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Liver disease

Discussion in 'Diseases & Illnesses' started by Piper's mom, Nov 5, 2018.

  1. Piper's mom

    Piper's mom Premium Member

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    My 10 year old Riley has been slowly going down health wise in the past few months. Back in early September I took him to the vet to have a dental done and during routine blood work they found that his liver enzymes were high. I should note that this wasn't our regular vet....they suggested further blood work and ultra sound which found that 1. he had a low thyroid level and 2. his liver had an abnormal texture.
    My next step at that point was to get him into our regular vet. She put him on an antibiotic and a liver med to help the liver, we repeated bloodwork 2 weeks later but enzymes were still high. We then did a urinalysis to check for Cushings and his number was at 40....dogs that don't have Cushings are less than 34, dogs greater than could have but vet also stated that dogs with Cushings usually numbers are in the hundreds. We (vet and myself) decided it would be better to wait until his thyroid levels were normal and then do an ultrasound on his liver as we could also check his adrenal glands as well.
    That was approximately 3 weeks ago and I'm waiting on a call from my vet tomorrow (not in on Mondays) as he's gone down so much recently...he's lost so much muscle in his back end he can't jump on the couch, car or the bed and is leery about the stairs outside.
    I'm hoping we can get him in this week for an ultrasound and probably more bloodwork but I'd also like to put him on a good cooked diet for dogs with liver disease...does anyone have any suggestions or has anyone had these issues that could offer some guidance? Riley is a very sweet oversized Sheltie whom I took in when a friend passed away and it's hard to see him like this.. His decline has been so great that I'm starting to think about his passing, he really is failing ( although he still has a great appetite) and I certainly don't want to see him suffering.
     
  2. take4roll10

    take4roll10 Moderator

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    I'm sorry Riley isn't feeling well. Do you know which Cushing's test your vet performed? ACTH or LDDST? It sounds like you just did a urine cortisol test, which is a good start, but should definitely look into the other two tests as well. Muscle weakness is a symptom of Cushing's. Does he have any other symptoms? Excessive drinking and urinating, extreme hunger, fur loss, pot belly?

    Also, did Riley start thyroid meds? This could all be because of his low thyroid as well.
     
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  3. Ann

    Ann Moderator

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    I'm so sorry to hear about Riley's decline. If you're on Facebook, there are some good groups for dogs with liver disease. Hope for Healing Liver Disease is one, and several diet recipes are listed there.

    I agree with Randi that I'd explore all the available tests for Cushings too before you make too many changes, and make sure his thyroid level is stable. Please keep us posted! Sending pats and good thoughts for Riley.
     
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  4. Piper's mom

    Piper's mom Premium Member

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    It was the urine cortisol test she did. He really doesn't have any other symptoms besides the muscle weakness...he eats good and sure, he'd always eat but then he's a Sheltie lol. He doesn't drink to excess, usually after a meal he drinks but he's not in the water bowl all the time and usually goes out to pee just once in the evening. He has lost weight, which concerns me. The vet doesn't think it's Cushings which is why we didn't do the other tests...she figures we could use that money on more useful tests.
    His coat is good (he doesn't have a super thick coat like Piper) and while not thin it's not as dense as it once was but he's also got a low thyroid which we're trying to get to the right levels. He's on a lower dose of meds for that as the last series of bloodwork his thyroid was too high even for a Sheltie.
    The last vet visit our vet felt we had the time to figure this out but I'm not sure about that anymore
     
  5. Piper's mom

    Piper's mom Premium Member

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    Thanks for that information Ann, I'll definitely check it out. The vet has also told me that it could be his low thyroid causing his high liver enzymes and she wanted to wait until we have his thyroid at a good level before we do an ultrasound (the first one was a different vet and our vet isn't sure how experienced he was). I forgot to mention earlier that he's also on milk thistle (at vets recommendation) for his liver.
     
  6. ghggp

    ghggp Moderator

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    Poor Riley. I feel for you. I am so devastated to hear Riley is declining. I know the love and care you take for your shelties... down to the homemade diets. Please know you are both in my prayers. It is so difficult when they decline so rapidly. I sure hope you can get a handle on the high liver enzymes. Stay strong. Give Riley a pat and hug from me. I wish I could provide more guidance... only moral support... G
     
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  7. Ann

    Ann Moderator

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    Just a quick note on milk thistle. Apparently, all milk thistles are not created equal! I've always used what I thought was good quality milk thistle, but when some of my dogs needed to go on it for liver/gallbladder issues, my vet specifically had me get Marin Plus, which I get on Chewy. It's a soft chew and you throw one a day in their food, so easy...no measuring etc. Just thought I'd mention that!
     
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  8. Piper's mom

    Piper's mom Premium Member

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    Thanks for that tip Ann...I'm going to ask my vet tomorrow if they carry it or can order it (unfortunately here in Canada it's not as easy to get as in the U.S...not sure why but seems like the distributor only sells to vets and Chewy doesn't ship to Canada). I saw that Amazon.ca does have it...for $137.00!!! And 25.00 on Chewy.
     
  9. Cindy

    Cindy Premium Member

    Hmm..Pretty sure an american friend here on Sheltie Nation can help with getting Marin Plus if your vet can't.
    Not that I know how much it costs to ship something to canada from here, but it can't be THAT much.
     
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  10. Piper's mom

    Piper's mom Premium Member

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    Thank you so much Gloria! Moral support is a great help as well and very much appreciated!❤️

    The vet will probably call me before she starts seeing patients tomorrow morning so I'll let you know what she says. It's very hard on my mom to see Riley like this (she's very attached to him)...the other night she couldn't sleep because she was worried about him. Hopefully we can just figure out what's going on and stop the decline.
     

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