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Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 33258
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience.
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I'm looking to see if you can throw any more light than my

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Hi, I'm looking to see if you can throw any more light than my vet (who is great!) can on my 12 1/2 year old cocker spaniel's liver condition. 2 weeks ago he was sick twice over 2 days. On the second day he was very lethargic and cold. We tokk him to the vet for a check up given his age He has suffered indigestion/reflux (so we and the vet thought) for around 18 months being occasionally (every 3 weeks maybe) sick in the mornings (pre-food) with yellow bile.
The blood tests came back with astronomically high readings. The highest the vet has ever seen. 8,618 ALP/3022 ALT/328 AST/61 gamma GT/580 GLDH/588 bile acids (which were lower POST feed) suggesting he should really be dead! An ultra sound showed 1/3 of the liver as 'fuzzy' but no obvious growth. He had fluids and is now on Destloit/Zitac/Denamrin. there is no sign of infection. BUT he has no jaundice, no ascites or apparent swelling/pain in his abdomen, he is eating and drinking normally, he is bright and lively, has not vomited since, has no diarrhea, is not peeing any more or less than he ever has, he is chasing sticks, balls etc and seems 'back to normal'. In fact he is showing none of the symptoms associated with liver failure/disease that I have found on line or our vet has asked about. We do not think he has been poisoned. My vet has no idea why he appears to be so well given the blood test results. Have you seen this before. We have changed his diet for liver disease. I appreciate that he is in his twilight years but am anxious to throw any light on this. Thank you

I'm sorry to hear of this with your cocker spaniel and I'm sorry that your question wasn't answered in a timely manner. Please note that the degree of liver enzyme elevation doesn't correlate well with the severity of the underlying illness...which appears to be the case with your dog. I'm not certain what "fuzzy" implies; it usually means that the ultrasound waves had to pass through more tissue than usual as might be the case in an obese patient. Ideally, the fuzzy area should be needle biopsied under ultrasound guidance. Barring exploratory surgery, it's the only manner we have to clarify the etiology of liver enzyme increases. Be sure to recheck those test results in a week. There's always the possiblity of lab error. Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.

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Thank you for your kind accept. I appreciate it. I can't set a follow-up in this venue so please return to our conversation - even after rating - with an update at your convenience. You can bookmark this page for ease of return.