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Lilly was diagnosed a few months ago as hypothyroid. She is now on thyroxine. We first tried 1/2 pill 2x day but she was out of control hyper and was peeing and drinking a lot so we took her down to 1/2 pill 1x day. She has reacted well and has her energy back which we are SOOOO happy about. She was totally not interested in walking at all and now we are able to take her for her usual 2 mile evening walk! She is a totally different dog now.

But, she has also had some side effects of hypothyroidism such as thinning hair and skin problems. Will the medication eventually reverse the thinning hair? Are there any supplements that we should be giving her to improve her coat? What about foods, are certain foods better for this?

I would love anyone's advice in dealing with hypothyroidism!!
 

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That happens to humans too! I guess with time her hair and skin will return to normal
 

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I have hypothyroidism. I also take thyroxine. It has made a world of difference for me, too. It can take a while to get regulated. You kind of have to tinker around with the medicine to get the level right. The thinning hair and dry skin are part of it. This is a metabolic problem and can affect so many things. Once your Lilly is on the correct dose, her hair and skin should get better. I don't know what your vet recommends but I have to get my thyroid levels checked every now and then to make sure my levels are good. Your Lilly may have to have this done, too. Just feed her a good premium food and make sure she doesn't miss a dose of her thyroxine. As long as you and your vet stay on top of things, she should continue to have a long, happy life.:thumbsup:
 

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Lady is on Soloxine for a low thyroid. Before she was diagnosed she had lost a lot of hair. Once on medication, her hair grew back in except for her tail. She still has the classic "rat tail".
 

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I had a couple of show dogs (Lhasas) with a low thyroid. Before they were diagnosed, ther hair was very brittle and was breaking off. That was the 1st sign that there was a problem.

After they started the meds (thyroxine), their coats came back to life and they were both able to complete their championships.

Just give the meds a little time to work.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks everyone for your advice! She had her levels checked once about 6 weeks after we started the medication and she will have to have them checked again in a few weeks.

I'm actually thinking of switching vets because of how unknowledgable my vet seems about this. About 3 weeks after we started the medication Lilly had her first skin problems. Her skin was really flaky and she was getting scab like things all over her body. My husband took her to the vet and the vet said it had nothing to do with her thyroid or the medication and that she likely had an allergy induced staff infection. We treated her with antibiotics for 21 days and it has since cleared up. The skin on her back, near where her hair looks as though it is thinning, is still a little dry looking but not bad.

I don't know that I really trust the vet's diagnosis because she has never had any skin problems before and it seems weird that it would just so happen to coincide with her hypothyroid diagnosis and the start of medication. We told the vet that she seemed to be way too hyper, was peeing too much, drinking a lot of water and was restless. We did some re-checks on her levels and they said she was borderline high and only brought her down on the medication because of the behavior she was exhibiting based on what we told them.

I think I will see what happens when we do the next set of re-checks and I will talk to the vet about her thinning hair. She is not balding or anything, her hair just seems to be thinner over her back - like I can see more pink skin than usual. Poor girl! I think she feels better though and definitely has more energy and spunk again which we love of course.
 

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Lady is prone to staph infections since she is diabetic (weak immune system) and that can cause hair loss. That may be what you are seeing, not hair loss from her thyroid imbalance.
 

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Lady is prone to staph infections since she is diabetic (weak immune system) and that can cause hair loss. That may be what you are seeing, not hair loss from her thyroid imbalance.
That is interesting. How do we "know" if it is a staph infection or if she needs more antibiotics? We will be going back in the next couple of weeks so I can bring this all up then since it doesn't seem like it warrants an immediate vet visit right?
 

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That is interesting. How do we "know" if it is a staph infection or if she needs more antibiotics? We will be going back in the next couple of weeks so I can bring this all up then since it doesn't seem like it warrants an immediate vet visit right?
Dogs naturally carry staph on their skin. It's only when they become allergic to it or have a weak immune system that it causes an infection. If her skin cleared up, the infection is gone.

It may take awhile for the hair to grow back where she had her staph lesions, though.

Staph Dermatitis and Hypersensitivity ~ Pawprints and Purrs, Inc.

http://www.buzzle.com/articles/staph-infection-in-dogs.html
 

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I just want to add that there are vets that specialize in treating thyroid issues. It sure would not hurt to at least consult with one in your area. Perhaps you can get a referral from your local Emergency Animal Clinic.:thumbsup:
 

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I just want to add that there are vets that specialize in treating thyroid issues. It sure would not hurt to at least consult with one in your area. Perhaps you can get a referral from your local Emergency Animal Clinic.:thumbsup:
I didn't know that. I will ask our vet or Angell Memorial which is the big animal hospital in Boston.

I called the vet today to make an appointment for her blood re-check and I actually talked to the vet. He wants us to come in for an exam so that we can assess the situation. He thought at first that maybe she need to go on an increased dose again but I mentioned that she was exhibiting the excess peeing, thirst, etc. when on the higher dose so he wanted to see her.

See the weird thing is that we didn't notice the hair thinning before her diagnosis or even right after the skin infection which cleared up a month ago. It is just recently. We are going in in a few weeks since it wasn't quite time for the re-check and it isn't an urgent matter. In the meantime I will see if I can find a thyroid specialist and then just do that instead.

Thank you again for all of the great knowledge and advice!
 

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Lilly was diagnosed a few months ago as hypothyroid. She is now on thyroxine. We first tried 1/2 pill 2x day but she was out of control hyper and was peeing and drinking a lot so we took her down to 1/2 pill 1x day. She has reacted well and has her energy back which we are SOOOO happy about. She was totally not interested in walking at all and now we are able to take her for her usual 2 mile evening walk! She is a totally different dog now.

But, she has also had some side effects of hypothyroidism such as thinning hair and skin problems. Will the medication eventually reverse the thinning hair? Are there any supplements that we should be giving her to improve her coat? What about foods, are certain foods better for this?

I would love anyone's advice in dealing with hypothyroidism!!
I would definitely recommend a second opinion with dr jean dodds at www.hemopet.com as that is who we work with as my Dee Dee is hypothyroid. She has thinning of hair and skin and allergy issues. She lost all the hair on her neck but on meds some came back but not all of it sadly. I know melatonin helps with hair growth as dogs with alopecia x take melatonin for this and it works but I would not do any supplementing without consulting on those two things together soloxine and melatonin and you can ask jean and your vet on this.

Dee Dee did not have those side effects you are describing so that is interesting. I went to pick up meds from our vet and the girl put on the bottle to give with food and i said I do not think that is correct as thyroid meds should be given one hour before food or two hours after - and they quickly took it off the bottle and said each dog is different which I think was wrong :( Dr Dodds is an expert in hypothyroid and Michigan state panel is very accurate as well but i will elaborate more on that in a minute. Thyroid meds are suppose to be given twice a day as it only lasts 12 hrs in the system and dd is 6.7lbs and gets 1/3 of .1 mg of soloxine twice a day 12 hrs a part so not sure once a day is a good thing so you may want to question that further.

Ok so I just took in Lucy another yorkie after my friends death and had her blood work done and heartworm tested since she came from Georgia and since she needs a dental and vet calls and T4 is low so she suggested a thyroid panel from michigan state so I did it as i wanted to see the difference between Jean's testing and msu as heard great things about msu. The symptoms lucy had were her body temp at vet appt was 98.5 which is low as normal is 100-102 i believe and she poops in four spots always goes from one spot to the next which to me shows signs of constipation and she is overweight so three signs of hypot are constipation, low body temp and overweight none of which Dee Dee has but Lucy does so per jean a dog can have hypot with one symptom they do not need all. Results came back from msu and their endocronologist report as had to request it as was not done on initial report so paid extra for it to get vet opinion and endocronologist opinion and then i emailed it to Jean for her opinion as she has been studying hypot in dogs for years. So here is my dilemma - msu says not hypot and Jean says she is as per jean she is low by toy breed standards as msu panel is for large, mix, and toy breed but toy breeds per jean have a higher metabolic rate therefore by that standard lucy is low and based on these symptoms I see I think she might be right but for now I am taking the less is more approach and not medicating her and will test her yearly to see if this changes and keep an eye on it

Also the reason you do not give thyroid meds with food is it binds with calcium and soy and the body is not able to absorb the meds properly so always should be given without food and I have seen a few vets say it is ok to give with food and I think that is inaccurate per jean

I hope this helps as I have learned way more than I ever wanted to learn about hypothyroidism in dogs with these two yorkies.

oh and vet wanted me to give dd 1/2 .1mg twice a day as easier to split pill and jean said NO it is a 1/3 and use a cuticle clipper as that pill is really tiny and oblong and that has been working real well in case your dog is the same size as dee dee.

Dee Dee was t4free .30 and the year prior was t4free .78 so she dropped in half in a year and we did a full 6 panel on her with Jean. Vet kept saying it was her allergies and her thyroid was fine but she kept losing hair so i knew there was something wrong and when she had to have next blood draw I found out jean dodds was close to me so i drove to her to have blood work done on dee dee just to check since vet kept saying thyroid panel was not necessary yet it was and I knew there was something not right :( so glad I was persistent in finding out or who knows how much more it would have dropped in another year.

here is dd neck before soloxine

DEE DEE ALLERGIES :: IMG_1878.jpg picture by dwerten - Photobucket

and after taking soloxine

DEE DEE ALLERGIES :: PINKTULIPBED16.jpg picture by dwerten - Photobucket
 

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Usually within about 6 weeks of being on the proper dose you will notice a difference if the thinning was due to the thyroid dysfunction.
that is about the time it took on those pics i posted but thinning can also be from allergies too so if your dog has skin and allergy issues then you may still have to deal with thin hair as dd still has thin hair but I did notice when she was on coconut oil her hair and skin was much better so once next blood draw is done she will go back on that and she is also on probiotics.

One vet said once the hair follicles die you may not get hair back in that spot :(

Lucy has a TON OF HAIR and why i was so surprised when vet called on the thyroid being low as I would have never guessed that was going to happen but when they told me her temp was low at vet office I came home looked up why that could be as none of my 3 had ever had a low temp at a vets office before so i was worried and hypothyroid came up :( so when she called I was less shocked remembering that
 

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I didn't know that. I will ask our vet or Angell Memorial which is the big animal hospital in Boston.

I called the vet today to make an appointment for her blood re-check and I actually talked to the vet. He wants us to come in for an exam so that we can assess the situation. He thought at first that maybe she need to go on an increased dose again but I mentioned that she was exhibiting the excess peeing, thirst, etc. when on the higher dose so he wanted to see her.

See the weird thing is that we didn't notice the hair thinning before her diagnosis or even right after the skin infection which cleared up a month ago. It is just recently. We are going in in a few weeks since it wasn't quite time for the re-check and it isn't an urgent matter. In the meantime I will see if I can find a thyroid specialist and then just do that instead.

Thank you again for all of the great knowledge and advice!
call Jean Dodds at www.hemopet.com - tell her I sent you and she will discuss with you and read the blood work.

Here is her resume so you can see she has studied blood for years

DODDS-RESUME
 

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another important thing is dogs on hypothyroid meds should not have things high in iodine like Kelp so make sure to watch for this in treats and dog food and things like plaque off which is a dental product

I have thought since lucy is not on soloxine and is low per jean i would supplement with a kelp supplement for her to elevate her a little but still have not decided to do so yet until i read up on supplements for this further
 

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Thanks everyone for your advice! She had her levels checked once about 6 weeks after we started the medication and she will have to have them checked again in a few weeks.

I'm actually thinking of switching vets because of how unknowledgable my vet seems about this. About 3 weeks after we started the medication Lilly had her first skin problems. Her skin was really flaky and she was getting scab like things all over her body. My husband took her to the vet and the vet said it had nothing to do with her thyroid or the medication and that she likely had an allergy induced staff infection. We treated her with antibiotics for 21 days and it has since cleared up. The skin on her back, near where her hair looks as though it is thinning, is still a little dry looking but not bad.

I don't know that I really trust the vet's diagnosis because she has never had any skin problems before and it seems weird that it would just so happen to coincide with her hypothyroid diagnosis and the start of medication. We told the vet that she seemed to be way too hyper, was peeing too much, drinking a lot of water and was restless. We did some re-checks on her levels and they said she was borderline high and only brought her down on the medication because of the behavior she was exhibiting based on what we told them.

I think I will see what happens when we do the next set of re-checks and I will talk to the vet about her thinning hair. She is not balding or anything, her hair just seems to be thinner over her back - like I can see more pink skin than usual. Poor girl! I think she feels better though and definitely has more energy and spunk again which we love of course.
sounds like vet gave too high of dose :( the scabs you saw could very well have been sebaceous gland excretion as that happens in hypot dogs too - if it was scaley and greasy then it could have been this as it is like cradle cap on a baby and is hormone related. Did she do skin scraping to confirm staph? Dogs with allergies and hypot can get staph infections much more easily

Hypot is an autoimmune disease so when their immune system is low by having allergies and hypot they are susceptible to infections more easily. The probiotics and coconut oil have helped alot with this for Dee Dee

dermatologist we work with said if hair loss is due to staph then it is blotchy in spots where staph is but if hair loss is due to thyroid it is a thinning all over
 
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