I can’t decide.
You guys, I think I figured out what is wrong with Scheissehund!
I got him a little over a year ago at which time he was more or less a “normal” dog with a regular amount of fur. He was cute.
Then I noticed that he was starting to lose his fur, first on his belly, then on his legs, and now on his neck and butt.
I took him to the vet in May when I saw a picture of him from March and realized he had lost a significant amount of fur in the interim.
Cue the tests for mange, skin fungus, food sensitivities, allergies and Cushings.
I had him on an elimination diet where he ate only beef and sweet potatoes (cooked by me), I tried putting a cone on him incase he was licking his fur off, I tried CBD oil. It kept getting worse.
At his last vet appointment the vet noticed that he had a strange pattern of hair loss and abnormally large nipples and said that perhaps he had a hormone imbalance but there wasn’t much to do about that since he was neutered, so she thought maybe it was him being neurotic and prescribed him some Prozac.
I went home and thought about it and finally put two and two together, with Loony’s help.
I have been on bioidentical hormone replacement therapy for several years since I started experiencing the effects of perimenopause, a process that can last upwards of ten years. Twice a day I apply a topical compound of estrogen, testosterone and progesterone cream to either my forearms and wrists or behind my knees.
I’ve been doing it for so long that I don’t think much of it other than part of my morning and nightly ritual, like brushing my teeth.
Scheissehund sleeps between my legs and for a while really like to lick them. I managed to stop this behavior (it tickles) and Loony pointed out that he might be ingesting my hormones. I stopped applying the cream to my legs before bed figuring that it would wear off by nighttime if I only applied it there in the morning.
As time progressed and his hair loss got worse, his nipples got bigger. I even noticed he had some swelling of the breast tissue. I didn’t link it to my estrogen because I didn’t apply it to my legs at night but when I really thought about it, of course! He only weighs five pounds, even the slightest residue would affect him. I bet I sweat it out onto the sheets.
And even though I only applied it to my forearms at night, I didn’t wash my hands after applying it and would then pick him up and carry him around in my arms. I’m sure it transferred to his fur.
Look at the symptoms of hormone poisoning in dogs …
His skin is black in places and he’s itchy! And he has manboobs!
The only thing that doesn’t fit is that his penis is still awkwardly large but hey, maybe it’s smaller than it was, he’s always been a freak in that area.
I feel so stupid to not have put this all together. I figured there was a connection between the manboobs and the hormones, but I never thought about the fur. Good thing we have the internet.
As a result I’ve started applying the cream only to my chest and stomach and I’m washing my hands thoroughly after using it. I read that it takes several months for the symptoms to go away but at least I can stop with the Prozac, CBD and antihistamines. I can also feed him roast chicken again, which he loves.
I hope his fur grows back and I’m glad I (Loony) figured it out so I can stop poisoning my little dog.