Well, I just thought I'd run this past you guys and see if anyone had any thoughts. The dog in question isn't a Lab, but a toy breed. He belongs to a relative and poor little guy is really overweight. He is the most food obsessed dog I have ever seen....almost frantic for food; although he does turn stuff down that he doesn't like. He's been diagnosed with thyroid problems and has been on medication for a couple of months now. They have cut back on his food and snacks. Their other dogs are not overweight. I believe the vet told them his thyroid levels were okay now, but he goes back for more blood work in a couple of weeks. He's lost very little weight and his coat continues to be very thin and patchy. How quickly should the weight come off and is the loss of fur likely related to the thyroid issue? Apparently he had brown spots on his skin, but those have cleared up since being on the meds. Anyone have any experience with this? TIA
Last edited by Top Of The Hill; 03-08-2010 at 08:37 PM.
Hair loss (rat tail) can be a sign of thyroid issues but I have no idea how long it takes on meds to see improvement in coat or weight. Hopefully someone with more experience in this will chime in.
My vet says it is common. Ernie lost a lot of fur in patches and on meds for thyroid until it came right. My vet said he didn't like the side effects of the meds so we stopped. His thyroid is now borderline. It took ages for the fur to grow back. I also don't know that it caused an obssession with food. Hard to tell with a Lab. It does effect their weight. Same in humans. Is he eating some of the other dogs food. No snacks at all. My vet had me cut Erns food so much I could almost count the grains of kibble as Erns seemed to keep getting fatter before my eyes. We changed to a different food and he lost weight. Does he get enough excersise.
Like humans they are also lethargic so this doesn't help loosing weight.
I have under active thryroid and on meds for life. I was surprised when the vets said Erns doesn't need them, but glad anyway as he has enough going on. Don't expect meds to be a miracle cure. I think some of hunger is bordeom,habit, or greed. Heck I suffer from that myself. lol.
If I tell you about Erns you can see how it relates to the wee dogs. Erns fur was normal Lab fur. From what I understand this is usual then when the thyroid goes off this is when the fur starts falling out. Not all over. It is like holes in the fur if you understand. If you goggle I think you can see pics of thyroid dogs and the fur. Erns had other things going and they think this upset his thyroid.
About the food and other dogs. I felt sorry for Erns as I give GEmma treat and he can't have them. I was told dogs don't assoociate special treatment between dogs the same as humans do. i.s. they don't feel left out. I wonder, but hey if a behavourist thinks this then perhaps this is correct. So now I give Gems stuff and Erns doesn't bother. For him he can't have the food. Since I have kept to his prescribed food he has been so much better. I didn't understand this at first thinking oh what is one little treat. It does make a difference.
When ERns had treatment for his allergies there were days I wasn't allowed to feed him for 24 hours. I felt stink. I wanted to, but his health over rode my human feelings.
My old girl Abbey did not metabolize fat properly (found thru blood work by holistic vet but honestly can't remember what to look for on the results) and she was put on lecithin 1200mg daily. In 6 months she was improved and in a year 100%. I kept her on lecithin for the rest of her life.
This can sometimes be the reason a dog will not lose weight. Something for your friend to discuss with their vet.
Humans also take lecithin to help with weight loss.
Thanks for that info Patty. Interesting. They have had him back in to the Vet and the Vet seems happy with the small amount of weight he has lost. Perhaps it takes longer to lose weight when it's a thyroid issue getting sorted out. ??? I've never had a weight problem with any of our dogs......wish I could say the same for me. As food obsessed as this little guy is he seems to pick and choose what he wants to eat. While he'll turn down something he doesn't like, he gets almost frantic if there's something in the offing that he does like and seems on the constant lookout for food. Maybe some of it is competition with the other two dogs and it's just his personality to be this way because that hasn't changed with the meds. He goes back in a week or two for more blood tests......I guess to make sure his thyroid levels are still okay. I would think his fur would be thickening up by now too, but seems like no change there.
We are on a roller costar ride with Bailey's thyroid meds getting the right dose. When Bailey started loosing his hair it was coming out in globs the hair on his tail got thin too. We adjusted his meds and with in a couple of weeks noticed his hair wasn't coming out when groomed.
He had gained weight the first time we took him in for a checkup and within a couple weeks of his meds we noticed a difference. Bailey just went back to the vet this morning for bloodwork to check his levels. We usually go in every 2-3 months after a change in his meds for bloodwork.
Your friends could try fruits and vegtables as treats for the little guy, that might help a little.
Coleman - CGC blk lab 6/02/97-2/25/08 adopted
Tootsie - choc lab 10/19/99-8/03/13 adopted
Bailey - CGC newf/fc 7/12/00-07/15/14 rescued
Ginger - BT 11/16/05 rescued
Sarah - blk lab 6/22/06 rescued
rescued felines - AJ - 8/00 - 1/11, Merlin - 5/20/05, Tucker - 8/3/10, Penny - 7/7/13