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We have a 4 yr old Golden Retriever (male) and he is fixed.

For the past 2 months we've noticed he had balding spots on either spot of his hips.. almost right where his kidneys would be - they are in the exact same spot, and now completely bald and his skin almost looks purple-ish.

Also, he has really slowed down, and even just within the past couple of days he has completely stopped going for his walks. He has no energy what so ever, but he is eating full meals and keeping them down, and going to the bathroom regularly and normally.

My mom thought for sure it was his thyriod but the vet called today and his blood work checked out normal for that. The vet has no idea, and we were really almost counting on it being a thyriod problem (since he does have all similar/same symptoms)

We have no idea what is wrong with him, he doesnt seem to be in any pain ... but does anyone have any ideas??? Any advice would be great .. thanks!
 

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We have a 4 yr old Golden Retriever (male) and he is fixed.

For the past 2 months we've noticed he had balding spots on either spot of his hips.. almost right where his kidneys would be - they are in the exact same spot, and now completely bald and his skin almost looks purple-ish.

Also, he has really slowed down, and even just within the past couple of days he has completely stopped going for his walks. He has no energy what so ever, but he is eating full meals and keeping them down, and going to the bathroom regularly and normally.

My mom thought for sure it was his thyriod but the vet called today and his blood work checked out normal for that. The vet has no idea, and we were really almost counting on it being a thyriod problem (since he does have all similar/same symptoms)

We have no idea what is wrong with him, he doesnt seem to be in any pain ... but does anyone have any ideas??? Any advice would be great .. thanks!
I have never heard of this issue from a thyroid condition. If your vet has no ideas switch vets please and asap. If the spots are turning purple there seems to be a circulation issue? Id call around maybe for specialists or have xrays or ultrasounds done.... a vet shouldnt ever leave it at "i have no clue" they should be suggesting more tests to determine whats wrong. have you done a urinalysis? more blood work for things other than thyroid?
 

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thyroid issues do not always show up on blood work up. I have seen dogs with thyroid issues where the blood work came back negative. Meds for thyroid were prescribed and the dog returned to good health. But as noted, I have never heard of these symptoms in relationship to what you describe.
As the prior noted, you need to take the dog to another vet.
 

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To clarify some misconceptions here, indeed thyroid issues do show up often as loss of hair. As stated by yogi, indeed 'sometimes' the problem doesn't show, but that is due to the T4 test being run, not a complete T3, T4, free T4 being run. That would be preferable. However, if the skin is indeed purple, it's time for an abdominal ultrasound and a coagulation test to be run. Golden's are prone to certain illnesses that can cause internal hemorrage, and loss of hair is seen in many conditions of poor health. Also, seeing that this hair loss is bilateral, the adrenals should be checked on ultrasound and some endocrine testing should likely follow. If your vet is not equipped to run such diagnostics, as for a referral to an internist.
Good luck to you both.
 

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To clarify some misconceptions here, indeed thyroid issues do show up often as loss of hair. As stated by yogi, indeed 'sometimes' the problem doesn't show, but that is due to the T4 test being run, not a complete T3, T4, free T4 being run. That would be preferable. However, if the skin is indeed purple, it's time for an abdominal ultrasound and a coagulation test to be run. Golden's are prone to certain illnesses that can cause internal hemorrage, and loss of hair is seen in many conditions of poor health. Also, seeing that this hair loss is bilateral, the adrenals should be checked on ultrasound and some endocrine testing should likely follow. If your vet is not equipped to run such diagnostics, as for a referral to an internist.
Good luck to you both.
Sorry I obviously was not clear, my dog had thyroid issues all his life... yes loss of hair is a sign but loss of hair in two distinct patches on the hips is just odd sounding to me because I have never heard of that...but it could be thyroid..just meant it was an odd occurrence to be exact same spots
 

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Actually, symmetrical hair loss like this is a classical sign for hypothyroidism. Not all dogs with hypothyroidism have the hair loss, but when we see it it is the first thing that we think of.

The other symptoms you mentioned combined with the fact that he is a Golden Retriever sure make this sound like hypothyroidism! I would agree with Christine and would suggest that you ask your vet if they ran a full thyroid profile or just a T4 level. There are some hypothyroid dogs that can have a normal T4, but there are other clues on the rest of the profile.

If it definitely isn't thyroid disease then the skin problems could be something called flank alopecia. It's more common in boxers but can happen in any breed. However, this doesn't cause lethargy - just hair loss.

It doesn't sound like a coagulation problem to me. The only other things that can cause this type of hair loss are cushing's disease (but this would be very uncommon in a young dog) or a sertoli cell tumor but these only appear on testicles so this wouldn't be the case if he is neutered.

I would disagree with the statement that you need to change vets...it just sounds like you may need to have some extra tests done. The next step, if a full thyroid profile has been run is to have your vet do a skin biopsy. This should tell us what the source of the problem is.

Hope he feels better soon!
http://www.askavetquestion.com
 

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Unfortunately, if a vet ever told me they had no idea as to my dogs illness, common sense is you see another vet. You are paying them to properly diagnose your pets illness. When they tell you they have no idea, this to a rational person implies you are not educated enough therefore seeking another vet is the proper step to take. If any of my vets over the last 50 plus years ever made a remark like that I would no longer be seeing them.
Whether more tests are needed which is likely, the vet has already acknowledged they have no idea which implies they do not know what to do next. Vets like MD's get stumped, it would be in their best interest to note to patients that they may need to seek diagnoses through a specialist or another vet or MD. This is common sense. So noting that they should seek another vet is in fact the correct course based on the vets own remark that he/she had no idea what the problem was. It should not be up to the owner to tell the vet what tests to run, granted some of us do but the majority of pet owners rely on their veterinarian to diagnose and treat the illness. Not be told they do not know what it is. In this case, recommending another vet therefore makes perfect sense as hopefully another vet will diagnose the problem correctly and treat it. Is this not what we expect from our veterinarians?
 
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