Case of the month: Hazel

Posted by Vetcall on 27 May 2013

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HazelReason for visit:

Hazel was prescribed arthritis medication by another vet because she seemed stiff and slow. Despite the medication Hazel’s owner could see that she was getting steadily slower and weaker to the point that she could no longer go on her twice daily walks or jump in the car. Hazel’s owner was concerned about her quality of life and was considering having her put to sleep. Because Hazel could no longer get into the car Colin did a home visit to see her.


  • Generalized weakness including scuffing her back feet
  • Lethargy
  • Dull dry coat with some hair loss especially the sides of her tail (rat tail appearance) and on the bridge of her nose
  • Chronic obesity despite being on a restricted diet
  • Recurrent ear infections

The combination of these symptoms’ made Colin very suspicious that Hazel had an underactive thyroid gland. Blood and urine tests were completed and confirmed that Hazel was indeed Hypothyroid.


Thyroid Level – under 5 (normal levels = 10 – 36), combined with high TSH levels.


We started Hazel on thyroid hormone replacement medication and also worked out a weight loss program for her.


Hazel’s owner phoned us 2 days later to let us know Hazel had been on a long walk, had jumped into the car by herself, and loved the new Hills Prescription R/D biscuits!  She was absolutely over the moon and felt that she finally had her old Hazel back.

In the last 5 weeks Hazel has lost 7kg, has much more energy and generally seems much happier.  Her coat is slowly improving and we expect this to return to normal over the next couple of months.

Hazel will need to stay on the medication for the rest of her life.