Originally Posted by Donna0045
My dog's had this issue for months, now; we've been to the vet, they seem unsure what it is - he's on meds, but [it's] not getting better. Trying to figure it out. After lots of time & monies, back and forth to vet with no diagnosis, it's quite frustrating
My dog is 10-YO - he's been blind for 2 years. He's overweight & cannot reach the areas affected - he's not scratching or biting himself. These spots just pop up, all over his neck.
I clean the areas, comb him, and that's when he loses patches of hair .
He is [fed] grain free dog-food and biscuits.
What are his biscuits
made of? - Most biscuits are grain-based carbs with flavoring.
[Most dogs are neither allergic nor intolerant of grains - they might have problems with one, but not "all grains".
A small subset of dogs is gluten-intolerant, but it's a far-smaller fraction than in humans; IBD / IBS is a different issue.
The most common allergies in dogs are to proteins
, not carbs - beef, chicken, lamb, etc.]
What color is his skin, under his hair? - most dogs are very fair-skinned, & have near-white skin.
[Pigment colors the skin under spots & pied patches - but Ur dog doesn't appear to be spotted or pied.]
If his skin is GREY in color, & feels slightly thickened
, when U pick the skin up & roll it gently, plus his skin is GREASY as well as flaking, those are all symptoms of hypothyroid.
I would ask my vet to take a blood sample, then send it to either Michigan State Univ vet-labs, or HemoPet Labs.
MSU's vet college has the world's largest breed-specific database of thyroid values, & they're excellent at analysis; Dodd's HemoPet labs enjoy a worldwide reputation. Both of them receive specimens from around the world, every day.
A full thyroid panel is at least 5
& possibly 6 measurements: free & bound forms of both T3 & T4, plus TSH / Thyroid Stimulating Hormone, & possibly an ANA / Anti Nuclear Antibody test, in addition.
The ANA test can tell U if the dog has an auto-immune issue & is attacking their own tissues.
Do NOT let the vet persuade U to "save money" by skipping one or more tests; U only want to do this once, so I'd squeeze every drop of knowledge out of that specimen!
The distance between free & bound forms is like measuring between floor & ceiling - U need both, to get useful data.
Also, some vets will offer to do the analysis in house, or say U can save money by sending it to the local hospital - i'd resist. A sheet of numbers means little without the follow-up analysis, & a local GP vet is unlikely to have the specialist knowledge of MSU's endocrinologists, or HemoPet's vet staff, with 25 or 30 years focussed on blood-borne diseases in dogs.
If U really truly cannot cover the cost of sending the sample away for analysis, GET A 2nd OPINION from either MSU or HempPet - send them the numbers, & tell them the dog's breed/s, age, etc, list the skin issues, even include the photo - their advice is IMO solid gold, it's worth spending the extra to get truly accurate, in-depth analysis.
If his results are "borderline low
", I'd be prepared to talk to my vet about a short course of low-dose thyroid supplement - 3 to 4 weeks should show the effects, if any; if his skin improves, the flaking is less, hair is coming in where the follicles aren't damaged, the skin texture is more normal, & HE SHOULD lose wt, while eating the exact same # of calories / day...
then that's reason enuf to continue the thyroid supplement.
Dogs who need it, need it all their lives - but once they get the dose properly calibrated, the Rx is very cheap. It saves lives, improves health, & is very, very worthwhile, IME.