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Hi everyone~

Last time I posted was right around when Nalu turned 9 months old. Two weeks later, he and I were both in a severe head-on collision (a bank robber running from police drove into oncoming traffic and hit us going 90mph). Amazingly, we both survived. Me with severe injuries that took a year to heal from, and Nalu with bruising and some puppy PTSD. We were incredibly lucky. Nalu had to be taken care of by family for the next 3 months, and walked by others for the next year. He is now 2 years old, and we are both doing very well.

Here's some more background info before I get to my question: when Nalu was 8 weeks old, he ate a Sago Palm tree seed--highly poisonous to dogs (which of course we didn't find out until after we rushed him to the vet with serious vomiting). The vet pumped his stomach and gave him something that soaked up the poison, and he ended up being fine. But since then, he has always had slight liver issues that we've kept an eye on.

Okay, with that info in mind--because of his liver issues, I made sure to raise him on a very healthy diet, and get him plenty of exercise. He hadn't shown any signs of having problems, and his liver seemed to be improving until the accident. The people taking care of him while I was in rehab gave him whatever food they could find. At that point, I wasn't with it enough to know what was going on.

When I got him back, I quickly got him back on a healthy diet, and his coat improved, but his liver had issues again. I got him on some medicine that brought it back to healthy levels. But it is crazy expensive to keep him on it. He has been eating Canidae All Life Stages, and has done well on it. But my vet recommends getting him on something that is not so stocked with protein if i don't keep him on the medicine.

I could use some advice on what my next step should be. I really can't afford keeping him on the medicine (it's something like $120 a month). But want Nalu to be healthy. The vet recommended Costco brand food that has protein and sweet potato.

Has anyone tried this?

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I have fed the Costco brand food to both dogs and cat and they have done fine on it, but none of mine have liver issues. I don't feed that to them exclusively, because I switch around with the food I give them, in case one has a deficiency I don't know about, but I always feed grain-free.


Don't know if there is one for dogs with liver issues, but there is a Yahoo Group for just about everything, so if I were in your place I would hunt for that. Or a forum of any kind that deals with liver issues in dogs.


If there is one, the people on it could give you ideas. I belonged to one for people with cats who had chronic renal failure, and because of that group my cat lived years longer than he would have otherwise.

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So sorry to hear about your and Nalu's experience. I am relieved to hear you have both come back on the long road of recovery.


Since you are in a major metropolitan area, I think that you should be able to find a vet that is knowledgeable about TCVM (Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine). I, and several of my friends, have used one that is local to us. I have been impressed with the approach - which is to try to support and heal the body (and the cause) vs. just trying to treat the symptoms. IMHO, the Chinese herbs can often be less than traditional meds.


I find the TCVM approach to be more applicable to chronic issues than acute issues.


With regard to the cost of the meds: have you tried GoodRx to see if you can pay less by using one of their coupons?

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Don't know if there is one for dogs with liver issues, but there is a Yahoo Group for just about everything, so if I were in your place I would hunt for that.

Yes there is. Poppy my last dog was given 2 months to live due to liver failure but survived and lead a good quality life for another 3 years thanks largely to a Yahoo group. We were prescribed Ursodiol to promote bile flow. It was expensive but Poppy couldn't tolerate it anyway. Most people supplement with SAMe and milk thistle (formulated for dog liver disease and usually available from vets) which are classed as nutraceuticals rather than medication but still expensive. However you can cut costs by purchasing online rather than from the vet or by substituting with good quality human supplements. It's crucial to have the right type of high quality protein and minimise additives so many of us ditched commercial dog food and home cooked. Not as difficult as it sounds. You can batch cook. and freeze A low copper diet is recommended even if it is not a copper related liver condition. There is plenty of advice online and within groups. For example protein like cottage cheese can be helpful as it is easily digested. My vet even recommended tofu! It may go against the grain to give a dog foods like this but non meat sources of protein can be kinder to the liver.

One free therapy you can do is to give several small meals per day (instead of one or two) to ease the load on the liver. The other thing is to minimise exposure to chemicals - ie room sprays etc. This includes monthly spot on flea treatments and vaccinations. Talk to your vet about this but also check out the Yahoo canine liver groups. The value of groups like this is you get to benefit from from people's experiences and knowledge on an international scale.

Given time and TLC the liver can actually regenerate or partially regenerate. We think this is what happened with Poppy. A lot of our dogs came back from the brink - amazing the vets!

Good luck.

PS check out this site http://dogaware.com/health/liver.html

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