My 10-year-old male German shepherd was diagnosed with low thyroid and put on Thyrosyn -- 0.8 milligrams, one tablet twice a day. I noticed he was panting heavily, so I reduced the dosage to one time a day. He was checked on Dec. 1, 2008, and now takes half a tablet once a day with his breakfast. The panting has stopped, but he's shedding a lot. Sometimes, hair comes out in clumps. He eats yogurt, 2 percent cottage cheese, string beans, raw carrots and dry Nutro Natural Choice Chicken, Rice & Oatmeal, swapping with Lamb and Old Mother Hubbard dog biscuits. He gets 3,000 units of fish oil daily. Once a week, he gets a scrambled egg. He does not get the exercise he needs, but I do play in the yard with him, chasing Kong balls and a rope toy. He has a bad habit of eating his poop on occasion. For this, I sprinkle Lawry's meat tenderizer on his food when I notice him doing this. Can his shedding problem be solved? I am desperate to improve this.
R.B., Houston, TX May 24, 2009
Your dog's diet plus supplements seem satisfactory, but I would rotate with other quality dog foods that are organically certified, like some of PetGuard's and Natura's dry and canned dog foods. There are other fine dog foods available, including raw and freeze-dried, that I have profiled at my Web site www.DrFoxVet.com/info. Look under Special Reports for my review and list of beneficial supplements. Your dog may well have some malabsorption of nutrients with a faulty digestive tract that is underlying the hair loss and makes him want to eat poop. Under veterinary supervision, I would advise giving your dog daily supplements of digestive enzymes, probiotics, kelp (seaweed) and L-glutamine, along with a good-quality daily multivitamin and multimineral supplement.
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