We all know that skin problems can be a frustrating issue for dogs and their owners. However sometimes, digging a little deeper can make all of the difference. Here is the story of Pinceau, a 7 year old Bernese Mountain Dog, who had been suffering with recurrent skin infections for several years. His owners consulted a few times, always getting partial results, but the problem would return. Although these pictures are not of Pinceau, it gives you an idea of what he looked like (fortunately for our readers, we can’t give you a sample of what he smelled like!):
Pinceau’s humans came to Hudson vet and met with Dr Cockburn to go over the issue again, having seen a definite worsening of his condition over the past couple of weeks, combined with lethargy and a loss of appetite. His dull fur, chronic skin issues, the presence of ear infections, obesity and lethargy struck a chord with Dr Cockburn and she asked permission to run blood work, including a panel which assesses thyroid function. It was a big financial investment for his owners but encouraged by the possibility that there would be a definitive solution, they took a deep breath and decided they wanted to address things aggressively. A few days later, we got an answer! Pinceau was diagnosed with hypothyroidism, the underlying cause of his skin problems. This disease can be difficult to diagnose, as the symptoms are varied, the most common being weight gain, lethargy and hair loss – and these are only present in 50% of cases! The good news is that it is a relatively easy disease to treat and by taking a thyroid hormone supplement morning and night, Pinceau is happy, energetic and now has beautiful, lustrous fur and skin, as well as a slimmer waistline.