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I really hope this is the worst that Bowdu will get. He’s back to spending the majority of his time in the cone, because I still can’t trust him to leave his feet alone. He also scratches his belly with his back legs quite a bit, but honestly, I don’t think he was doing it with enough frequency to cause this kind of hair loss — especially around the armpits:

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Photo on left taken 19 August 2010, photo on right and below taken 25 August 2010

Notice, in particular, the blackening of the skin on his underbelly. The bald spots under his pits are a little moist and tacky to the touch. I’ve been massaging Biocaine, a lidocaine lotion, into his pits and undersides when I catch him in a moment of calm (as I did in these photos). He’s good for these inner thigh massages (aahhh), but as soon as my hands wander towards his paws, he gets pissy.

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Above right is a closeup of the fur on his forearm, where you get a sense of the different textures to his coat made more visible by the fact that he’s shedding. We’re trying to limit use of the Furminator to every other day at the most, since I think the metal rake may irritate his skin. However, I’ve finally figured that using the Zoom Groom, which is usually reserved for Bowpi, is a matter of timing. The Zoom Groom is useless on Bowdu during regular seasons, but when he’s actually blowing his coat, it’s effective — though still not as efficient as the Furminator.

Bowdu’s been on thyroid supplements for four days now. While it may be too soon to tell yet, I’m very tempted to say that there has been a change in his energy levels. He was actually galloping at the off-leash park yesterday! It may not sound like much, but it was significant enough that I noticed. A glimpse of a not-so-distant past that will hopefully return soon.

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Photo taken 19 March 2009

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