Sunday, November 8, 2009

Lumi's Low Thyroid

[This is a note I sent to Alice and Jody about Lumi's low thyroid.]

Here's something I don't think I've mentioned.

I'm 99% convinced that a large part of Lumi's pickup-speed problem was low thyroid. The problem has largely disappeared since she's been on thyroid Rx.

I have never really understood Lumi's slow pickup. She wants to complete the retrieve, she wants the next retrieve, she's not especially distracted by the environment (unlike a certain other dog who shall go unnamed). So what's the problem?

OK, I can see that cold water is a problem. Big problem for 2Q dogs, I think. But never mind that.

What about the pickup for a land retrieve? Why should that have ever been a problem for Lumi?

I think the answer might have been energy level. Often Lumi would run out, then walk the bird or dummy back. In fact, her returns were getting slower and slower over time, one of the reasons I wondered if she'd stay sound enough to make it to Master.

I now think that the return had an aversive quality because of her low thyroid, minimal food intake, and low energy. Her slow pick-ups might have been an avoidance, or at least postponement, response.

I also noticed that her feet seemed much more sensitive to certain terrains than other dogs. I'm not sure if that might also be a thyroid issue, or might be an allergy issue.

Oh, they may be tied in. Low thyroid has skin allergies as one of its symptoms.

Anyway, it's wonderful to see Lumi run out, pick up the bird or dummy, and run it all the way back in. That's what I'm seeing more and more.

I can hardly wait for competition to start again in the good weather. Lumi's just a hair's breadth from her SH. Laddie's not much further.


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