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Hello everyone,

My 5 y/o male golden, Max, has had some pretty recent and drastic changes in his coat. :( At first it was pretty subtle, but became so distinct I became worried and took him to the vet. She asked questions like "you have never shaved him before?" And the answer to that is no. It is along is back, from about his shoulder blades to the base of his tail. It has become short, dull, and coarse. His chest hair is still soft and thick, as well as other parts of his body. It literally looks like we shaved his back and it is growing back? So anyway, she did a physical, checked his prostate and testicles, and did a complete thyroid panel and it all checked out good. No changes in appetite, mood, or level of activity. We have changed his food from IAMS for large breed to Blue Buffalo Wilderness Salmon Recipe and also squirting some Wild Alaskan Salmon oil on his food in hopes the omegas will help. It has been about a week since the change.
Any ideas or suggestions is greatly appreciated!!
Thank you!!
 

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Your vet needs to run a full thyroid profile either through MSU or Dr. Dodds, whichever the vet is more comfortable doing. The changes you describe are classic for hypothyroidism. My guy became hypothyroid approximately age 5, my other Golden (now deceased) at age 11. Both had coat changes. Once on thyroid meds I saw dramatic improvements in a short time frame.

Edit--just saw where they did a complete thyroid panel. Was it through MSU or Dr. Dodds? Was it the full 5 test panel? Please post the results here so we can see the levels. Some dogs may be in low "normal" ranges, but still exhibiting symptoms that benefit from supplementation.
 

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Now Caue's Dad Too!
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Welcome to the forum. Food and thyroid would be my first guesses as well. You might try researching some of the previous threads on thyroid as goldens thyroid values are different than most dogs.
 

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Thank you for your response. I do know it was a full panel, but I don't have the results. We moved from Colorado to Washington right after the vet visit. Maybe I'll get in touch with the vet and have her mail me the results.
 

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Thank you for your response. I do know it was a full panel, but I don't have the results. We moved from Colorado to Washington right after the vet visit. Maybe I'll get in touch with the vet and have her mail me the results.
If you do, ask who did the panel. You might need to find a new vet to run another one for you, or at least interpret the results while examining the coat changes. Have you noticed any other behavioral or energy changes, one way or the other? Any increase in things like hot spots, allergies or ear gunk?

One more thing--did the move stress Max out any? Sometimes stress and anxiety can do strange things in the body and could be the cause of the coat change.
 

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Tracer, Rumor & Cady
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do you own a furminator?
 

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If you do, ask who did the panel. You might need to find a new vet to run another one for you, or at least interpret the results while examining the coat changes. Have you noticed any other behavioral or energy changes, one way or the other? Any increase in things like hot spots, allergies or ear gunk?

One more thing--did the move stress Max out any? Sometimes stress and anxiety can do strange things in the body and could be the cause of the coat change.


I think I'll get in touch with the vet today. I haven't noticed any other changes at all. He does have more eye gunk than normal right now, but that occasionally happens. The coat changed about a month before we actually moved and he didn't seem to have stress about the move. He has never had allergies or hot spots.
 

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I wonder if he's exposed to new pollens in your new location that are causing excessive scratching or itching?

My gut tells me it could be thyroid, only because I went through this with 2 dogs myself and it turned out to be thyroid. One dog tested low initially and did much better once placed on supplementation. The other dog was one of those low normal types, but we did a trial run with supplementation and it worked. Later on his levels plummeted and we upped the dosage. Our vet did testing through MSU initially.

If you call the vet ask who did the testing.
 

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So I don't think there are any new allergens in the area, or that it is causing the change in coat b/c it did start probably at least a month before we moved from colorado to washington. He is not scratching or seem irritated in any way. He has been eating this new food now for a couple of weeks and I don't see any changes except for really bad gas. I received the thyroid panel in the mail today. Here are the results:

FREE t4-ed (ng/dL) 1.7 (ref range 0.7-3.7)
FREE T4-ed (pmol/L) 21.9 (ref range 9.0-47.4)

Thyroid Panel 4 FT4ED

T4 1.9 (ref 1.0-4.0 ug/dL)
***Could a t4 of 1.9 considered a high-low??**

interpretive ranges:
<1.0 low
1.0-4.0 normal
>4.0 high
2.2-5.4 therapeutic

cTSH 0.08 (ref range 0.05-0.42 ng/mL)

I do not know who did the test. It says IDEXX laboratories on the papers.

Another question, does anyone know of any natural thyroid supplements I could try??
 

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So I don't think there are any new allergens in the area, or that it is causing the change in coat b/c it did start probably at least a month before we moved from colorado to washington. He is not scratching or seem irritated in any way. He has been eating this new food now for a couple of weeks and I don't see any changes except for really bad gas. I received the thyroid panel in the mail today. Here are the results:

FREE t4-ed (ng/dL) 1.7 (ref range 0.7-3.7)
FREE T4-ed (pmol/L) 21.9 (ref range 9.0-47.4)

Thyroid Panel 4 FT4ED

T4 1.9 (ref 1.0-4.0 ug/dL)
***Could a t4 of 1.9 considered a high-low??**

interpretive ranges:
<1.0 low
1.0-4.0 normal
>4.0 high
2.2-5.4 therapeutic

cTSH 0.08 (ref range 0.05-0.42 ng/mL)

I do not know who did the test. It says IDEXX laboratories on the papers.

Another question, does anyone know of any natural thyroid supplements I could try??
Has anyone heard of or tried Only Natural Pet Canine Thyroid Wellness chewable tablets?? They have some good reviews... I wonder if they might help?? The only thing that I am unsure of is that the ONLY change we're seeing here is in his coat. Nothing in behavior, eating habits, weight gain, activity level, No s/s allergies... Could, with those results I posted, it actually be hypothyroidism?
 

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I'm not familiar with the IDEXX testing so will leave it to others to advise you on the numbers.

With respect to your question about the natural thyroid supplements, before we put one of our dogs on supplementation I asked his holistic acupuncture vet that same question and she told me there were no good alternatives other than the prescription supplement. I thought I'd pass that on to you since you asked.

If you changed the dog food recently the coat could definitely change!

If I were in your situation, I'd set up a vet visit and discuss the thyroid results and dietary change and let the vet evaluate the coat.
 

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It sure looks like his T4 is on the low side of normal, which in a golden would suggest that thyroid supplements would be indicated.

I know nothing about holistic thyroid meds, I've never heard of them before, but I feel quite comfortable giving my two hypo dogs their soloxine. All it's doing is replacing the thyroid hormones that they aren't producing.

Edited to add that the TSH is also on the low side of normal.
 
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