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Ask Dr. Susan Your Own Question

Dr. Susan
Dr. Susan, Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 6785
Experience:  8 years of clinical experience with specialty in veterinary pain management, urology, and geriatrics
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would MRI scan detect liver abnormalities in 7 year old Springer

Customer Question

would MRI scan detect liver abnormalities in 7 year old Springer Spaniel? Liver blood results are very high indicating hepatic disease however dog is quite normal and active. Vets are confused and feel a biopsy is necessary but we feel this could be detrimental and aggravatious.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Vet
Expert:  Dr. Susan replied 1 year ago.
Dr. Susan :

Hi, I can help you with your question today.

Dr. Susan :

Yes, MRI would be able to detect some structural issues with the liver such as a portosystemic shunt (blood vessel abnormality) or a tumor.

Dr. Susan :

However, MRI require general anesthesia. I think we can get a very good amount of information with other tests prior to concluding we might need MRI.

Dr. Susan :

I would love to see a copy of Clyde's lab work if you have it.

JACUSTOMER-uxp0qu3z- :

Thanks for your reply. This is a relations dog so will try to obtain more information concerning labwork.

Dr. Susan :

Great, that would be really helpful.

Dr. Susan :

For a dog that is showing no clinical signs other than fever, I'm very suspicious.

Dr. Susan :

Do you know if they repeated his temperature multiple times to make sure it was truly elevated?

Dr. Susan :

He is a Springer after all!

JACUSTOMER-uxp0qu3z- :

Temperature taken once a week over last three weeks. One of his liver blood results was 69 and the vet said it should range from 1 to 10. Initially about 4 weeks ago he lost his appetite although did not lose his bounce, daughter changed diet to chicken and rice after advice from vet but he is now back on his usual diet and is still acting normally and appears totally himself in every way! However, his "poo" is a funny colour - a bit green.

Dr. Susan :

Interesting, I don't suppose you know which blood result that was? ALP/alk phos, ALT?

Dr. Susan :

Do you know if his liver tests were repeated yet?

Dr. Susan :

It would be helpful to know if they are improving, worsening or just stable.

JACUSTOMER-uxp0qu3z- :

I think all of these blood tests have been carried out but not sure which one relates to the 69 result. He has had a series of blood tests over a three week period. He has been scanned but dont think it was an mri scan, however, scan did indicate his liver was small but no obvious signs of tumours elsewhere. The vet is calling in three of his colleagues from other practices to see Clyde on Tuesday for assessment but he feels it may be necessary to carry out a biopsy by surgery and we are concerned this may be very detrimental and dangerous for Clyde.

Dr. Susan :

OK. I do think that biopsy would be a good idea here.

Dr. Susan :

The small liver suggests a process that is more chronic. I'm concerned about true hepatitis.

Dr. Susan :

Once we get the biopsy sample, I would also consider starting oral steroids since antibiotics have failed to resolve the fever and the liver values.

JACUSTOMER-uxp0qu3z- :

Thank you very much for your comments, was wondering what are the causes of hepatitis in dogs please? Being a retired nurse I had thought steroid therapy was an option. If you still need the blood results I will try and obtain them but it will take a little time.

JACUSTOMER-uxp0qu3z- :

He has a tendency to go for the kitchen bin. Could there be something there?

Dr. Susan :

We can see a number of different causes of hepatitis - infectious diseases (virus, leptospirosis), copper accumulation (not common in this breed), many different medications, and also quite a few idiopathic cases.

Dr. Susan :

Yes, he could have been exposed to something toxic in the garbage, however, I would expect his liver values to be bouncing back by now if that were the case.

JACUSTOMER-uxp0qu3z- :

Thank you for your responses I will discuss them with my daughter.

Dr. Susan :

Great! Let me know if you get that lab work and I will be happy to review it.

JACUSTOMER-uxp0qu3z- :

Many thanks.

Dr. Susan :

You're very welcome.

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