They say a mom always knows when something’s not right with one of her kids. I think that holds true for “fur-kids” as well.
Case in point: my Sheltie.
First off, he’s a big boy. He was bigger than his two sisters from the get-go and over the past almost-six years, he’s packed on the pounds.
This, despite my careful measuring of his food, supplementing with green beans and raw carrots, regular walks, and lots of “Fetch” and “Chase.”
I tried to tell myself he was just big-boned. That he takes after his “substantial” mama. That his profuse coat is what makes him appear big.
But you can only deny the figures so long. And the scale wasn’t his friend.
So I went on line to learn about weight gain in dogs and found that Shelties tend to have problems with low Thyroid. This condition is often undiagnosed, but it results in a less-than-luxurious coat, frequent ear infections, skin allergies, and weight gain.
Hmm, sounds like my doggin, I thought.
At his checkup in early September, the vet pointed out that he’d ballooned to almost 40 pounds (on what should be a 30-lb. frame!)
So I asked to have his thyroid levels checked. ‘It’s a simple blood test,’ they assured me, before drawing blood from his forearm. “We’ll send it to a lab in Michigan and have the results back in about a week.’
I waited. And worried.
And one day my fears seemed to take over.
What if something was seriously wrong, I wondered.
How could I live without my “soul dog?”
Well, the answer came in, and it was as I’d thought — low thyroid.
I’m glad to have a diagnosis.
I’m glad to have been right.
But mostly, I’m glad it’s not fatal. The Sheltie has to take a pill twice a day, morning and evening, probably for life.
It could be so much worse.