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December 10th, 2006, 09:02 AM
Ever since my springer Riley was about 4 months old we've been battling chronic severe ear infections and dry skin. We've done and tried just about everything from surgery to holistic vets. Nothing has helped this dog. He was tested for allergies and was found to be allergic to many many types of food, grass, trees, people, cats, the list goes on.... he gets injections for that and I avoid the foods hes allergic to.

I asked my vet twice over the last year to test his thryoid and they keep telling me no he doesn't need it. However, I think they are wrong. Why else wouldn't these ear infections and dry skin go away? His ears are terrible as we speak. Not to mention he's developed this on leash dog aggression over the last few months. Off leash he's completely fine, but if he meets a dog on leash ugh... its a big production and he gets loud and nasty. Which I always found weird because I've taken him to meet hundreds of dogs on leash since he was a pup. He is NOT lethargic at all though. But the other symptoms fit.

What do you think? Anyone else with a dog with thyroid issues? I'm thinking I'll call up some new vets tomorrow since mine doesn't want to test. I'm not really looking for a diagnosis.....just wondering if anyone else has had a similar issue or any insight. thanks.

December 10th, 2006, 03:56 PM
A lot of vets believe a dog has to be over weight to be hypothyroid or that they have to be older.

My vet did not feel that I was on the right track when I asked to have Callie tested, she was underweight. I simply said I wanted her tested anyway if it is isn't then I would feel better at least knowing I ruled it out and that I did not feel it was a waste of my money knowing one way or the other.

and I got a call from a very sheepish vet later saying she was indeed hypothyroid when the bloodwork came back

Spaniels have a high incidence of thyroid problems, so if I were seeing ongoing skin problems it would be one of the tests I would insist on, even if it is not that test can serve as a baseline for future years when the dog is older if they are tested again and the results can be compared.

For example my one greyhound has a low normal T4 which tends to be more common in some greyhound males , his is about .9 where point .7 can be consider below normal another greyhound may have a normal of 1.9 so if Sunnys thyroid results came back on a future test as .6 it would not be that big a concern as T4s can fluctuate a bit thru the day, so we don't do anything right away but do a retest in a few months to see if it dropped farther, but if the dog with a 1.9 norm fell to a .6 that is something to worry about and should raise some big red flags that something is seriously wrong, same goes if they are still in the normal with a .9 because of the big drop, so more tests hould be run to see if the dog is indeed hypothyroid(which can be the case even if t4 is in the low normal range or if glandular cancer is causing.
I actually feel in breeds where thyroid problems are common that it is a good idea to have a test done when they are younger so a baseline normal can be established even if there are no symptoms.

December 10th, 2006, 10:55 PM
I agree with OG. One of my last huskies had hypothyroidism and it wasn't until I changed vets that it was diagnosed. Although Riley is awfully young it certainly sounds like he should be checked and I would definitely find another vet willing to do so. Good luck and keep us posted. :fingerscr

December 10th, 2006, 11:18 PM
The ear infections could be causing his aggresion. If he isn't feeling well he is bound to be grumpy. I agree the vet should do the test if you request it but I also wouldn't rule out the food allergies for his symptoms. The allergy tests for food are not considered extremely accurate. What are you feeding him?

December 11th, 2006, 07:39 AM
He was on raw for almost a year and it did nothing for him and I couldn't handle it, so he's on Timberwolf Organics Elk & Salmon formula.

I think that was the excuse my vet gave me... too young. Think I may just call them up and TELL them I want it done and that's that.

Thanks for the responses. Just tired of seeing my boy in pain from this.

December 11th, 2006, 12:34 PM
I find it weird that even when you insist, your vet doesn't test the thyroid. :frustrated: At this point, I'd be saying, test it or I'm leaving. :o

Good luck!

(Poor doggy though- allergic to people! :yell: )

February 10th, 2007, 09:58 AM
That sounds like my dog. Before she started her thyroid meds she had very bad ears (which she still does) and awful dry skin all over her body, and was quite lethargic. She was not over weight, but recently started to gain weight which we attributed to the winter weather. Our vet tested her thyroid and shortly after she started her pills she improved and was back to her old self, and dropped the extra weight.
The ears are better, not great, but it comes with the dog,
I would definelty seek another opioion. It's just a blood test (and if it comes back low then pills) but it's better then having a dog with an undiagnosed thyroid problem. She gets blood work down every year, or if we notice a problem

February 26th, 2008, 09:33 PM
I could write a book on my ShihTzu skin and ear infections for the last 6 or 7 yrs. She is 10 now and I have been to several Vets even a Derm Vet. This poor dog has suffered with severe itching. And our house has suffered with the odor that's come from her little body.
We've been through the allergy shots for 1 1/2 yrs. ( Allergic to everything). She was even on steriods for 5 yrs. She is on perscription rabbit and potatoe food after trying many. For the last couple of years her energy level went down to sleeping 23 1/2 hrs a day. She doesn't even look up when we arrive home. I told Vets she seemed depressed. None ever mentioned checking her thyroid until my Vet was on Vac last week and one filled in. He couldn't believe from looking at her records that no body ever check the thyroid with all her skin problems. He told me to think about checking her thyroid and testing for cushing disease. He told me to come back the next day since the cushing test involved pulling blood several times in a day and injecting a drug.
Well, after I got home that visit> I found this site and got on it. I got all kinds of people telling me to check the thyroid. So, we went back in yesterday and they took blood. The Vet called this afternoon and said she was hypothyroid. He started her on Thyroxine today. I have been trying to find help for years. I just hope we are on the right track to help this little girl have a life besides sleeping.
Most what I read does say it's usually older dogs but I'm sure anything is possible and would be worth a blood test. Good Luck

February 26th, 2008, 10:03 PM
Our first dog had low thyroid function. His skin was always a problem. Hot spots and itching and his belly was bare all his life. Now that should have been the first clue, this breed has no bare spots anywhere. Always had a weight problem.....finally found a vet that tested him for thyroid function when he was 6, a few little pills everyday and the change was remarkable.
He never grew belly fur, but the skin problems subsided substantially and his weight and energy levels were much better.
No ear problems, but he didn't have the floppy ears of a spaniel. A lot of spaniels are prone to ear problems.