Should I be concerned? Liver Question... - Havanese Forum : Havanese Forums
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-27-2010, 08:40 PM Thread Starter
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Should I be concerned? Liver Question...

Good Evening,

I haven't been on the forum in ages but it was the first place I thought of after I got news from the vet about my dog and his small liver. I am not sure what to do or if the animal hospital is trying to get more money out of me but I figured I would share my story and hopefully someone has had a similar story or has any advice

So last Monday I gave Furley his monthly frontline (he is 1 year, 8 mos. old)
On Tuesday/Wednesday morning there was a storm and Furley was having trouble sleeping. Usually he is a sound sleeper. But he kept pacing/circling on the bed and looked uncomfortable. So I took him to the animal hospital, b/c it was so unlike him to do that (and plus I am super paranoid). Once we got the hospital the vet checked him out and said physically he looked fine and then she offered to take blood. So I figured it couldn't hurt. We left the hospital and they said they would call if something was up. So on Weds. we didn't hear from the hospital and then I called for the results. ALT and AST were high (one was higher than the other but I don't remember which one). Then two days later (Friday) I tested him again and the levels were still high. On Tuesday he got an ultrasound and a bile test. The ultrasound confirmed he had a small liver but no visible shunts. The results of the bile test were: Pre (33) and Post (22).

I have been looking online and they say the average for the post is 20 ... The animal hospital thinks he has a mild cogential disease. He is not showing any physical signs .. he is active, happy, he seems normal. If we didn't take him the night of the storm we wouldn't have thought twice of his behavior/presentation.

I are not sure what to do.... They wanted to have him take a nuclear scan (radioactive test) but I'm not sure if that is necessary .. I would rather not do that .. My vet thinks we should hold off from testing the animal hospital is proposing and do the bile test again in 10 days.

Has anyone had a similar story or any advice? I joined the yahoo group for liver disease but it is just making me more anxious. Furley currently eats Orijen dry kibble (I just switched him to Wellness b/c it has lower protein - literally just switched yesterday) and for treats .. Dogswell Breathies.

If anyone can offer any advice that would be GREATLY appreciated! I am really worried and if I never took him that night of the storm I wouldn't think twice of his behavior.

Sorry for the rambling post!!
Thanks a billion!
~ Christina

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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-27-2010, 08:52 PM
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How high were the ALT and AST? Were they really high or just a little above normal? My Shih Tzu had some liver issues a while back and it was after he accidentally ate a McDonalds french fry that fell on the floor. His ALT and AST were pretty high, but we got him on a Liver Supplement called Marin and a bland diet for a few days and rechecked his values after a month of taking the Marin and they were better. Depending on how high his liver values were, I would listen to your vet and do the recheck in 10 days, especially if she is eating and drinking ok and being her normal self. When my boy went through that, there was vomiting and he had no appetite.

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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-27-2010, 09:08 PM
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I had a similar story with Dugan. I will have to look back in the history here on the forum and see if I can find the threads I posted about it. His ALT number came back very high (I think it was the ALT) when he got neutered. I don't remember the numbers, but I want to say it was over 100. I did the bile acid testing and it was high, but not outragous. I think it was much higher than yours though. My vet recommended changing foods and also put Dugan on an antibiotic just to be sure it wasn't something viral causing it. We waiting a few weeks and did the blood test again. His numbers came back normal. I think switching to a lower protein food will certainly help. I think that made a big difference with Dugan. I did the same thing you did. I joined all of the yahoo groups and was in a panic.

**Karen, Mom to Brady, Dugan, and Devon
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-27-2010, 09:10 PM
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Here is a link to the thread where I went through it with Dugan. His levels are listed there.

**Karen, Mom to Brady, Dugan, and Devon
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-28-2010, 07:42 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks so much for this information. I cannot recall how high the ALT and AST but I am going to ask the doctor again. We are going back to the doctor today to get more information and hopefully they can prescribe some medicine. I am sure later I will have more questions! Thanks for your responses. I appreciate it.

~ Christina

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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-28-2010, 12:05 PM
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My parents dog Jack got really sick when they were out of town, but the symptoms could have meant anything b/c they were general [high fever, vomiting, not eating/drinking]. The emergency vet thought it was his liver and that he might have hepatitis. My brother is a physician and read the labwork and thought the emergency vet was crazy for making that diagnosis b/c his levels were not significantly elevated. My brother [who was caring for Jack while my parents were gone] made the call not to treat for hepatitis and to wait and see how Jack's illness progressed. The emergency vet was mad at my brother for questioning him. Well, Jack got even more sick and had to go back to the vet, this time the regular vet b/c it was not after hours. The next day a big lump had developed on this throat so the vet knew were to start looking for a problem. Turns out he had an infected salivary gland and needed surgery to remove it. If he would have started the meds the emergency vet was suggesting, the lump might not have appeared so quickly b/c the meds would have killed part of the infection and he could have become even more sick or worse. It is a blessing that my brother was taking care of Jack b/c my parents probably would have just trusted what the first vet said.

So....the moral of the story is sometimes vets don't know what they are talking about! If your vet doesn't seem concerned and wants to re-test in 10 days, perhaps the emergency vet is over-reacting? If my dog was not showing any symptoms, I would really want to make sure my dog needs medication before giving it to her.
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-28-2010, 12:21 PM
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Bentley was found to have an elevated ALT and AST when he had his preneuter blood work. From there they did the bile acid test which also came back elevated. I would have to read through the thread to remember the exact numbers. I know they were not alarmingly high. On recheck 4-5 months later it was all completely normal.

Sharlene, Evye & Bentley's Mom (Taylor too)
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-28-2010, 08:36 PM
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I think their are special foods you can put him on while you monitor the situation. I have a cat with very high liver numbers. She has been consistent for the past 3 years. She seems fine in every other way. We have her on special food and she takes Denamerine, which is Milk Thistle formulated for cats. That brought her numbers down but still no where near normal. Her ultrasound showed and enlarged liver but no shunts. We just monitor her at least until she shows other symptoms. I hope all will be well. Try not to panic.

Blessings, Luna and the girls
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-28-2010, 10:32 PM
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Those pre/post bile acids are not unreasonably high. Try not to worry.

Vinny, Lulu, Gabby and Richie too!

Be yourself, everyone else is taken.
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-28-2010, 10:56 PM
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There is another thread on the forum about reactions to Frontline recently that you may want to read. Also with Furleys age, I would think he recently had his one year boosters and rabies shot? From different postings I've read before, those things could also affect his test results. I would opt to wait and re-check like your vet mentioned. Hopefully everything will be fine.
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