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Harness Or Collar For Hypothyroid Dog?


Guest mariah
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Guest mariah

Gussie was recently diagnosed with hypothyroidism, poor gal. We've caught it pretty early and also started her on meds, so I'm hopeful that we'll start to see an improvement in her in the next couple of days. I was talking to my agility instructor about this this morning, and she had suggested that we start walking her on a harness instead of a collar as this will put less stress on the thyroid glands in her neck. I think this possibly makes sense, but I couldn't find much information on this subject online. We currently use flat buckle sighthound collars for walks, and I prefer those for a variety of reasons, but of course if it would be better for her health, I'd be happy to make the switch. Has anyone else tried or heard about this?

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I've never heard this before, I would think if it were true it would be common knowledge. My vet never suggested it to me. Mine wear loose tag collars all the time and 99.9% of the time I walk them with harnesses, but not for that reason.

Sunsands Doodles: Doodles aka Claire, Bella Run Softly: Softy aka Bowie (the Diamond Dog)

Missing my beautiful boy Sunsands Carl 2.25.2003 - 4.1.2014

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I can't see that it would make much difference, unless your hound was pulling like a train or being dragged along. Even then, the collar would have to hit the right spot to put any pressure on the thyroid. My hypothyroid hounds are walked in martingales, just like the others. One of them maybe should be in a harness (neck issues), but she hates it.

Standard Poodle Daisy (12/13); Greys Hildy (Braska Hildy 7/10), Toodles (BL Toodles 7/09), Opal (Jax Opal 7/08)
Missing Cora (RL Nevada 5/99-10/09), Piper (Cee Bar Easy 2/99-1/10), Tally (Thunder La La 9/99-3/10), Edie (Daring Reva 9/99-10/12), Dixie (Kiowa Secret Sue 11/01-1/13), Jessie (P's Real Time 11/98-3/13), token boy Graham (Zydeco Dancer 9/00-5/13), Cal (Back Already 12/99-11/13), Betsy (Back Kick Beth 11/98-12/13), Standard Poodles Minnie (1/99-1/14) + Perry (9/98-2/14), Annie (Do Marcia 9/03-10/14), Pink (Miss Pinky Baker 1/02-6/15), Poppy (Cmon Err Not 8/05-1/16), Kat (Jax Candy 5/05-5/17), Ivy (Jax Isis 10/07-7/21)

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I can't see that it would make much difference, unless your hound was pulling like a train or being dragged along. Even then, the collar would have to hit the right spot to put any pressure on the thyroid. My hypothyroid hounds are walked in martingales, just like the others. One of them maybe should be in a harness (neck issues), but she hates it.

Agreed about the harness vs collars. You have hypoT hounds too????? Goodness -ducking again-I just don't have the strength to get into this debatet again.

 

http://www.vet.ohio-state.edu/assets/pdf/hospital/bloodBank/wellness/newsletters/2010/ghwpNewsletterWinter2010.pdf

Edited by tbhounds
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This is news to me. If my dog were pulling enough for that to be a problem then I'd put them in a harness to save their neck & prevent them from practicing the behavior while working retraining leash manners.

 

Hmmm... and if you really believed collars were putting pressure on thyroid glands why would you only put hypothyroid dogs in a harness? Wouldn't you want to protect healthy thyroid glands as well? Now if a dog had a goiter from a thyroid condition then I could understand the rational. Though the only humans I've known with goiters were hyperthyroid. Might be interesting to hear your vet's response if you posed the trainer's suggestion to her or him.

 

Ok-gotta ask (ducking now)-how was your hound diagnosed??? Running and hiding now.

No need for running & hiding over that question. It is appropriate & asked politely. (No comment on the one later in the thread. ;) )

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I can't see that it would make much difference, unless your hound was pulling like a train or being dragged along. Even then, the collar would have to hit the right spot to put any pressure on the thyroid. My hypothyroid hounds are walked in martingales, just like the others. One of them maybe should be in a harness (neck issues), but she hates it.

Agreed about the harness vs collars. You have hypoT hounds too????? Goodness -ducking again-I just don't have the strength to get into this debatet again.

 

http://www.vet.ohio-state.edu/assets/pdf/hospital/bloodBank/wellness/newsletters/2010/ghwpNewsletterWinter2010.pdf

 

Full panel. Sent to MSU.

Edited by GreyPoopon

Standard Poodle Daisy (12/13); Greys Hildy (Braska Hildy 7/10), Toodles (BL Toodles 7/09), Opal (Jax Opal 7/08)
Missing Cora (RL Nevada 5/99-10/09), Piper (Cee Bar Easy 2/99-1/10), Tally (Thunder La La 9/99-3/10), Edie (Daring Reva 9/99-10/12), Dixie (Kiowa Secret Sue 11/01-1/13), Jessie (P's Real Time 11/98-3/13), token boy Graham (Zydeco Dancer 9/00-5/13), Cal (Back Already 12/99-11/13), Betsy (Back Kick Beth 11/98-12/13), Standard Poodles Minnie (1/99-1/14) + Perry (9/98-2/14), Annie (Do Marcia 9/03-10/14), Pink (Miss Pinky Baker 1/02-6/15), Poppy (Cmon Err Not 8/05-1/16), Kat (Jax Candy 5/05-5/17), Ivy (Jax Isis 10/07-7/21)

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I can't see that it would make much difference, unless your hound was pulling like a train or being dragged along. Even then, the collar would have to hit the right spot to put any pressure on the thyroid. My hypothyroid hounds are walked in martingales, just like the others. One of them maybe should be in a harness (neck issues), but she hates it.

Agreed about the harness vs collars. You have hypoT hounds too????? Goodness -ducking again-I just don't have the strength to get into this debatet again.

 

http://www.vet.ohio-state.edu/assets/pdf/hospital/bloodBank/wellness/newsletters/2010/ghwpNewsletterWinter2010.pdf

 

Full panel. Sent to MSU.

Greyt to hear it :-)

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Guest mariah

The thing is, she doesn't pull. She has good leash manners. I guess the idea was just that the collar would irritate the area. But then, yeah, why wouldn't you walk all dogs in harnesses if you believed that to be the case? The more I think about it, the more it seems kind of unlikely to be true. I'll be interested to hear what my vet thinks.

 

To answer the other question, Gussie was displaying many of the classical signs of hypothyroidism (hair loss, coat/skin quality, ever increasing inability to focus, "mental fog", whining for no reason, smelly, greasy ears etc.) The dog that we believe to be her littermate is also hypothyroid. We also did the full panel through MSU. I would have been very surprised if the results had come back differently than they had.

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Guest mariah

Ugh, so I did a little bit more digging, and as far as I can tell, the source of this advice is a homeopathic vet(?) who thinks that there is a connection between the high incidence of hypothyroidism in golden retrievers and GSDs and the assertion that these are both dogs that "pull a lot" while on the lead. Seeing as 1) Golden Retrievers and GSDs are not always the healthiest dogs to begin with 2) all dogs of all breeds are liable to pull on lead until taught to do otherwise 3) dog breeds that are designed to pull, like northern breeds and molassers would have to top the list if this were true, and they don't--also, Gussie doesn't pull on the leash anyway--I think it's probably right to assume that this advice, though well-intentioned, is based on junk science and can be safely disregarded. Thanks to everyone who weighed in on this.

 

Have the vet check to see if the thyroid is enlarged (and it shouldn't be with hypothyroid). If it isn't, then she should be able to wear any type of collar.

 

Thanks, I think this gets to the heart of what I was asking. I will have her take a look at it next time we're in just to be sure.

Edited by mariah
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