhood when I have fever, I used to run high body temperature up to 104F. After the age of 28 or 29,there is no high body temperature. Even when I go to a doctor, he does not believe that Iam running fever and that i need medication and treatment.
    I am a generally healthy person. whats wrong with me?

    • ANSWER:
      Hypothyroidism is the disease state in humans and animals caused by insufficient production of thyroid hormone by the thyroid gland. There are several distinct causes for chronic hypothyroidism in human beings, the most common being Hashimoto's thyroiditis (an autoimmune disease) and radioiodine therapy for hyperthyroidism. Historically, iodine deficiency was the most common cause of hypothyroidism world-wide. The disease may also be caused by a lack of thyroid gland or a deficiency of hormones from either the hypothalamus or the pituitary.

      Secondary hypothyroidism occurs if the pituitary gland does not create enough thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) to induce the thyroid gland to create a sufficient quantity of thyroxine. Although not every case of secondary hypothyroidism has a clear-cut cause, it is usually caused when the pituitary is damaged by a tumor, radiation, or surgery so that it is no longer able to instruct the thyroid to make enough hormone.

      Tertiary hypothyroidism, also called hypothalamic-pituitary-axis hypothyroidism, results when the hypothalamus fails to instruct the pituitary to produce sufficient TSH.

      Hypothyroidism can also result from sporadic inheritance, sometimes autosomal recessive. It is a relatively common disease in purebred domestic dogs as well, and can have a hereditary basis in dogs.

      It is claimed by some in the water fluoridation controversy that hypothyroidism is related to fluoride.

      The severity of hypothyroidism varies widely. Some have few overt symptoms, others with moderate symptoms can be mistaken for having other diseases and states. Advanced hypothyroidism may cause severe complications including cardiovasular and psychiatric myxedema.

      Thyroxine, or 3:5,3':5' tetra­iodothyronine (often abbreviated as T4) is the major hormone secreted by the follicular cells of the thyroid gland.

      T4 is transported in blood, with 99.95% of the secreted T4 being protein bound, principally to thyroxine ­binding globulin (TBG) and to a lesser extent to thyroxine binding pre­albumin (TBPA) and albumin.

      T4 is involved in controlling the rate of metabolic processes in the body and influencing physical development.

      Note: Thyroxine is a prohormone and a reservoir for the active thyroid hormone triiodothyronine (T3), T4 being converted as required in the tissues by deiodinases.

      This medicine is primarily indicated for the treatment of hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid gland), where thyroxine is used as replacement therapy in people having a lower thyroid function than normal. Treatment is usually long term as it is replacing thyroid hormone the body is not producing. The dosage is usually adjusted according to response and blood test results.

      Patients with heart disease (angina) should start the medication cautiously on a low dose and build up as needed under medical supervision.

      Other cautions to be aware of include:

      Adrenal insufficiency

      Breastfeeding

      Thyrotoxic crisis ('thyroid storm')

      Elderly - slowly on a low dose and build up if needed.

      Diabetics (raises sugar levels)

      Side effects:

      Dose related:

      chest pain (also an increase in heartbeat)

      muscle cramps

      stomach upset

      weight loss

      restlessness and insomnia

      headache

      sweating and hot flushes

      Side effects usually reside after a dose reduction is made by your doctor.

      Thyroxine increases the effect of warfarin, tricyclic antidepressants and amiodarone.

      Oral contraceptives, anticonvulsants, cholestyramine and rifampicin may reduce efficacy.

  45. QUESTION:
    What is rage syndrome?
    In dogs, what is rage syndrome?

    • ANSWER:
      What is Rage Syndrome?
      Rage Syndrome is a serious but rare uncharacteristic behavioral problem that has been reported in several breeds (particularly in Spaniels). Rage Syndrome is often incorrectly diagnosed as it is sometimes confused with other forms of aggression.

      What are the symptoms?
      Sudden attacks for no apparent reason; the dog will often be sleeping and then attack without warning. The eyes become dilated and sometimes change color during and after an attack, the dog is totally confused when attacking and will not respond to any attempts to stop it. The attacks are very unpredictable and the dog will often appear disorientated afterward and unaware of it’s actions, then return to it’s normal self shortly after. Victims are usually members of the family and due to the lack of warning from the dog, suffer from a flesh wound that will need medical attention.

      What actually causes Rage Syndrome?
      Nothing has been established as yet. Although there have been studies, it still cannot be accurately predicted. There are many theories on what Rage Syndrome is, what it is caused by. These theories are: a form of epilepsy, a canine form of schizophrenia; low serotonin levels in the brain and thyroid dysfunction. Some also believe that Rage Syndrome is simply an extreme form of dominance-related aggression, is not a separate condition.

      Treatment:
      Medical causes of aggression must be ruled out, so first, consult your pet health care provider. Risk assessment with a professional helps objectively evaluate the situation, and prevention of human injury is paramount. Aggressive dogs are never cured. However in some, the behavior can be managed. Behavior management often is a combination of environmental control, behavior modification, and medications. Veterinarians, experienced trainers and animal behaviorists are good sources of advice. Unfortunately, euthanasia is sometimes the only appropriate solution.

      Prognosis:
      Aggressive dogs are never cured, but some behaviors can be managed with environmental control, behavior modification, and pharmacotherapy.

      Complications:
      There are legal liabilities for dog bites. Some homeowner’s insurance companies will not insure household with certain breed of dogs.

      Prevention:
      Early socialization and gentle obedience training is key. Some dogs are bred for their aggressive tendencies and can never be reliably socialized out of the primal urge to react by attacking. However, exposing your puppy to children, other dogs, and strangers between the ages of 3 and 14 weeks will help the dog learn to react appropriately. Many dogs become aggressive out of fear, so gentle handling during the puppy period and selecting a firm, but non-abusive professional trainer for your hunting dog is very helpful.

  46. QUESTION:
    No such thing as "HYPO"-allergenic dogs?
    I see this a lot on here... and I wonder how everyone defines the word "hypoallergenic".

    Yes, I know that all dogs that have skin produce dander and that dander not hair is what causes allergic reactions.

    But the word doesn't mean "NO-allergies" the prefix "hypo" means "low" or "less" (like HYPOthyroidism, or HYPOglycemia or HYPOthermia mean *less* thyroid function or blood glucose or heat in the body, not *none*).

    So... are there breeds are that HYPOallergenic and less likely to cause an allergic reaction? Or is it all placebo effect? Is there a correlation between shedding hair and shedding dander that would make low-shedding breeds low-allergen breeds?

    BQ: How do you reduce dog hair in your home? Does that routine change during peak shedding seasons?

    • ANSWER:
      Not a black and white question, as while there is no one breed of dog guaranteed not to trigger any reaction is a person with an abnormally sensitive immune system to hair dander and saliva, there are breeds that are less likely to produce this reaction and on that basis, it would not be misleading for a breeder of Bedlington Terriers for example to say, it may be suitable for some people who are allergic to dogs.

      It is not a placebo effect and that I can attest to personally. From age four I developed a severe allergy to dog dander and saliva and could not be around dogs without constriction of the airways, so any contact was minimal and if it happened I was taken to hospital for outpatient treatment.

      At eleven my parents learned about the Bedlington Terrier that had a thick “wool type” low-shedding coat.
      As luck would have it someone in the village where we lived owned the breed. When I met the dog twice, first hands off and was in the room with it and on the second visit interacted with the dog normally. No reaction to dander or saliva, so complete tolerance.

      Did not push my luck by grooming the dog when which would have kicked up dust and dander, but in every other respect could handle the dog normally when a Bedlington Terrier was added to the household, for me as a minor to be part-time responsible for.

      I grew out of the allergy, just as well as I have been sharing my home with Dobermans for many years now, but if asked would say, then finding a breed for an allergy suffer is a process of trial and error prior to purchase, as the reaction to any one breed is individual to the person with an allergy to dog hair and saliva.

      Some people are intolerant to all dogs, others have a mild to severe reaction depending on the breeder. There is no hard and fast rule how a person will react.

      BQ. I regularly groom my dogs and vacuum the house, but I know that if I checked on my person now there would be dog hairs somewhere and always a few missed in the carpet or on the soft furnishings, but that is to be expected and accepted when you share you home with dogs and a small price at that.

  47. QUESTION:
    5 week puppy staff/pit scared to go outside?
    it shiver help

    • ANSWER:
      get it a warm house and make it a soft cozy bed for your dog Your new puppy shivers for many of the same reasons that humans do. He may be cold--shivering is the body's way of warming itself. Or, your puppy may be suffering from nervousness or a fever. Less commonly, your new puppy's shivering or trembling may be a symptom of a more serious illness or disease, such as anemia or hypothyroidism.

      Cold
      1. Puppies are susceptible to cold. A newborn puppy depends on her mother to keep her warm because she cannot regulate her body temperatures until she is more than 3 weeks old. Puppies need a draft-free room where the temperature is between 70 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. A carrier lined with towels or blankets can also provide warmth.
      Nervousness
      2. Some puppies tremble because they are frightened by new people or circumstances. Socializing your puppy and getting him accustomed to new situations gradually can help allay nervous shivering.
      Breed
      3. Some breeds, especially smaller ones, are more high-strung, and those puppies will tend to tremble more. There's little you can do to prevent that type of shivering and generally it is not harmful to your puppy. In addition, certain breeds, such as Chihuahuas and Italian greyhounds, cannot withstand the cold as well as heavy-coated breeds like huskies or Samoyeds. These puppies may need a dog sweater or other cold-weather wear.
      Illness
      4. Several illnesses can cause your puppy to tremble. They include lupus (an immune system problem), hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid), calcium deficiency, fever, and epilepsy. Neurological problems can also cause shivering. A vet will perform tests to diagnose these illnesses.
      Hypoglycemia
      5. Hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar, is a concern for toy breeds. At first, your puppy will appear listless, then begin to shiver or tremble. As the condition progresses, the puppy can become comatose. The condition can be fatal if not treated promptly. Treatment includes administering supplements such as Nutri-Cal and keeping the puppy warm.
      Warning
      6. Contact your veterinarian if your puppy's shivering is persistent or severe and if she seems to be shivering for no apparent reason.

      Read more: Why Does a New Puppy Shiver? | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/about_5081367_new-puppy-shiver.html#ixzz10NjBjIB8

  48. QUESTION:
    Dog question: Thyroid problem? Medication-treatment options-experiences please!?
    Took my dog to the vet yesterday. The symptoms are a patch of bumps on his chin that will not go away after 30 days of 500mg Cephlaxin(2 pills 2 times a day). Vet recommended a Thyroid panel that will not be back for 10 days. Until then, we are continuing the antibiotics- and maybe for longer this time if thyroid is normal.
    Does anyone know what the treatment is IF there is indeed a problem? Any experiences to share?
    The dog is a 14 month old Rottweiler. 128 lbs- trim.
    The dog also hs excessive callusses on elbows and knees from hardwood floors- (he refuses a dog bed) The bumps do have a slight odor that the vet said was infection(i knew that and it was the reason for the follow up visit) He sheds and has dander alot too- In my opinion, but I have 2 dogs so who's to know.

    • ANSWER:
      I have alot of expience with thyroid problem dogs. 3 of 5 of my dogs have hypo thyroid ( low thyroid) this makes them hungry, gain weight, tired, or less energetic, and usually make their hair thinner and shed more. Some dogs even get aggresive because they do not feel themselves with low thyroid. Our dogs have always been prescribed Levo...something I don;t have it with me right now but theat is the most common one. it si inexpensive for our 100 pound Lab/ Rott mix it was only about a month. I am not sure of your vet thinks your dog has hypo thyroid or hyper thyroid. One of our cats has Hyperthyroid..which does the opposite..makes this very hyper and they usually can not keep weight on. The medication is about the same price. Also hypothyroid makes then itchy and can cause skin irritations. Good Luck!

  49. QUESTION:
    my dog has a sore ear?
    my 12 year old dog has a sore ear, he has been to the vets and they said nothing in the ear, i have tried everything washing it out with ear wash, mite treatment everything he is going crazy any ideas?

    • ANSWER:
      I would get a second opinion from a different vet. If your dog is scratching his ears, they have redness, feel hot or have an odor, or shaking their head a lot, there is something wrong.
      Your dog could have an infection, or allergies, which can be treated with antibiotics and medications. If your dog has an ear infection and it is not treated, it can cause hearing loss for your dog.
      Other possible reasons for scratching or shaking the head can be if their hair is too long in the ear canal and it is tickling or bothering your dog. A vet can trim the ear hair. This is common in dogs with long ears with a lot of hair. It safer for a vet to trim the hair, because they know how not to damage the ear canal.
      If your dog has an odor in his ears, that is a sign of ear mites, which if left untreated can cause infection. A vet can give ointment to clear up the mites and any eggs they may have laid in the ear canal.
      Other possible causes can be allergies which is very common this time of year, with the high level of pollen. This can be treated with benadryl and ear ointment.
      Or even dry skin in the ear can bother your dog. Dry skin is itchy so the dog scratches it and becomes irritated.
      The only other possibility is thyroid disease, which can be tested with blood work. Medications can help if your dog has low thyroid levels. Older dogs, over the age of 6 years-old should get their thyroid tested yearly.
      So, there are various reasons why your dog is scratching his ears or shaking his head all the time. You definitely need to get him checked out by another vet. Medications or diet can help depending on what is wrong with your dog.
      It's good that you are keeping his ears clean of wax and dirt.
      Best of luck to your dog. Hope I helped.

  50. QUESTION:
    Lingering hypothyroidism symptoms?
    I've been dealing with this for almost 2 years. And my doctor promised these symptoms will go away. Some has and others hasn't.
    Here;s some of my story.
    I was dealing with shortness of breath, breathing issues..then i went to the E.R. and i then found out i had low thyroid disease.
    Then came anxiety,depression,saddness,mood swings, feeling cold, fear, some hair loss, shaky,dry skin, shortness of breath, tired and easily get sick,weight gain and alot more.

    Now the only thing that has cleared up was the breathing problems and anxiety, but i still have shortness of breath and all of the things i listed. My doctor says i'm normal and i need a shrink i told him, i'm not crazy that something isn't right. And now i'm thinking of getting a new doctor, because he's not trying to treat me.
    When i first went to the E.R. my meds ran out and at the time, i had no insurance so i was off meds for about 3 months..saw my first doctor and she tested me i was NORMAL RANGE. Then she out my on 200 mcg of meds. I left her after a while because she was a regular doctor and decided i should see a endo instead and now i'm dealing with this. I just want my old self back. I loved to exercise and enjoy life. Now i can't even walk my dogs..i feel really old and depressed. I feel like i lost my old self and like a zombie.
    I have severe brain fog, like i'm out of touch with reality. and i just can't deal..is it me or my doctor? what should i do?

    • ANSWER:
      You are not alone.

      "my doctor promised these symptoms will go away" the doctor that lied to you so badly should lose his license! Unfortunately, he is not alone either... this is all so common w/ thyroid disease. Most do not even know what normal range is!

      You need testing for thyroid ANTIBODIES as well as TSH. TSH ‘norm’ should be .3 – 3 (w/ most feeling best at < 2) but, for diagnosis, may not mean much if ANTIBODIES are present which is indicative of Hashimoto’s Autoimmune Thyroiditis (cycles between HYPER & HYPO at start)…it is the main cause of eventual HypOthyroidism but worse (...OR Graves Disease - HypERthyroid).

      WARNING: Doctors seem not to want to find/treat thyroid disease. You may have to go to more than one doctor before you get the right tests, interpretation, and treatment. Best wishes.

      Ck these:
      http://thyroid.about.com/bio/Mary-Shomon-350.htm
      http://www.stopthethyroidmadness.com/
      http://www.thyrophoenix.com/index.html
      http://thyroid.about.com/cs/newsinfo/l/blguidelines.htm

      God bless you

treatment for low thyroid in dogs

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