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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 29034
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience.
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My chocolate Labrador has been diagnosed with liver failure

Customer Question

My chocolate Labrador has been diagnosed with liver failure and the vet says there's no hope for her but she is only 2yrs 9 mths old and he has only scanned her he hasn't done any blood or urine tests... We originally brought her to da vet a week ago cause she wasn't eating but looked vry bloated... Our other Labrador got killed 7 wks ago and we taut she was pining after him as she hadn't ate properly since.. The vet said she has a faulty liver which wasn't a result of anything dat we did and that it's vry rare he only came across it once before... The fluid is now gone out of her stomach and she looks normal again..She won't eat for me with the last 3 days but is still running after her stick when thrown but she is more tired and sleeping a lot... She's still happy but I really don't want her starving and I'm afraid that's what's happening to her... What can I do
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Vet
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 3 years ago.
Aloha! You're speaking with Dr. Michael Salkin
I'm sorry that your question wasn't answered in a timely manner. You and I both know that liver failure can't be diagnosed without blood and urine tests being performed. The pertinent tests are the liver enzymes AP, ALT, and GGT; bilirubin, total protein; and most important bile acid testing which tells us how well the liver is functioning. The presence of ammonium biurate crystals in the urine suggests liver insufficiency and the finding of excess levels of bilirubin in the liver is troubling.

X-rays revealing a small liver (microliver) suggest a liver disorder and fluid in the stomach (an abdominal effusion) is worrisome for a failing liver but can be caused by many different disorders. I wouldn't expect that effusion to go away unless those tablets were a diuretic. Please insist upon the proper blood/urine testing so you know what to expect with Holly. We do recognize a chronic idiopathic (unknown cause) hepatitis in Labs.

Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.