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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
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
 

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Discussion Starter #3
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.
Thanks for replying Patty. I guess it must not be a very common problem....at least not in Lab's or I'm sure more people would have responded. The little guys tail is fine/no rat tail. It's his over-all body (sides and back) where the fur is extremely thin. I don't know that thyroid would cause the obsession with food.??? I know it would affect his weight, but don't understand why he's not losing pounds now that he's on meds. I guess they'll see how his levels are next time he's tested, but seems like there might be something else going on to me.
 

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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.
 

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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.
This little dog's obsession with food even goes beyond what I've seen in Labs. I don't know exactly how to describe it, but his eyes look almost frantic when he sees food he wants. I would say that prior to the last couple of months he probably was getting more than he should have. He's very tiny.....or should be. They have other animals (none are over weight).........so it's hard to give the other dogs treats and leave him out. They've been adding green beans to his food in hopes he would feel fuller. The last couple of months they have been pretty diligent about his diet and not leaving anything down that he might get. I should add that he does occasionally turn down stuff he doesn't like (not much)......which considering his food obsession really surprises me. He has seemed a little livelier since going on the meds, but that's about the only change. Apparently his thyroid levels were way off normal. To clarify....his fur was very thin before he started the thyroid meds. I'd say it's thinner since he's been on them though. They are really trying to get his issues sorted out and get some weight off him, and were so hopeful that the thyroid meds would do the trick. I guess it has only been a couple of months, but I would have expected to see a bigger change by now. He goes back for blood work and a check-up in a week or two, so hopefully the vet will have some suggestions. Thanks for replying Chris. :)
 

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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.
 

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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.
Thanks Chris. Perhaps the food obsession has nothing to do with this little guys thyroid issue and he is just by nature food obsessed. As I mentioned I have seen him turn the odd thing down that he doesn't like. In fact I offered him a piece of Dee's kibble when they were visiting and he turned his nose up at it. What I can't understand is why the weight doesn't seem to be coming off now that he's been on meds for a couple of months. Their other dogs are small breed dogs and not over weight at all. They were actually kind of relieved when they had his thyroid checked and it was way out of whack because they figured they had the answer and the meds would fix it. I was staying with them for a week and they really are trying to watch his diet. (not putting any food down on the floor for the other dogs/cats while he is there etc.) It makes me wonder if anything else is going on. He's been back to the vet for follow-up blood tests and I gather his thyroid levels are okay now. He goes back again soon, so perhaps the vet will have some other suggestions.
 

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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.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
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.
 

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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.
 
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