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Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone ~

I am so thankful that I found this forum dedicated to the wonderful Havanese! Kirby is 8 years old and I never knew about this forum before! Where was I? I am enjoying looking around and seeing all these absolutely beautiful pups here...it's just great!

I have come with a big worry and I'm hoping someone can give me some advice.

I took Kirby in for a teeth cleaning last week (his first). They did blood work, of course, before the cleaning to be sure all was well before the anesthetic. I have done some reading about Havs and anesthetic so was a bit nervous to even have this procedure done...but he needed it. The vet phoned and said that they were unable to do the cleaning because his liver enzymes were abnormally high. She explained very clearly what the possibilities could be with this and suggested that he have an bile acid test that day as well because he had already been fasted. I gave the go-ahead and she called later to say that that test as well came back abnormally high. She would like me to take him to a vet/radiologist for an ultrasound-guided liver biopsy now to try to find out what is wrong with my little guy. I spent half the day weeping ...so worried as to what it could be. He has absolutely no symptoms. He is a happy, lively, cuddly dog that looks perfectly healthy. The only "new" thing he does is drink a bit more water than he used to.

I need to know what some of you would do in this case. Would you spend yet another $700.00 to go ahead with an invasive biopsy procedure or would you wait and watch for awhile? I don't want you to think I wouldn't spend the money on him....I would....but only if I should and if it's safe to go ahead with this.

Thanks so much for any help ~

Reenie (and Kirby)
 

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Gigi
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:welcome:Welcome to the forum Reenie.Poor you what a dilemma.Can the vet give you any ideas as to what it might be? The chances are that things will probably get worse rather than better, so it is better to find out what is wrong so you can act quickly, and get the little fellow fighting fit again.Good luck, hope everthing goes well.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thank you so much Clare for your response! Your Gigi is just lovely!

The vet mentioned a few things that it could possibly be....a tumor, which of course scares me so much, liver disease, a liver shunt (which I guess Havs can have sometimes) and even possibly an infection. She can't give me a definite answer, of course, but she also said that waiting for a little bit wouldn't hurt. She doesn't want to wait too long to know though, as he's in such good health now...at least we think he's in good health! I'm worried about the biopsy as well....just the procedure itself can be a bit dangerous.

We'll figure this all out...but I thank you SO much for your good wishes!

Reenie
 

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Gucci's mom
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HI again, Reenie!

Kirby is so very cute and we are glad you found us!! I don't have any firsthand knowledge of this, but it sounds like you probably need some definitive answers before you can do much. There are some threads on here and you can research back into those (upper right corner, 'search' or advanced search) I'd be googling away and worried sick (which I am sure you are already doing..how else did you find us? ;)

But I have seen this group send some amazing healing energy out (yea, I know how it sounds so corny, but seeing is believing.)~~ I hope you get some answers soon, and maybe the test was a fluke/ infection (?)

Kara
 

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Karen
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What a cutie your Kirby is. There are many of us who have been through this in some manner. Can you tell me what Kirby's numbers were for the ALT and the bile acids? Had he had blood work done in the past as well?

My Dugan had high ALT numbers and high bile acid numbers at one point. We put him on medication and the numbers went done. I also have 3 friends (including Linda on the forum) who have been through liver shunts and surgery. Many times, liver shunts can be controlled by diet as well. Try not to panic until you know more.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Oh you guys...You just don't know how much your responses mean to me! I am not panicking as much as I was last week....Having this forum has certainly helped! I read on another post here about diet and liver problems....I have been feeding Kirby Orijen 6 fish formula for years now! It has 38.0% crude protein and ALL of his treats include salmon! What if this whole thing is due to what I am feeding him?! I would feel just awful but so thankful that it could be something that could be "fixed" quite easily. I have emailed his vet and shared this info with her...She has no idea what I have been feeding him because she is a new vet for him. His old vet moved away.

I will just be so relieved to get past this...poor little guy...I feel like I have poisoned him thinking I was doing the best for him! No, I shouldn't jump to conclusions here....

Thank you so much and I'll let you know what she says....I told her about the Solid Gold Holistique kibble that was listed in the great post I read here.

Wish us luck!

Reenie
 

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Oh you guys...You just don't know how much your responses mean to me! I am not panicking as much as I was last week....Having this forum has certainly helped! I read on another post here about diet and liver problems....I have been feeding Kirby Orijen 6 fish formula for years now! It has 38.0% crude protein and ALL of his treats include salmon! What if this whole thing is due to what I am feeding him?! I would feel just awful but so thankful that it could be something that could be "fixed" quite easily. I have emailed his vet and shared this info with her...She has no idea what I have been feeding him because she is a new vet for him. His old vet moved away.

I will just be so relieved to get past this...poor little guy...I feel like I have poisoned him thinking I was doing the best for him! No, I shouldn't jump to conclusions here....

Thank you so much and I'll let you know what she says....I told her about the Solid Gold Holistique kibble that was listed in the great post I read here.

Wish us luck!

Reenie
Hi Reenie, I'm sorry your guy's liver tests are off. I hope everything turns out fine. I am also glad he doesn't even feel sick. We are going to have Maddies liver test done soon because she had a reaction to a pain killer.
 

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Welcome Reenie, I know how worried you must be. I had a bichon that had cushings disease. But I think the sooner you find out, the faster you can get started on treatment if he needs it. It's actually good you found out early, but I'm sorry for you and Kirby.
 

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3 1/2 years ago, my dog became very ill. after taking him to 3 different vets, 2 thought it was a liver shunt. both vets suggested surgery to see what was going on with the liver and hopefully repair it. one vet was going to do the procedure lapriscopically. the other was going to open his belly wide open.

we opted for the first vet who is now his current vet. we found out his liver was fine ($3,000.00 later) and his issue was not liver but addisons. my dog did the bile test, blood work, etc. etc. etc. my suggestion is see if they can do another blood test for addison. unfortunately, my dog had to be scoped first but the vet had a hunch something was up and did the additional blood work which came up addisons. now he's great. if we had gone with the second vet who wanted to open him up, he would have never been diagnosed with addisons and i don't think he would have survived the surgery. he was very sick at the time.

go on line and see if there is a specialist in your area. we drove an hour to the other clinic to get a second opinion. take the time and see who else you can get a second opinion from, ask friends who have dogs who their vet is, etc. etc.
good luck. i hope all works out but please, get a second opinion.
 

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LINDA
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I am so sorry to hear this. I know exactly what you are going through. Bella had a liver shunt. She was 1.5 yrs old when she was diagnosed. I don't know a lot about the shunts, but it seems your guys should have showed up earlier......

The only symptoms Bella had were she was small, 6-7 lbs, and she had increased thirst too. Her blood test came back high and so did the bile acids. I took her for the ultra sound and they saw the shunt plain as day. Then it was off to surgery. The surgery didn't take long and she was back to normal in no time. She can now have a normal diet.

At this point, you should be feeding low/no protein diet. Hill's L/D diet is what Bella was eating, up until her surgery. She actually loved it! Because both test came back high, I would get the ultrasound. I am not sure about the biopsy. Bella didn't get that done. Good luck.
 

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Welcome to the forum Reenie and Kirby. Very sorry to hear about Kirby's possible liver problem, as you see there are people who have been through this and I know that I always feel a bit of comfort when there are others who will share their experience and sort of walk me through what happened to them. I hope you get to the bottom of this soon. I can't wait to see more pictures and hear all about Kirby when you feel up to it.
 

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Reenie, I really don't have any advice since we've never had such a problem. I just wanted to let you know I'm thinking of you and praying that you will find out soon and can get whatever it is taken care of. Give Kirby a hug from Abby & me. :welcome:
 

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Dave T
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Welcome. I would find out what is wrong with whatever test is necessary. Never hurts to get a second vet's opinion. You might eventually want to look into other food possibilities depending on what the verdict is.
 

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Glad you found your way to this forum, Reenie. Welcome! Kirby will be fine. He's a well dog now and once you find out what it is, you can treat it!

Don't ever beat yourself up or think that something you did might have caused Kirby's problems. All you did was feed Kirby some of the finest commercial foods available. I can tell by your posts that you love Kirby very much and he'll be just fine!
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Oh my gosh ~ Thank you all so so much! I feel so much better tonight having heard from all of you and having some of the best advice given to me....I was telling my husband at dinner how so many of you were sharing your thoughts on how to maybe proceed with all of this. Thanks again so much! I cut way down on that food I usually give to Kirby tonight and fed him something different. I have sent 2 emails to his vet but haven't heard back from her yet. A second opinion sounds like a good idea ~ I do trust though that she wants the best for him but it certainly wouldn't hurt to get another opinion or ask her if just a regular ultrasound at her office might suffice for now.

I'll keep you all posted on what is happening. Your kindness means so much!

Reenie (and Kirby:))
 

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Hi Reenie

I'm sorry you are having to go through this with Kirby. We recently went through the same thing with our 3 year old Jaxon. Shortly before Christmas he had what we think was a mild seizure. We did blood work and his ALT was elevated. We ran a Bile Acid test and it was elevated as well. My vet suspected liver shunt and referred us to a specialist to test first for a portal shunt, which was ruled out. We then did a needle biopsy of the liver with a sonogram and as a result, he was diagnosed with microvascular dysplasia (MVD) which is a form of liver shunt.

I have done a LOT of reading and have found some great resources. One of the best is a Yahoo group for people whose dogs have liver problems. They have given me a lot of good advice which has helped me know what to talk to my vet about. http://pets.groups.yahoo.com/group/Liver_Shunt_And_MVD_Support/

I am happy to talk with you about our experience and share any information I have that might help you work through this. Feel free to send me a private message.

All my best to you and Kirby.
 

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My Dogs Mom
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Hi Reenie and welcome,
I went thru this about 4 years ago with Lulu (remember that Linda, you were SUCH a great help). That was the reason I found this forum too. My vet told me her liver tests were high and then he did a bile acid. He said he thought she had a liver shunt. I then took the results and Lulu to a liver specialist who was not alarmed by the numbers at all! Long story short, the next test was normal! It would really help to know what the numbers are.
Please try not to worry. It would probably be wise to take him to a specialists and/or have another blood test. I think the specialist here was about $100. and well worth the visit. Lulu's test have been normal since.
Sending prayers your way.
 

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I am sorry I don't know much about liver problems, but I just wanted to say I will say a prayer for your puppa doo. I can totally understand how worried you must be. Praying that everything comes back ok.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Thanks again and again everybody! Just reading these posts has made me, my husband AND Kirby feel so much better, I'm sure of it!

I still haven't heard from his vet after two emails with lots of questions. She asked me to email her over the weekend and I did...twice....and still no response. I just don't understand it....

Anyway...we are thinking of taking Kirby to the Washington State University Veterinary Clinic. We are only about 5-6 hours from there. We have friends who just swear by that place. I guess they are amazingly thorough and just excellent with all animals...especially these doggies of ours. I read a bit about it online and I think I might contact them and see if they think at this point the trip is worth it. We live in a small town without lots of options when it comes to second opinions so I think this might be a good idea. Of course I'm waiting for some input from you wonderful people. Do you think we are rushing it here? Should I just have his vet here do a couple more blood tests and maybe a just an ultrasound without a biopsy? That is...if she ever gets in touch with me. I like her SO much...I hope it will all work out with her. So I'll quit going on and on here.

Once again...your help, kind thoughts and prayers mean the world to me...thank you :)

Reenie
 

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My Dogs Mom
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Hopefully, sometime today you will get the numbers. Try to not stress, I know that's easier said than done. xxoox
 
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