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Liver Numbers high

This forum is for dog lovers seeking everyday advice and suggestions on health-related issues. Remember, however, that advice on a public forum simply can't be a substitute for proper medical attention. Only your vet can say assuredly what is best for your dog.

  
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Lambert

Love Me, Kiss- Me, Pet Me
 
 
Barked: Wed Aug 24, '11 8:13am PST 
hi all! My 7 year old golden (about 5lbs overweight) is having some issues with his liver enzymes being high. The vet is still trying to get to the bottom of it, and I'm doing what I probably shouldn't be doing ... getting on the internet to self-diagnose. I can't help it because I'm SO worried about him & terrified that this is something really bad. He has some other health issues already.
I'm wondering if anyone else has been through this or can shed some light on the situation for me.

The background:
He has a bad thyroid, he's on daily medicine for that & allergy pills.

He lost 6 lbs in about a month, which worried my vet, so she ran blood tests. Said his Liver numbers were higher than she liked, but it could be a fluke. She said lets retest him in a month. Retest 1 month later showed still elevated numbers. Since he's on an antibiotic for an infection she said 'lets see if this antibiotic helps that, maybe his liver is just enflamed for some reason. So come back in 2 weeks for more blood tests.' If they still come back high, she wants to do an ultrasound.

Thats the story ... I'm hoping it's nothing.

Any info would be greatly appreciated!
Becky
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Juneau (2/23/99 - 11/5/2009)

That's mine!
 
 
Barked: Wed Aug 24, '11 5:51pm PST 
I really really don't want to worry you & put a wrong assumption in your head, so please don't assume that your situation will be the same.

When I found out that my 10 year old, Juneau, had high liver values the vets did the same thing. We rechecked him a month later, the values were even higher. Then rechecked again another month later & they were still high. So we had an ultrasound done & they found a rather large tumor on his liver. They gave me the option of doing a biopsy on it during the ultrasound, but they said the results were not super accurate (maybe 30% accuracy?), so I skipped the biopsy & went whole hog to exploratory surgery. I wanted them to remove the tumor if at all possible. Unfortunately, the surgeon was unable to remove the tumor because of where it was located on his liver (he most likely would've bled to death had they removed it), and it had also spread to two of the lobes. So he biopsied the tumor & sewed Juneau back up. We found out shortly after that the tumor was hepatocellular carcinoma, a supposedly slow-growing type of cancer.

As surgery was no longer an option, we took Juneau to an oncologist. She said chemo could be done, but it had a very low success rate for that type of cancer. Plus, I think it would've been very traumatic to put Juneau through that on a weekly basis. Long story short, I took him to a holistic vet who gave him a variety of cancer slowing supplements, I changed his diet to home-cooked, I learned what foods to avoid giving him that could help the tumor grow larger, & I spoiled & loved the bejeezus out of him.

Just 4 short months later, Juneau woke up & he was no longer "there". He stopped eating & drinking, he could barely stand up, so we took him to the ER where they put him on IV fluids for 2 days. After that, the docs said there was nothing more that could be done for him, his body was rapidly deteriorating, so we brought him home. We wrapped him up in his favorite blanket in his favorite spot on our backyard deck, and he was surrounded by his loved ones (me, my husband, Minna, & Koda)when the vet came to put him to sleep. It was the hardest thing I've ever done in my life.

Again, PLEASE don't assume this is what will happen to you. I just wanted to let you know my experience with high liver numbers.hug
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Zoey, Shellie & Griffin

Natural & Loving- it!
 
 
Barked: Wed Aug 24, '11 7:47pm PST 
How high are the enzymes? Milk Thistle works wonders for 'detoxing' the liver. Here's some information on it Clicky: Milk Thistle information Here is some information on liver problems Clicky: Liver Problems in dogs
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Lambert

Love Me, Kiss- Me, Pet Me
 
 
Barked: Fri Nov 4, '11 8:02am PST 
thank you for the replies!!! So we've been watching his numbers, he has blood drawn every 3 weeks. And by "high" ... my vet considers up to 120 to be normal. He is bouncing between 210-340, she is not very worried because they do come down. If it was a cancer or something serious she feels the upward jumps would be larger then 10 or 20 points here & there & they wouldn't be coming down at all. Something is just ticking off his liver. We did just try Demamarin (liver support) which did NOTHING for him. In fact, his numbers went up a bit while on that. Soooo... my vet has said if i want to do an ultrasound, we can. But she doesn't feel that it is necessary at this point b'c she thinks its not something very serious (like cancer). Because he is also acting totally normal, eating, drinking, playing, he's not lethargic. So we went to the vet last night - and she recommended milk thistle & we pull more blood in a month. So i bought some last night & will try it tonight once i establish the right dosage & I'll be home this weekend to monitor him.

I'm also going to start a food log, to try to see if this is something food related. He basically eats the same food, treats, etc every day b'c he is an allergy dog so I cant & dont switch his food at all. The only extra food item my dogs get - is i'll let them split a Beneful beef stew every now & then. I am beginning to wonder if maybe that is causing an issue.

Ok, so thank you for your replies & Help. And next decision - do i get the ultrasound. I'll never forgive myself if i don't get it done & in 3 months we find out he has something that would have been detected in the u.sound. But for $500 if my vet doesn't think it's necessary, than I also want to trust her opinion there.

happy friday !!!!!puppy
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The Roo- Crew™- ©®

We go together- like peas &- carrots

moderator
 
 
Barked: Fri Nov 4, '11 8:14am PST 
My sister's dog, Ginger, also a golden retriever, is having the same problem. What is scarey is her other dog, Shelby just passed away 18 months ago from liver cancer.

Ginger has had high liver enzymes for the past 2 years, always over 500. She was put on Denasyl (SAM-e) daily. When it recently went over 700, they added milk thistle.

But it turns out Ginger might have been suffering from gall bladder stones! The last time she went to the e-vet 2 weeks ago, they had to reduce her serum by 200 times to get the level to 1600 for the alt, so she was in full hepatitis. Fever and everything. It was very frightening. She had eaten some oak tree acorns, also. But the vet said unless they are moldy, it shouldn't have done that to her.

When they did the ultrasound, they found nothing wrong with her liver, so that's why they are looking at the gall bladder now.shrug
Adam

Vaccine free- -Disease free- goes pawinpaw
 
 
Barked: Fri Nov 4, '11 8:49am PST 
I second milk thistle! Adam had high liver enzymes for one of them (I forget which one now- GGT maybe but I thought it had 4 letters...) Anyway it was tested before and after he fasted. I gave half the dose for a human of milk thistle for a month or two, and whatever caused it was gone. The vet said it could have been from a parasite but he wasn't dewormed. I think it was from his medication use before I knew better (mainly rimadyl). He's so much healthier now, from all the changes I made, like limiting chemicals, treating with easier medications, holistic care, homeopathy, etc. Maybe there is an easier medication or health approach to control Lambert's thyroid and allergies? A holistic vet could help with that, or help support the body while he is on the meds.

Edited by author Fri Nov 4, '11 8:52am PST

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The Roo- Crew™- ©®

We go together- like peas &- carrots

moderator
 
 
Barked: Fri Nov 4, '11 9:05am PST 
I wanted to add, Ginger has allergies also. I think goldens are prone to them. Kody had terrible skin allergies.

When it comes to testing, it really is hit or miss. But like you said, if you don't do it, you don't want to say, "I wish I had". Ultrasounds are very non-invasive, and easy on the dog. Like getting a massage almost. Yes, an expensive one! But it sounds like Lambert is going to get all the care he needs from you. cloud 9

I'm glad they are suggesting this before biopsy.way to go We don't like biopsies.frown
Lambert

Love Me, Kiss- Me, Pet Me
 
 
Barked: Fri Nov 4, '11 9:23am PST 
thank you all!!! I hate him being on all these drugs frown I actually stopped the glucosamine, b'c I ran out ... and i just decided that in the midst of all this i'd keep him off until we figured it out.

And yes you are right, i will do whatever it takes to get him better. And I AM googling for a holistic vet in my area right now smile

thank you all ...
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Scooter,- PAWS

Power of the Paw- for those who- need it
 
 
Barked: Fri Nov 4, '11 9:49am PST 
do you think if his numbers are still high, you can ask your vet about doing an ultrasound of the liver? Just confirm there isn't anything there...enlarged or mass? Just a thought. We all get super scared when anything is wrong with our pets internal organs too so I'm glad we can be here to support you way to go
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Lambert

Love Me, Kiss- Me, Pet Me
 
 
Barked: Tue Nov 8, '11 11:03am PST 
Scooter - the Vet has said that an ultrasound is an option. However, she does not feel at this time that there is a good reason to warrant the ultrasound & costs. She feels it would be an FYI & good to know, but she doesn't think I should be very worried YET. And i trust her, she's know me, she knows that i will spend the money in a heartbeat, she knows that I want to figure this all out. It will cost about $500. So right now, i'm planning to do the milk thistle for a month & bring him back (per her instruction) mid December & see what the liver numbers are then. If at that point, the thistle hasn't helped - I'm doing the ultrasound. She just feels that the swing in the numbers isn't large enough to be very concerned. We're sitting at 310 right now ...

I'm also highly suspect of the Beneful Healthy Roasters (the wet food) that I've been giving him. His system is SO sensitive, I'm definitely scrutinizing everything that goes in his belly. And the vet also wondered if this could hepatitis.
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