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extremely thin coat....darkening pigment...genetic??

 
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Illona
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Location: Waterloo, Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: 04/11/06, 10:45 pm    Post subject: extremely thin coat....darkening pigment...genetic?? Reply with quote

Hi all, i haven't been on this forum for a LONG time....got lost in the shuffle a year or so ago.

i've had my GWP girl for coming on 4 yrs now....got her out of rescue at 7 mos of age. in fact, i've now added an 11 yr old wire JRT who's a real firecracker as well. if you'd like to see pics... www.flickr.com/photos/illonahaus

anyway, this girl of mine came with a pretty decent coat. not the really thick coat i've seen some wires with, but still good. she was over-vaccinated and spayed, went through 5 wks of stress at the rescue...etc etc. within the first couple of months with me, she started losing her coat. even shedding; thinning over all, especially in groin and underbelly area. she also had all kinds of infections (ear, eyes, bladder).

with so many things pointing to food allergies, she has been on a raw diet for the past 3 yrs. however, the coat has never improved. it's 1/2 (if not 1/3) of what she'd come with at 7 mos of age. she does frequently present with pustules along the undercarriage after hikes, even after a bath with a super-sensitive (Solid Gold) diluted shampoo. i figure these are from brambles then running through swamp water.

i'm now seeing a new vet who supports raw and low vaccines. this girl has not been vaccinated in 3 years and her immunity is tested with blood titers. the vet is determined this is not diet related at all.

we've checked thyroid function...will be running more tests tomorrow. and in fact, she's going in for a skin biopsy tomorrow as well.

she's not smelly (at least not to me! Smile ). she's busting with health otherwise....61 lbs of solid muscle....great energy. a few fear issues/aggression with new dogs, but we're working on that. she gets lots of exercise...leash walks every day, big yard, and at least 3 hikes a week (generally 1 1/2 to 2 hours offleash, full-out running in the woods and fields), plus training classes to deal with her fear issues.

anyway... sorry this is longwinded....she's a happy happy girl and a wonderful companion... but what is it with this super thin coat and the darkening pigment along some areas of her undercarriage?

i have seen some GWP pups lose a lot of that scruffiness and end up looking like GSPs....this girl's got facial furnishings and slightly longer coat than a GSP, but it's thin thin thin!!! very easy to take care of, but it's disconcerting.

can anyone shed some light?? we don't know her background - although it's VERY clear to those who have had GWPs that she's definitely from pure hunting stock - but could this just be the result of some lousy genetics? could the coat she'd come with at 7 mos of age just be all puppy, and this is truly just her adult coat?

thanks so much. as i said, i have lots - i mean LOTS - of pics of her in action on my flickr page... www.flickr.com/photos/illonahaus

looking forward to hearing some feedback.
illona
www.illonahaus.com
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Illona
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PostPosted: 04/14/06, 8:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

i know my initial post is long.... but does ANYONE have any advice?

thanks
illona
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dualgwp
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PostPosted: 04/14/06, 9:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Illona
Could be genetic, just a bad, thin coat. Have you gotten the thyroid tests back yet? Could be that as well. Could be a combination of the two.

Unfortunately not all coats are created equal.... some start crappy, stay crappy and end crappy.

The discoloring of the skin... that I don't have a clue on.

Get the thyroid results!
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Illona
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PostPosted: 04/14/06, 10:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

thanks for responding, dualgwp. thyroid results just came in....had the full panel done....everything is in the normal ranges.

still waiting on the results of the skin biopsy. what a tough girl this is. she's got six holes in her, each with two or three stitches, and she's completely ignoring them.

this is my first GWP....any other i've seen has 3 times the coat she does, but since she's a rescue, i have NO idea what her parents were like.

i'm not complaining. her thin coat is very easy to maintain. it would be nice to know though that it is genetic and not an indication of some underlying condition. but everything's coming up normal....CBC, unrinalysis, thyroid. i'm very interested in the results of the biopsy. my suspicion is yeast....but why so much yeast? this dog has no grains in her diet.

illona
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DevataGWP
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PostPosted: 05/03/06, 10:59 am    Post subject: Thyroid results Reply with quote

I don't know who read your results on the panel, but I would have Jean Dodds do it for this dog. You can find how to contact Jean Dodds through www.hemopet.com.

Thinning coat with dark pigment is usually thyroid disease. I would get a second opinion. One of my dog was like this all her life and her thyroid levels were within the normal range until she was 5, then they went below normal. After she's been on supplementation, her coat has come in finally and her dark pigment is lightening up.

She may be "normal", I would suspect she will not stay that way.
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Illona
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PostPosted: 05/03/06, 11:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

thanks, devatagwp. i've been thinking of sending these thyroid results off to Jean Dodds actually....i know she has different "normals" for different breeds.

my girl is 4 1/2... and getting thinner hair and darker pigmentation every year. not drastically worse each year, but enough to know that it's not getting any better.

i've since discovered that GWPs are ranked #2 on the OFA's list of breeds with thyroid issues.

the skin biopsies all came back fine except one that showed a "neutrophilic pustular dermatitis classical for superficial pyoderma". my vet has her on a short course of antibiotics to see if it makes any difference, but my gut still says thyroid.

i think i'll go the Jean Dodds' way now... thanks for prompting me.

illona
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FCwire
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PostPosted: 05/15/06, 3:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Illona, thought of something to keep you busy, and hopefully not overly concerned. It's a good website for owners (and vets) to help get steered in the right direction. Check out: http://www.vet.cornell.edu/consultant/Consult.asp Hyperpigmentation gives a long list of potential problems, but given your dogs history, I would definitely say some sort of allergen - most likely food if there is no seasonality to the problem, though depending on where you live and what sort of allergens you may have floating around the house (carpeting, dust mites, etc.) it's possible it could be a combination of environmental things. Don't be too hasty to give up on your vet - most have a good idea of what's going on, but allergies are one of the most frustrating things we deal with, same goes for our clients. There's almost too many ways to attempt diagnosis - my push would be to see a dermatology specialist (how close are you to Guelph? any other specialty clinic would do, but teaching institutions tend to have the most recent therapies available). Good luck, -N
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