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Old 03-16-2014, 02:12 PM
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Default Liver issues

Poor Maggie! About a week ago, she stopped eating anything with bone in it. We noticed in July that she had a broken tooth, but it wasn't bothering her, so we left it. I figured her tooth was bothering her, so I made an appt for a dental, and started feeding her ground beef with eggshells. When she started getting really gassy, I added some ground fennel in with the eggshells to help with that. The day of her dental came, and I felt HORRIBLE. Couldn't get out of bed horrible. So I cancelled that with the intention of rescheduling as soon as I felt better.

Well, before that could happen, Maggie started vomiting little bits here and there... every time she would exert herself. We'd make two passes at fetch and have to throw the toy in the wash. I also noticed she was very protective of her abdomen, and would tense up anytime it was touched. Friday morning, the poor thing started REALLY throwing up, and didn't want anything to do with her food. We went to the vet right away to make sure it wasn't bloat (I didn't figure since it came on slowly, but I still had that fear in the back of my mind, ya know?)

Well, $350 (and a lecture on raw feeding and how dogs can't digest eggshells and I'm going to get salmonella and e coli) later, no bloat, no obstruction, no infection but her blood panel suggests liver inflammation. I believe that she has shown similar symptoms before, but was diagnosed with gastroenteritis, so I'm thinking this could be a recurring issue and we need to watch her liver function.

Has anyone else dealt with liver issues? Any tips or hints or tricks? Things to watch for? I'm doing as much research as I can, but would love some personal stories.
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Old 03-16-2014, 07:13 PM
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Meat and bone are very 'dense' foods to digest. With liver issues that may not be her favorite foods. I'd go with easier to digest protein, like chicken, cottage cheese, yogourt etc.
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Old 03-16-2014, 08:18 PM
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I would have to respectfully disagree with susan, I think that raw meat, bone and organ is about the best thing you can feed to a dog with liver issues ( I am a dedicated raw feeder here myself). Easy to digest, lots of liquid and certainly the best diet you can feed. I would avoid dairy for sure, perticularly if you are having gas issues like you have said. A lot of dogs can't handle dairy at all.

I had similar issues several years back with Copley, elevated liver and kidney values, low energy and my vet just over and over blamed it in raw. Once I found a new vet (who actually looked at the bloodwork amd didn't think I was just killing my dog with raw) we got to the bottom of the problem. If it is an option in your area it might be worth trying another vet. Also have you looked at the bloodwork, actually gotten a copy yourself? I found a lot of intiresting things the vet hadn't told me when I got a real copy of his vet records.

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Old 03-16-2014, 08:24 PM
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Also ground beef is pretty fatty typically, you may want to stick to lower fat things, like bone in chicken breast without the skin (you can smash that with a meat mallet if it is too hard to eat) for now. Not a long term fix because the dog can't eat just chicken forever but you might want to see if that for a week or so provides any relief.

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Old 03-16-2014, 09:17 PM
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Amberleah lou lou was real sick now I feed freeze dried raw she is so much better. Praying for Maggie.
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Old 03-16-2014, 10:25 PM
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Lulu was diagnosed with hepatitis about a year ago. I am assuming it was acute as she had never had it before nor has she had a relapse. My vet said we may never know the cause of it, but he treated her with an antibiotic that included SamE, and put her on a liver cleanse diet. Also, you may want to research for a list a low purine foods. I have a list that shows foods that are high, neutral, and low purine meats, vegetable, & dairy. With dogs that suffer from liver issues it is best to stay with a low purine diet. It is very hard to find a pre-made low purine diet that also has an adequate protein amount because the two are naturally opposites. Flint River dog food was the closest I could come, but I never tried it. I ended up home-cooking for Lulu until she was well. I'm not very tech savvy--I don't know how to post the purine list I have on this thread large enough for you to read it, but if you can't find one and want a copy of mine PM me your email addr, and I'll scan and email you a copy of mine.

edit: Also, milkthistle is great for the liver.
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Old 03-18-2014, 03:13 PM
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Thanks for all the advice! Maggie is feeling mostly better. She hasn't vomited in 3 days, and she's gotten really perky - wanting to play fetch all the time like normal! She lost an amazing amount of fluid retention, that she had apparently be holding for months - I thought she had just gained a lot of weight because I haven't been able to walk her for the past few months! Surprise!
I'm keeping her on raw. She has had too many other health improvements over the last 4 years not to try. I added pumpkin and yogurt with probiotics alternately to her ground food. Now I am trying to add back whole foods, she ate chicken breast with bone yesterday. It took her awhile, but she ate it. I'm taking that as a good sign.
She is still showing signs of pain, a little whimpering here and there, and she's protective of her abdomen. We're keeping an eye on that and hoping it's just residual soreness from the inflammation.
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