Dog Losing Weight and Other Symptoms
September 19, 2017 3:13 PM   Subscribe

My 6 year old spayed female Maltese has been exhibiting some worrisome symptoms of what? In July, I took her to the vet after she was throwing up and having diarrhea and walking around kinda hunched up, not acting herself.

It was determined she was dehydrated. X-rays, blood work and UA were done and didn't show anything alarming or really anything wrong. We suspected her frequent rendezvous to the cat's food to be causing her tummy some distress. To be on the safe side, she was given antibiotics and soon returned to normal. However, recently, she's reverted to some of those worrisome symptoms and has added some more symptoms! And no cat food is involved at this point.

Close to a month now she's been peeing in the house. She's rarely ever had an accident so this has been alarming. This morning, after being outside for a while, she came in and peed on the floor - so this is not an issue of her being let outside in a timely fashion. Also, her pee has been a bit on the sticky side. She's also been having off and on diarrhea and maybe once a week her stomach will be making really distressing sounds and she'll refuse to eat her breakfast. She's been vomiting 2-4 times a week (bringing up a meal). It usually resolves in 1/2 a day to a day and she'll be back to her normal eating.

Due to the frequency of the peeing in the house and that I've noticed it being sticky, I took her to the vet yesterday. Normal temperature and vitals. However, she has lost over a pound since June. Alarming since she was only an 8 pound tiny dog to begin with. Now she's down to 7 pounds. He ran a blood panel. Blood panel came back and everything looked good EXCEPT T-4 (thyroid). It was like 0-0.3. That's super low! So, you'd assume hypothyroidism, except she's not gained weight (she's losing it), no skin problems, hair loss, etc. that are associated with hypothyroidism in dogs.

Vet isn't sure what's going on and has referred me to an internist for a second opinion and perhaps more tests. I've made an appointment but my dog can't be seen for another 9 days. This is where you come in! You may not be a vet in real life, but you sure as heck can help me brainstorm any possibilities of what could be going on with the love of my life.

So, any ideas what could be going on? What would cause low thyroid levels but none of the hypothyroid symptoms?
posted by Sassyfras to Pets & Animals (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
This sounds pretty urgent, because your poor dog sounds really uncomfortable and has been for a while. I'd call the specialist back and see if they can get you in sooner, or at least put you on a wait list.
posted by radioamy at 3:22 PM on September 19, 2017 [1 favorite]

Sticky pee + not being able to hold it + vomiting says diabetes to me, was bloodsugar part of her blood panel? I don't know how it works in dogs, but I'm hypothyroid and diabetic and I know it's common in humans. I hope your dog feels better, whatever's wrong with her. Poor puppy. I'd demand she be seen sooner.
posted by Bistyfrass at 3:25 PM on September 19, 2017

Response by poster: Yes, diabetes was considered and tested for. The only thing out of whack was her thyroid levels.
posted by Sassyfras at 3:40 PM on September 19, 2017

food allergies?
posted by acm at 4:08 PM on September 19, 2017

Is that thyroid level a TSH? B/c low TSH equals HYPERthyroid, which can cause weight loss. (this is not uncommon in older cats, one of mine has it, but it was accompanied by a huge appetite). I'm not sure how that would relate to the pee issues tho.
posted by maryrussell at 6:30 PM on September 19, 2017

Sometimes dog food has additives that are not good. I am convinced, and maybe I am wrong, but foods for keeping animals thin, or for adult animals might have ground thyroids in them. I would change food try Diamond Naturals brand. My cats love the stuff. Dogs do well with it too. Sometimes people or cities put gawdawful stuff on the grass in parks, or on their lawns, stuff that is toxic to animals of all kinds. A lot of people have been convinced to put down weed, feed, and pesticide, that can't be good for animals. They put up one little sign, somewhere, but you don't know if you are on an affected area, if you enter the park from the other side.
posted by Oyéah at 7:18 PM on September 19, 2017

Response by poster: maryrussell - T-4 levels. Very low = hypothyroidism. I believe hyperthyroidism is very rare in dogs.
posted by Sassyfras at 7:24 PM on September 19, 2017

Best answer: she was throwing up and having diarrhea and walking around kinda hunched up, not acting herself

These symptoms sound like inflammatory bowel disease. It can be very difficult to diagnose and frustrating to treat. Ask me how I know. I found this article especially helpful.
posted by DrGail at 7:35 PM on September 19, 2017 [1 favorite]

Low thyroid can be a red herring - illness can temporarily suppress T4 levels, see euthyroid sick syndrome.

Ask your vet if they can arrange some of these tests if you want to have results ready for the internist:
1. folate/cobalamine/TLI/PLI - to check for IBD
2. ACTH stim test or LDDST - to check for Addison's
3. urine culture - to rule out a kidney infection
4. abdominal ultrasound

Or hang tight and wait for the internist.
posted by metaseeker at 9:54 PM on September 19, 2017 [1 favorite]

My puppers showed similar symptoms (minus the urinary stuff) which seem to be liver-related. The vet looked for liver enzymes in puppers' blood (elevated) and followed up with a bile acids test (also elevated; liver function impaired). We have managed it for five years with Denamarin and a reduced protein diet.

Good luck to you and your pup.
posted by notyou at 10:05 AM on September 20, 2017

« Older Tame my hellscape   |   What movies/TV shows have somebody saying "wake... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.