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Jasper and Dexter's Story - 2 Border Terriers

"I was told hypothyroidism in border terriers was very unusual, it was incredibly unlikely I would end up with a second border terrier with it and also he was rather young to have it at 2 and a half."

Names : Jasper and Dexter

Breed : Border Terriers - (not related)

Location : UK

Symptoms : primarily - weight gain, lethargy, exercise intolerance

Dexter - gone from Judy's family's life but forever in their hearts.

Judy's story : "A few years ago we rescued a border terrier called Dexter - he had a myriad of health problems - and when he started gaining weight aged around 9 our vet at the time was convinced I was overfeeding him. I went into the vets one day and broke down into tears, the vet I saw that day ordered a full thyroid panel and his levels were practically non existent. He had dreadful reaction to thyroxin and in end we decided to leave him off thyroxin when he diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.

Fast forward 3.5 years and our new puppy Jasper, also a border terrier moved in with us, and at about 2 years old started gaining weight. Once again I found myself switching various foods to try to lose weight all to no avail. He was gaining 1/2 a kg a month. Again I was told hypothyroidism in border terriers was very unusual, it was incredibly unlikely I would end up with a second dog with it and also he rather young to have it at 2 and a half.


A good friend of mine and her hubby used to take Jasper along with their border for a good hike every Saturday and started worrying as he was starting to struggle and often sitting down and panting - the vet said his heart and bp were fine he was just struggling because he was overweight.

We get to Mar 2019 and Jasper is just over 3 and now weighs 17kg - I was panicking but vet still insists I am over feeding and his lethargy is due to his weight. He would go for a good walk and play off lead in the mornings and come home and literally collapse on sofa and sleep rest of the day.

By May 2019 Jasper was weighing 18.5kg. I went into vets and demanded whether he was "too young" or not, regardless of breed, I wanted a full in house blood test done. Everything was okay except his T4 which at 15 was classed in UK as low side of normal and they suggested doing a full panel in 3 months time. I thought about it and asked the vets to do full panel a couple of weeks later and his results came back showing him hypothyroid and to start Thyroxin. He has only been on the tablets a few days and already we have seen an improvement.

Both times I have felt upset, I have been accused of over feeding my dog and not really listened to over my concerns. I feel Jasper's weight gain could have been nipped in the bud earlier if only the vet realized not all dogs or breeds are the norm."

Thank you so much for sharing Judy!

Karen Grzenda, Author

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