Posts Tagged ‘hypothyroidism’

Caring for Critters – My Experiences with Pet Injuries and Illnesses

September 18, 2014

Caring for Critters Round Robin Badge

This is part of the Caring for Critters Round Robin hosted by Jodi with Heart Like a Dog. Each day of the month, a different pet blogger shares their experience in dealing with a particular health issue. I am following Jen with with various health issues that I’ve encountered with my dogs over the years.

Cassie - Shetland Sheepdog

It’s difficult to tell in this photo, but Cassie had a permanently dry nose due to her bout with distemper when she was young.

Cassie’s Distemper
Cassie got distemper when she was about two years old and I was eleven. The vet gave us some medicine and we kept her in the garage away from our other dogs. I went in to see her every day after school and even set up my own little chair so I could stay in there with her. (My mom wouldn’t let me sleep in there overnight, though.) The distemper caused Cassie to lose her leg muscles. My mother showed me how to help her get her strength back so Cassie could walk again. I don’t know how much of this my mother did when I was at school, but I worked with Cassie every chance I got. She eventually pulled through. The disease left her with a permanently dry nose and gooey eyes, but she lived as a normal happy dog to the age of thirteen.


My Border Collie / Shepherd Dog Smokey

Smokey loved to travel.

Smokey’s Blistered Feet
One day the gate didn’t close properly when my ex (then my husband) headed out in his truck. Smokey took off after him. It was at least a quarter mile, possibly more, before he noticed Smokey chasing him… and keeping up. He pulled over and Smokey slowed down to a painful limp. The hard fast run on pavement blistered Smokey’s feet very badly. There wasn’t much a vet could do other than clean his feet and give him some antibiotic ointment. So for the next few days I did my best to keep Smokey from having to walk, kept his feet clean, put medicine on, and put bandages on whenever I needed to take him out for potty. Smokey healed quickly.


Dogs Becky Anne and Sheba

Sheba is the Rottweiler mix pup on the right. When she was an even smaller pup, she had Parvo and her mange was much worse. Loving care enabled her to overcome both.

Sheba’s Parvo
Sheba was either dumped in front of my house or she found her way there on her own and decided to stay. I took her in only to find she had parvo and mange. My dogs had their vaccinations against parvo, but I still kept Sheba separated from them. Sheba was given medicines and special food until the vet gave her the clear on the parvo. She still had mange but it wasn’t contagious and so she became a permanent member of the family. A healthy diet eventually cleared up her mange.


Sephi in Bed

Sephi developed hypothyroidism when she was about 6 or 7 years old.

Sephi’s Hypothyroidism
I’ve written about Sephi’s hypothyroidism before. The short version of the story is this – Sephi came up with a skin condition where red bald spots appeared on her stomach and a few other places. The vet gave her medicine and it didn’t work. The vet then sent me to a doggie dermatologist and he gave Sephi a more powerful medicine that ended up harming her liver. She spent the night at the vet with an iv and the liver problem cleared up, but the skin condition didn’t. I took her to a different vet and they suggested hypothyroidism. Sure enough, the test results were positive. Sephi was given a prescription that was very inexpensive compared to all the other medicines that she had been prescribed, and her skin cleared up within a week.

Portrait of My Dog Pierson 3

Pierson has canine epilepsy and suffers from a short seizure every few months or so.

Pierson’s Canine Epilepsy
Pierson had his first seizure on his first Gotcha Day, which I wrote about on this blog on January 12th, 2013. He’s had a few more since then, a total of 6 I think it is now, with no known cause. Luckily, these episodes are short and he recovers very quickly. The vet says they are not bad enough to require medication. Medication can have a lot of side effects, and some of those side effects won’t be noticeable to us because dogs are good at hiding their discomforts. Pierson’s most recent seizure was a few days ago at 4:00am on September 12th. It was short, as usual. And as usual, he was back to his silly-boy self within moments afterwards. There isn’t much I can do for him when he has these. I simply make sure there is nothing nearby for him to hit and comfort him until it is over.


My Dog Maya and Pet First Aid Kit

I used the pet first aid kit from Kurgo for the first time when Maya was injured by another dog.

Maya’s Leg Wound
I recently wrote about Maya being attacked by a dog. That was on August first of this year. The attack left her with a gaping wound on her leg. Luckily, no arteries were hit. A quarter-sized chunk of skin was torn off, but there was very little blood. Maya was given oral antibiotics as well as topical. The first day she was in a lot of pain so I also got her some doggie aspirin from Petco. It helped. She was her normal energetic self the next day. I washed her wound twice a day every day for a couple of weeks and made her wear a cone so she couldn’t lick her wound. She still has a scar, but her wound has healed very nicely.

There are so many other situations to write about. Becky Anne was hit by a car once and lost her tail. She also jumped off a cliff once! Then there was Huckleberry who jumped out of our car window to chase some cows. Both survived without major injuries, thank goodness. Our pets sure do give us some experiences, both fun and difficult. I could certainly do without the drama, but I could never do without my dogs.

Learn about more pet health care experiences by checking out Peggy’s blog, The Writer’s Dog. Peggy’s topic is Caring for Super Seniors.

Hypothyroidism in Dogs – What Are the Signs?

March 27, 2010

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.