Jump to content
BC Boards

More liver issues


Recommended Posts

....or maybe that should read "same liver issues, different day".......


Please bear with me, this might get lengthy. I'm hoping that this might catch the attention of some of the veterinary types on this board because I am STUMPED.


Way back in May I took Barra to the vet with the intention of having a couple of lipomas removed from her chest. They hadn't really grown significantly but they just FEEL wierd...that loose-lump-under-the-skin unpleasantness. We did some preliminary bloodwork because of her age and the results were pretty shocking- as it turned out her liver enzyme levels were extremely high. After 4 weeks of anti-inflammatories/antibiotics (ugh) the levels had come down to nearly normal.


Well, I made the mistake (wink) of taking her back to the vet last week in preparation of getting on Pet Plan insurance. Of course, we had to do all sorts of bloodwork again, and guess what? Her liver enzyme count (ALT?) had skyrocketed again, even higher than before.


Keep in mind, this is a dog that has shown absolutely no outward symptoms whatsoever. No change in activity level/behaviour, no change in appetite, and (not to be gross) the quality & quantity of her stool is the same. All other tests were fine, including a urinalysis.


So we took a trip to the specialists for an abdominal ultrasound. They also did some aspirates. As it turns out her liver looks normal, but there was some thickening of the wall of her duodenum which lent the vet to believe that maybe this was inflammatory in nature. She is back on another 4 week course of medication, and I have added (at the vet's recommendation) Vitamin E and Milk Thistle to the regimen. We will recheck things in a month.


I have not totally ruled out the possibility that a biopsy might be needed, either. Another BIG ugh.


Has anyone else experienced any sort of trouble like this? Like I said, I am stumped as to what the he** is causing it. This is not a dog who gets into garbage, there is no real risk of pesticide ingestion, and her diet is a good commercial one. How can the rest of her be- for all outward appearances- just fine when this is happening? I am relieved that she doesn't show any other symptoms but I'm VERY worried about just what long term damage is being done to her liver. And she cannot stay on antibiotics indefinitely. She's not even 9 years old and I am NOT ready yet to consider the unmentionable.


Thank you for letting me vent! Even if nobody has any suggestions, I'm just grateful to you all for listening.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks, Spike- I got your email but just haven't had a chance to reply. I will, though- you brought up some interesting ideas.


Barra currently weighs 41lbs at 22" tall- probably the heaviest she's been but still not visibly overweight.I feed her a brand called Foundations Senior/Weight Management (as much as I don't like the idea of calling her a "senior" :rolleyes: ) made by a Canadian company called Petcurean. The details are here:




And Julie, please don't worry about sounding like a broken record! You can never suggest something often enough if it turns out to be the cause of a pet's illness. At this point I won't rule anything out, I want to get to the bottom of this.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would wonder about cholestatic disease (bile being clogged running from gall bladder to small intestine--back up causing liver cell damage and therefore elevation of liver enzymes.

You may want to discuss adding SAMe and Actigall to her medications. (Your vet could get Marin which contains the vitamin E, SAMe and milk thistle all in one).

A liver biopsy would be the next diagnostic step.


Good for you for being proactive on this BEFORE you see other signs. Please keep us posted!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Originally posted by JBP:

I would wonder about cholestatic disease


*grumble grumble* I tried to Google this one but only came up with large animal (horse) cases. Wouldn't a bile duct problem have shown up on an abdominal ultrasound, though? I don't know for sure and of course never considered this while the u/s was actually being done.


And yes, I have considered going to a holistic vet- there are a couple of fantastic vets within easy driving distance. I think that I will try to grin and bear it while she is on the antibiotics (no steroids- *shudder*,) get the bloodwork done again, and take it from there. I'll remember the Marin as well, and see if I can get some after she finishes the Vit E & Milk Thistle I bought last week.


I REEEEAAAALLLY don't want to put her (and myself, heh) through the stress of an exploratory/biopsy if it's not absolutely necessary but this rotten dog is not your average everyday pet. Which I am sure most of you understand, right?... :rolleyes:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Create New...