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Old 08-03-2016, 06:27 AM
 
29,965 posts, read 47,044,713 times
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Our 12 yr old min Schnauzer went to vet yesterday for her first dental cleaning...they did blood work prior to the proceedure which showed she had elevated liver enzymes. Earlier this year in January, when she was having bad problem with allergy/skin infections, (and had acute gastric episode where she had to go to ER vet), she had been on Prednisone off and on for the prior 6 months (along w/antibiotic) and the vet said the raised enzyme levels could be reaction to the steroids. Yesterday they were high enough the vet wouldn't go ahead with the dental cleaning because of the anesthetic and possible complications. She ran a more specialized test which won't give results until today because they had to send it out.

She thinks our dog has Cushing's disease because of another elevated indicator...but to us Maggie has really none of Cushing's symptoms. She has not been losing weight, does not have high thirst, does not have high appetite. What she does do at times is pant--even will wake up from nap or at night and start panting...which I know can be indicator of pain the dog is feeling. Although she only recently started doing that after long time w/o any episodes we noticed.
She had no other issues--no vomiting, no loose stools, reasonable appetite and activity levels. She still has skin issues and has been on Apoquel for about 6 wks now for the itching. The vet said the Apoquel would not be responsible for the raised levels--which were elevated before she started taking Apoquel--just not as high.

I have mentioned this panting before to her long-time vet in TX where our other house is...and he was at loss.. I even took video on my phone so he could see what she was doing because she mainly did it at night.
of course I have come to find out that maybe he isn't the sharpest knife in the drawer because of what happened with our cat (another long story).

Aside from a tumor/cancer, and Cushing's (which I would be very surprised was the culprit) what other likely issues could cause above normal levels of ALT and ALB (?)...not sure what the other elevated level was--vet didn't give print out of the blood work results...
Depending on what test results show, we may need ultrasound or X-ray or other tests to indicate the cause.
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Old 08-03-2016, 02:41 PM
 
Location: West Virginia
12,370 posts, read 31,254,274 times
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My Corgi is Diabetic her Liver numbers are High also. 1st time my vet seen it he gave me 15 days of pills for her to take. Didn't help then last week it showed high again. Now he wants me to take her to another vet near DC...eeek For more intense testing. I know this is not helping you. But at least your doggie is not alone in playing Stump the Vet.
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Old 08-03-2016, 03:59 PM
 
1,706 posts, read 1,198,695 times
Reputation: 4829
Quote:
Originally Posted by loves2read View Post
Our 12 yr old min Schnauzer went to vet yesterday for her first dental cleaning...they did blood work prior to the proceedure which showed she had elevated liver enzymes. Earlier this year in January, when she was having bad problem with allergy/skin infections, (and had acute gastric episode where she had to go to ER vet), she had been on Prednisone off and on for the prior 6 months (along w/antibiotic) and the vet said the raised enzyme levels could be reaction to the steroids. Yesterday they were high enough the vet wouldn't go ahead with the dental cleaning because of the anesthetic and possible complications. She ran a more specialized test which won't give results until today because they had to send it out.

She thinks our dog has Cushing's disease because of another elevated indicator...but to us Maggie has really none of Cushing's symptoms. She has not been losing weight, does not have high thirst, does not have high appetite. What she does do at times is pant--even will wake up from nap or at night and start panting...which I know can be indicator of pain the dog is feeling. Although she only recently started doing that after long time w/o any episodes we noticed.
She had no other issues--no vomiting, no loose stools, reasonable appetite and activity levels. She still has skin issues and has been on Apoquel for about 6 wks now for the itching. The vet said the Apoquel would not be responsible for the raised levels--which were elevated before she started taking Apoquel--just not as high.

I have mentioned this panting before to her long-time vet in TX where our other house is...and he was at loss.. I even took video on my phone so he could see what she was doing because she mainly did it at night.
of course I have come to find out that maybe he isn't the sharpest knife in the drawer because of what happened with our cat (another long story).

Aside from a tumor/cancer, and Cushing's (which I would be very surprised was the culprit) what other likely issues could cause above normal levels of ALT and ALB (?)...not sure what the other elevated level was--vet didn't give print out of the blood work results...
Depending on what test results show, we may need ultrasound or X-ray or other tests to indicate the cause.
I don't have experience with Cushings, so can't speak to that. However, itching and/or licking can be indicative of liver issues- that doesn't mean that the liver is the origin of the issue/s, just that the liver can't clear the toxins quickly enough. If her initial itchiness was due to a reduced liver function, adding in the steroids and apoquel are potentially stressing her liver even more.

Milk Thistle helps to detoxify the liver. I use the Herbsmith brand.

With "wacky" situations like your dog's where there isn't an obvious reason for the symptoms, you might have better luck with a holistic vet and acupuncture. They will be able to test to see which system is out of whack and then bring everything back into balance.

Do you have a good holistic vet in the area who does acupuncture? Note that by this I mean a vet who has had advanced training in acupuncture and holistic medicine; lots of vets say they do acupuncture, but you want a holistic specialist.

Good luck.
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Old 08-06-2016, 05:02 AM
 
29,965 posts, read 47,044,713 times
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The vet treating her now--not the ultrasound vet--said that milk thistle was something to consider for the liver...
We picked up the antibiotic yesterday from Costco--the med for the bile/gall bladder won't be in until Monday--Costco was the cheapest (about half price of WalMart).

I appreciate both your comments...
I do understand that something like Cushing's and her long problem with allergy/itching/skin infection both could be the result of some allergy/stress that causes pressure on adrenal/immune system. I am concerned about the effect of the Apoquel...both the regular vet and the ultrasound vet pretty much poo-poo'd any reaction from the Apoquel, but I do see that blocking the body's natural immune chain could cause reaction in other ways.

She has had a long history of gastric problems...which we were told and which were treated as pancreas-problems...and sometimes when the enzyme test came back (after symptoms had resolved due to medication and diet) we were told "oh, the pancreatic enzymes were not elevated...must have been something she ate"...
She has been on a variety of different foods...and what were supposedly "good foods" trying to keep a low-fat and minimal other ingredients...and until the past yr she really had NO issues with bumps, hives, hot spots, itching...and maybe a gastric problems once in 18 mo or so--maybe longer... The panting (usually at night) has been going on for couple of years-- we noticed her doing it last night--but it isn't something she has done all her life.

We took her to a dermatologist near our TX home last fall when the allergy problem was persisting and that vet basically said that it was VERY difficult to diagnose allergies via blood work...which I thought was odd since her business is allergies...And her diagnosis was that it was more likely flea-allergy driven. I don't think my dog has ever had a flea on her...she rarely goes to kennels and never a dog park so I didn't put much stock in that opinion. I have never been anyplace where there was just ONE flea...so if you see one there are always others and hard to miss...

We have had a sick cat in past few months as well and consequently have been spending $$ on our pets' wellness quota...

It isn't even so much the total amount as it is that we are getting minimal results for all this money and effort and time we are spending trying to get them better--and knowing they aren't seeing great improvement is very sad and frustrating...feel like bad parent...

I don't know if there is a good holistic vet in this area (Sarasota, FL) but I imagine with all the wealthy people into self-help and natural-living in the area there are several. I just don't know that my husband is likely to want to start all over with a new doctor and new treatments...which are sure to involve testing which is usually expensive...
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Old 08-06-2016, 01:46 PM
 
13,291 posts, read 7,299,045 times
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Loves2read, I used a holistic vet for years and although the vet visits were expensive, there were not usually add ons that run up a bill. Mine was $150 for the initial 1 HR visit and follow ups were $75 for 1/2 hours. Those included exam as well as accupuncture. I took in all records, previous blood tests, etc. My veterinarian is one of the instructors at the Chi Institute in Micanopy, FL.

Checking the Chi Institute site, there might be one you may possibly want to look into Dr. Wendy Ying in Sarasota. Another one to check out is possibly Dr. Maggie Voorhees at West Coast Veterinary.

Bear in mind, this is not a recommendation, as I have no personal knowledge of either. It is just a starting point, which if I were in that area, that I would begin my search.
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Old 08-06-2016, 03:17 PM
 
29,965 posts, read 47,044,713 times
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Thanks
I will check that site out
And check those two vets
Have not broached topic w/husband
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Old 08-06-2016, 03:41 PM
 
1,706 posts, read 1,198,695 times
Reputation: 4829
Quote:
Originally Posted by loves2read View Post
The vet treating her now--not the ultrasound vet--said that milk thistle was something to consider for the liver...

I appreciate both your comments...
I do understand that something like Cushing's and her long problem with allergy/itching/skin infection both could be the result of some allergy/stress that causes pressure on adrenal/immune system. I am concerned about the effect of the Apoquel...both the regular vet and the ultrasound vet pretty much poo-poo'd any reaction from the Apoquel, but I do see that blocking the body's natural immune chain could cause reaction in other ways.

She has had a long history of gastric problems...which we were told and which were treated as pancreas-problems...and sometimes when the enzyme test came back (after symptoms had resolved due to medication and diet) we were told "oh, the pancreatic enzymes were not elevated...must have been something she ate"...
She has been on a variety of different foods...and what were supposedly "good foods" trying to keep a low-fat and minimal other ingredients...and until the past yr she really had NO issues with bumps, hives, hot spots, itching...and maybe a gastric problems once in 18 mo or so--maybe longer... The panting (usually at night) has been going on for couple of years-- we noticed her doing it last night--but it isn't something she has done all her life.

It isn't even so much the total amount as it is that we are getting minimal results for all this money and effort and time we are spending trying to get them better--and knowing they aren't seeing great improvement is very sad and frustrating...feel like bad parent...

I don't know if there is a good holistic vet in this area (Sarasota, FL) but I imagine with all the wealthy people into self-help and natural-living in the area there are several. I just don't know that my husband is likely to want to start all over with a new doctor and new treatments...which are sure to involve testing which is usually expensive...
Even good kibble can be very difficult for a dog to digest as kibble is highly processed, and breaking it down can stress the digestive system. This is more so in a dog that already has a compromised digestive system.

My experience- when I have a sick dog with a wacky "undiagnosable" disorder or a disorder that doesn't resolve through traditional vet medicine or if there are lingering/reoccurring symptoms, I put that dog on 100% raw. Two reasons: it is far easier for the digestive system to break down because it is "real" food in its natural state and because the nutrients are intact and haven't been destroyed by processing.

There are several really good frozen raw diets Instinct and Stella and Chewy's to name two. I supplement that with raw beef liver and beef heart because of the phenomenal nutrients in both.

If I were in your situation, I would have my dog on raw. It isn't a magical cure, but it significantly eases the stress on the digestive system and helps the various body systems normalize. As well it provides elemental nutrients that processed foods simply can't, AND added bonus is that it minimizes any allergic reaction, especially if you use an atypical protein like rabbit, bison, etc.

And I would find a good holistic vet. I know how difficult it is to go against what traditional medicine/veterinary practice says, but- it is an eye opener when you see acupuncture resolve an issue overnight that traditional medicine has been unsuccessfully treating for months. My holistic vet has used the tests done by my other traditional vet, but has never herself ordered testing. Because she works from a different medical model, she has different "tools" at her disposal.

Good luck.
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Old 08-07-2016, 06:46 AM
 
29,965 posts, read 47,044,713 times
Reputation: 15870
From observation we think our dog had bad vhicken and msybe poultry allergy
And were concerned that even a good quality producer might not kerp all chicken away ftom say rabbit or bison product because of cross contamination thru machinery.
Our current vet ssid that w/royal canin allergy potato and venison that was not issue bcuz processing area was totally cleaned prior to making P/V food. That was strong reason we didnt try mfg raw food...

Do u think Instinct is that careful?
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Old 08-07-2016, 07:13 AM
 
963 posts, read 494,178 times
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I don't believe that any mass marketed food is "careful".
Though I feed 100% raw, I am not a purist. Meaning I don't think it is the best for every dog, at least not when they have serious health issues.
I believe raw is The best way to feed a dog, but I don't think just switching at this point is a good idea. Especially to a pre-made food, though I think trying a home cooked, a little at a time might work. I do believe it would work, and be 100% better than any prepackaged food, but I say might as any disease is not the same.

You really have to educate yourself before feeding raw (or home cooks), and just switching over to a premade raw is not ideal. They too have had recalls (not sure about instinct) and though a healthy dog can handle the occasional bit of salmonella without so much as a stomach upset, a sick dog can not.

This site was very helpful to me when I had a dog with kidney issues, and when another dog had liver issues (medication induced). Read the whole site if you can and she has links to much more info.
I cooked for my dogs with issues, and when the dog with liver issues had an all-clear bloodwork we went right back to raw.

DogAware.com Health: Liver Disease in Dogs

I remember I had to not feed liver, and I fed white fish for the most part as the protein, and added Sam-e at the recommendation of my vet, as well as milk thistle. I changed up the carb that I had to add, and she ate it all without a problem. It is a very simple process.

Also for anyone contemplating raw I always recommend this article BEFORE you start: Natural Diet don't "Just do it".

When raw feeding does get a bad rap, it is usually because people do not do it correctly. It is simple, but everything must be fed, no leaving out organs. I can't tell you how many times I have heard people say they don't feed liver because it is "gross". Ok, maybe I could count them, but...

Natural Diet: Don't "Just Do It"
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