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Bleeding Tail...thyroid?

September 29th, 2006, 04:06 PM
Hi guys - I am hoping you can help me out!

A friend of mine has a 2 year old Std. Poodle. In August, his tail started bleeding for what seemed like no reason. He was taken to the vet, cleaned up and sent on his way. His tail has been kept shaved so she can see if the bump/spot goes away. It hasn't and has randomly started bleeding over the past couple of months - he has been on antibiotics for 6 weeks (I don't know which one, I only know it is NOT clavamox). The vet is now saying that its probably not the right antibiotic and is suggesting this:
Canine Thyroid Profile (FT4EqD) and sample collection $146.28
Quote for Hospitalization, intravenous catheter, sedation with reversal, skin biopsy and histopathology $418.80

Does this sound normal/right? Is there anything else he should be testing for?

Her poodle came from a not so good breeder, he did have a seizure as a puppy (when he was overstressed/excited) and has been overvaccinated (given all the recommended vaccines in the 5 or 7 in one shot:eek:). He is not on any meds, he's given revolution which apparently irritates his skin (and he still got ticks), I suggested she try Wellness in early summer but he had bad poops and is back on Eukanuba. From what I saw, I don't think his poops were ever normal - pretty soft and yellow in colour. He will have hip/knee problems as he ages, his walk is obviously unsound already. Overall not a very healthy boy right now:(

Any help would be appreciated!

September 29th, 2006, 04:35 PM
I forgot to mention, he is not bleeding on the tip of his tail - its right on the curve, so he isn't hitting against something. He cannot reach it to chew either.
Also his energy level is "normal" for him - it doesn't take much to tire him out (usually 15-30 minutes of frisbee is enough per day). On the weekend when he spends the time off-leash at their cottage, he doesn't want to walk for the next 3 days. So clearly, not normal activity level for most dogs or poodles but normal in as much as he's always been like that!

Also, I know "rat's tail" is associated with thyroid problems but his tail doesn't look like that. It's shaved so that she can see if the "scab" heals - if she didn't keep it like that he would have a normal full tail... The only thing that fits thyroid issues is his lack of energy but it seems normal for him?? I don't know - I just thought a CBC would have been the first step.

Angies Man
September 29th, 2006, 05:19 PM
Your post brings back some really bad memories. My first standard poodle had problems with seizures and loose stools (and with trying to keep weight on.):sad:

I'm just a pet owner, not knowledgeable about canine indocrine systems (I think that's correct?) but it seems to me that trying to figure out what's wrong with this dog before he gets a full panel of tests is speculative at best. The ulcer on his tail is probably a remote symptom of some problem related to his digestive and energy deficiencies. And probably the least of his health worries.

Probably when she tried to change foods, she should have been supplementing his diet with probiotics (digestive enzymes, etc.) Using a kibble that's full of corn meal isn't doing him a bit of good, tho, imho.

The standard poodles (I've known five!) in my experience have no shortage of energy--Charlie (mentioned above) could play all day with my brother's shephards and would taunt them when they were exhausted and passed out on floor. Same with Angie, my current SPD.

My Charlie died at 3 yrs, 2 months of bloat (GDV). I think his digestive problems were at least part of the reason he bloated (supermarket dog food being the other primary reason.) Please ask your friend to have the vet explain GDV and the preventitive surgery--your friend's dog is a prime candidate, I believe.

As for the cost you mentioned, I know it's a bunch of money--but it doesn't seem unreasonable. If it is thyroid, that can be fairly easily corrected with medication. As fragile as this dog's health sounds, some extra care needs to be observed in anesthesia. And if it's possible to do the tests without anesthesia, that would be the best way to go.

Sorry for your friend's troubles. Standard Poodles are generally a constant beam of sunshine for their owners!

Edit: Just a thought, but antibiotics can cause diahrrea--while trying to kill off the bad bugs, antibiotics can also kill off the normal flora in the dog's gut. Some low fat, plain yogurt might help and the probiotics(?).

September 29th, 2006, 09:15 PM
Thank-you for your post, I will pass everything on!

Clearly, he has a lot of problems and I agree that the one's that are obvious to us, are probably masking a bigger issue. He will be going in for thyroid stuff but that haven't mentioned a normal CBC.
The money isn't really the issue - its whether or not its the next logical step. I am also concerned about "hospitalization" and whether that means an overnight or just a few hours...They should be able to release the dog with the hour - although he will be groggy.

I have told her to give him yogurt, I know that Kefir is a good choice too so I will mention that again.

I really appreciate your post and I know she will too!

September 30th, 2006, 10:11 PM
there may be things the vet is noting about the coat or skin like skin thickening that may have him suspecting, possible some goiter enlargement, thyroid can cause neurological problems, slow heart, lethargy, dog may under sized(lack of developement in the long bones)

But here is what I found in one article

It is found to be a fact that hypothyroidism is definitely associated with reduce resistance and a greater susceptibility to bacterial infections. So if your dog develops any type of skin ailment or a wound that does not seem to respond readily to treatment, you might want to check for a thyroid deficiency.

As for price on the thyroid panel that is close to what I paid,

With Sunny's lump I had a needle aspiration so was a lot less as he did not need to be sedated for it, the biopsy may provide answers to why it is ulcerating and not healing if not related to thyroid