I am sharing Sephi’s story with you in order to save the time and money I ended up spending to diagnose and treat Sephi’s Hypothyroidism. If me or my vet had known what to look for, I would be over a thousand dollars richer and Sephi would not have had to suffer damage to her liver.
Sephi is none of the above listed breeds (as far as I know) but she is middle-aged. She didn’t seem to exhibit a decrease in energy or weight gain or most of the other symptoms listed above. The only symptom she had was hair loss and skin sores. When we went to the vet, she was tested for bacteria, mites, and allergies. But the vet didn’t even think to check for Hypothyroidism in dogs.
All the results were inconclusive so the vet sent us to a vet which specializes in dermatology in dogs. Tests were done and a bacteria was found. However, the only treatment for this bacteria was a strong medicine often used on horses. Sephi took this medicine as the vet directed, but here were no changes in her skin condition.
After about two weeks on this very powerful medicine, Sephi began to show other very bad symptoms. There was vomiting and diarrhea – sometimes with spots of blood. And she was very lethargic. So much so that she didn’t want to go on her walks.
I thought it was a new symptom so I took her back to my regular vet rather than the specialist. I had no idea it was related to the medication she was taking. But the vet said that the medicine was taking a toll on her liver. They kept her overnight and took her off the medication. The first week back home, Sephi remained tired, but the nasty symptoms of vomiting and diarrhea disappeared.
Soon, Sephi was back to her old self – all except for the skin issue. The skin issue remained. A few weeks later, I took her to the vet again. Since I decided that the very expensive specialist was a waste of time and money, I took Sephi back to her regular vet. Our vet hospital has multiple doctors and this time, Sephi was seen by a different doctor. This veterinarian immediately suggested Hypothyroidism in dogs.
After a short, easy, and inexpensive blood test, the vet found that the T3 and T4 thyroid levels were slightly lower than normal. She gave me a presciption which I was able to fill a 6 month supply for $50.00 at Walmart. The multiple vet visits, expensive prescription which damaged Sephi’s liver, and the treatment for the liver damage cost me over a thousand dollars. Compare that to the under a $100.00 for diagnosis and prescription for Hypothyroidism in dogs. It is quite a difference. If only the first veterinarian I spoke to had the savvy to look for Hypothyroidism in dogs to begin with, I could have saved a lot of money.
Sephi’s skin condition improved within one week on the Hypothyroidism medication. Her liver healed completely and she is once again a very happy dog.
While Sephi did not suffer weight gain, weight gain is a common symptom of Hypothyroidism in dogs. If your dog is middle-aged or older, suffers weight gain, loss of energy, or infections of the skin or ears, have your vet check for Hypothyroidism in dogs before going to a specialist which may cost you hundreds of dollars.