Thanks to Ellie's adoptive family for providing her story:
We adopted Ellie in January 2007. Ellie had a "chronic" back injury that made her difficult to place. Even though Ellie was half the age of our older gentlemen pugs, we decided to check her out, thinking her back issues would place her at about their activity level. As soon as I sat on the floor to get to know her in her foster mom's livingroom, she came up and sat on my lap....that was that.
She was small, but had a big round belly. We called her Ellie Belly our Potbelly pug. Odd because she did not eat much.
When we got her home, we started walking her regularly...starting short distances and working up. Soon she was out pacing her brothers. Our vet xrayed her and said she could not find any significant injury. She could see modest arthritis, but nothing too unusual for her age. I talked to the vet about her belly, small appetite, thin fur, and bald "rat tail" and she suggested we check her thyroid levels. Turns out she had hypo-thyroidism.
She has been on thyroid medicine for several months now (and had her dosage confirmed) and she is a NEW PUG. She is a puppy. Holey moley! What energy! Her belly is smaller, she eats with vigor, she has taken over all of Gus' plush toys. Her fur is thicker and her rat tail is gone! Amazing! I read that hypo-thyroidism is unusual in toy dogs, so I don't think previous vets thought of it.
Princess Ellie now rules the roost.
Hypothyroidism in dogs
Thyroid disorders in humans
More information is available at our website, pugpros.org