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  #1  
Old 08-18-2017, 01:53 AM
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Default Liver Problems

So, Gobo was supposed to get a dental to remove a retained puppy canine yesterday. Pre-anesthetic bloodwork was not part of the original estimate they sent me, so I called and made sure they knew I wanted it to be done. I dropped him off yesterday morning and got a call from my bet much earlier than I expected. Turns out he had an elevated liver enzyme, so I agreed that they could do the bile acid test with him instead of the dental. The vet called this evening to say that, too, came back as abnormal. She knows I am an attentive and educated dog owner, so she asked what I knew before she suggested what to do next. The most likely explanation is, of course, a liver shunt, so she recommends imaging to look for one. She emailed the local internal medicine specialist vet to see what she recommends. I will either go to her, or she will suggest going to Tufts, which is a couple hours away.

I remember a similar thing happened to SinisterKisses when Finley went for his neuter, so I am very glad I had the bloodwork done. I don't look forward to the process ahead, either surgery or medical management depending on the specific issue. We have had a hellish couple of weeks here already. I did't need this!
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  #2  
Old 08-18-2017, 03:44 PM
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Reta, I'm so sorry this has happened. Does Gobo have any symptoms? How old is Gobo? If he is a puppy, maybe this will resolve by itself I have a chi that is 9 yrs old and has been on phenobarbital for years, and has a very abnormal liver enzyme. Just one out of the several liver enzyme tests. She shows no symptoms, and the vet is just watching it. I know that this abnormal test is due to the phenobarbital, so there isn't much I can do about it. She also has an abnormal bile acid test. If you feel comfortable waiting it out, for a couple of months, then I'd wait. Up to you, obviously.
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Old 08-18-2017, 04:43 PM
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Gobo doesn't really have any symptoms. He is at least a 18 months old, but not sure as he was a rescue. I have fed him three kinds of kibble since I had to stop doing raw. His stools are the worst on the one he is eating now, and it has the highest fat, but not the highest protein, of the three formulas. The food with the middle amount of fat but lower protein than the other two was also difficult for him to acclimate to. I wonder if that is because his liver can't process the fat well. If I wait, maybe I will look for a lower fat food in the meantime just to see if it helps his stools.
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Old 08-18-2017, 07:17 PM
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I'm sorry to hear about Gobo.
I honestly don't know much about this topic
But I think you should try changing his food to see if it helps his stools. How many different kibbles has he went through? Maybe their is one he'd do better on, as you said being lower in fat.
The ultimate decision is yours of course but if he really isn't showing any signs perhaps you could wait it out.
Please keep us updated.
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Old 08-18-2017, 08:06 PM
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Ahh I'm sorry to hear this - yes, we had the exact same issue when Fin went for his neuter! Blood work done prior to the procedure showed he has micro-vascular dysplasia. This is why I ALWAYS insist on blood work being done beforehand, you just never know and it's always better TO know.

Gobo isn't showing any symptoms at all? That's good! He'll probably be totally fine then. Finley was diagnosed at 6 months old and same thing, was a complete surprise as he hadn't shown anything even remotely close to a symptom. Finley has now celebrated his 2nd birthday this past June, and his condition has never once affected him in ANY way to date. From the extensive conversations we had with our vet at the time, she/we don't expect that he will likely ever REALLY have an issue given that he's not symptomatic at all. She expects that he will live a full, regular lifetime and it likely won't affect him much at all - perhaps in the future if another issue comes up, it may affect what medication he is able to have and that sort of thing. When he gets into his later senior years, into the teens she figured, he MIGHT need some sort of regular liver medication at that point, but he may not.

Our vet didn't suggest any changes to what his diet was at the time, which is what it is now - he gets Orijen Six Fish kibble with a smidge of wet food mixed in for breakfast and lunch. It's definitely a higher-fat food of course, but he's never had any dietary issues in two years. Which food are you feeding Gobo now? I had asked our vet at the time if we needed to make any dietary changes and she said to leave it be as long as he was doing well on it, so perhaps the issues Gobo is having on his food isn't a result of the liver issue but something else? Either way, if he's not doing well on what he has, certainly couldn't hurt to see if there is something else out there that agrees with him better.

Please keep me updated on what you learn from the internal medical specialist if you go to see her - obviously I have a great interested in this as well! Best of luck to you and Gobo!
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  #6  
Old 08-19-2017, 12:07 AM
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Thank you for responding. When my vet mentioned MVD, I thought that is what Fin was diagnosed with. What kinds of diagnostics did you do? Gobo doesn't have any of the symptoms my vet listed of more advanced disease, though he did take longer than expected to recover from the coccidia he had when I rescued him. He was underweight then, too, despite a good appetite. Of course, he was eating lower-quality food too. He is on Nature's Variety Instinct salmon, the original formula without freeze-dried raw pieces. Of the three formulas I have tried, he did the best on the Merrick grain free Lil Plates beef. He did just OK with Fromm 5 star pork and peas. Merrick was 15% fat, Fromm was 17%, and the Instinct is 20%. I will look for something with lower fat but still plenty of protein.

I will absolutely keep you all updated. My vet was really glad I have this community to learn from and share with, and I am too!
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  #7  
Old 08-19-2017, 12:38 AM
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I think you are on the right track with the lower fat content, if his stools are not as 'good' as a higher fat content. Sounds as if Merrick is the winner! Keep us informed, as we all care.
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Old 08-20-2017, 12:42 AM
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Fin's diagnosis was fairly "easy". As soon as the abnormality came up in his pre-neuter blood work, our vet had her suspicions right away due to the fact that Finley's half brother belongs to one of the girls who works at our vet and also has the condition. When we had started bringing Gizmo to the vet as a puppy, one of the receptionist fell absolutely in love with him and asked for the information on where we got him. She ended up getting a Gizmo-brother from the next litter (Tait) - same mom and dad. Finley has a different mom, but the same dad as Gizmo and Tait. Apparently Tait was diagnosed with MVD when HE was neutered as well, which we didn't know until it came up with Finley (Tait is about a year, year and a half older than Finley). Because our vet knew they had the same dad, she was pretty sure what the issue was when the blood work showed an issue. As such, we did a bile acid profile next, and after that we did a protein culture. I know there was one or two other things we could have done at that point to completely 100% absolutely positively define that he has MVD, but our vet was sure already so we didn't bother paying for procedures that wouldn't really give us any more information.
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