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I'm Trying Not To Panic & Worry Yet ...

Guest MomofCash

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Guest MomofCash

... but I took the girls in for their shots today, wanted to get some bloodwork run on Flecka as her liver enzymes were a bit elevated the last time. Well, doc said that it seems that her liver is enlarged a bit. This was just from feeling her, etc. - no tests. I'll get the results of her bloodwork on Monday morning. I love our vet, but I know he's not a specialist and will refer us somewhere if it's something that we need to take further ...


I don't want to worry yet, but can someone give me some things that would result in an enlarged liver? He mentioned hepatitis? ... liver cancer ... but that was about it ... so I'm trying not to freak, but I would like to know the right questions to ask.


Thanks in advance ...

A trying-not-to-worry Mom ... :(




Well, woke up first thing this morning and called Flecka's vet. He said her ALT is normal ... actually it's 44 (compared to early/middle of this year when it was 152). At that point, we put her on the milk thistle. So I asked about him about feeling that her liver was enlarged and he said not to worry ... when we were there on Saturday, he'd feel Cash - then feel Flecka - then feel Cash, then Flecka ... guess he was comparing and Flecka's felt larger? I don't know, guess I'm stumped and not sure whether to worry and whether to bring her in for additional test/bloodwork to check for something specific. Evidently he didn't run a full panel like last time - only enough to check these things:


ALKP = 51 U/L (reference range 23 - 212)

ALT = 44 U/L (reference range 10-100)

BUN = 16 mg/dl (reference range 7-27)

CREA = 1.7 mg/dl (reference range 0.5 - 1.8)

GLU = 199 mg/dl (reference range 74 - 143)

TP = 4.8 g/dl (reference range 5.2 - 8.2)

Na = 150 mmol/l (reference range 144 - 160)

K = 4.4 mmol/l (reference range 3.5 - 5.8)

Cl = 120 mmol/l (reference range 109 - 122)


And I just realized that her GLU is higher this time (199 compared to 104) - is that a big difference?


I really do love our vet, but I know he's not a specialist and has very few Greyhounds that he deals with. Any thoughts/comments/suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Patti suggested that maybe I should take her in for an ultrasound just to make sure ... any thoughts ?




Edited by MomofCash
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There are quite a few things that can affect the liver - it's the hardest-working organ in the body, having multiple functions. Don't panic yet - but it wouldn't hurt to put her on silymarin to help to support it. You can buy it over the counter - get the best quality you can find, and IIRC, you can give a greyhound the same dose as a person, but if you do a search on GT in H&M, you'll find topics about it.


Jack had an enlarged liver when we got him, and again a while later - even I could feel it. I strongly suspect it was related to his horribly filthy mouth. He's had so many teeth out now that he only has a few left to chew with on one side (we occasionally have to do a course of antibiotics for his gums) and he hasn't had a liver problem in over a year. He's nearly twelve and a half and as far as the vet is concerned, fit as a flea apart from the mouth and the arthritis - and the old gammy eye. :lol


Good luck with Flecka - hopefully it's something that can be dealt with. :goodluck



The plural of anecdote is not data

Brambleberry Greyhounds My Etsy Shop

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I have a similar issue with my Whippet mix Summer.


She had pre-surgery bloodwork in the summer for a dental. Her liver enzymes were elevated. She had no symtons, just the bloodwork. We did a round of antibiotics - no change. Ultrasound came back normal. We did the dental - no change. Put her on a one month round of a liver medication (can't remember the name) - her enzyme level increased.


Still has no clinical symptons, but I did the Dex-test - normal. Did the Bile Duct test - normal. (Both are just bloodwork, so not invasive.)


The internist recommends a deeper ultrasound to see inside the liver or a biospy. I am not doing a biopsy since she still has no symptons.


The vet recommended a round of Denosyl - another liver drug. I retested her blood yesterday & her enzymes are down 300. We are going to continue her on the meds for another month and see if that trends continue.


Jennifer Watkins

Shamrock Greyhound Placement

Louisville, KY




Jennifer Watkins

Shamrock Greyhound Placement, Louisville, KY

Greyhound Festival of the Bluegrass -July 19-21, 2013

Holiday Inn/Hurstbourne, Louisville KY

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No advice...just sending my prayers. :grouphug Angel LaceyLaine had VERY elevated liver enzymes and one value was up over 1200 at the end. The medication did not help her. We thought that the chemo caused her elevations and they changed protocols but in fact it was the lymphoma that had spread to her liver. :( Cody Angelo's enzymes are elevated and he is on sam-E. He has no symptoms and they feel it is due to the 2 years of being on pred for his lungs. :grouphug


Patti-Mommy of Lady Sophia 7-28-92 - 8-3-04... LaceyLaine 8-2-94-12-5-07...

Flash Gordon 7-14-99 - 8-29-09... BrookLynne...Pavé Maria... and 18 Bridge Kids.




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Guest MomofCash
Sending prayers. I use milk thistle for liver support and you can use SamE also


A TBD can affect the liver.



After you suggested it after her last results, I put her on the milk thistle ... should I do the SamE along with the milk thistle ?


TBD ... I wouldn't think so here where we are, but I suppose that could be. Will that be picked up in her blood panel or we have to run something specifically ?

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Guest MomofCash
TBDs can lay dormant for 5-7 years. You need to do a TBD panel. Unfortunately, not all of them show in the panel, but it's a start.


What are her platelets and HCT?


I did not realize TBDs can lay dormant for so long ... she's only 5, will be 6 in June and we got her from the Pensacola track after Hurricane Ivan, when she had just turned 2.


I don't have her results yet - will have them first thing in the morning and let you know.


I'm just sick with worry ... besides Cash's camping accident 2-1/2 years ago, the girls have been healthy ... and except for Cash's teeth. Flecka is just so young ...

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Guest MomofCash
TBDs can lay dormant for 5-7 years. You need to do a TBD panel. Unfortunately, not all of them show in the panel, but it's a start.


What are her platelets and HCT?


Hey Diane - all I could find here at home were her results from last January ... I have the rest of her stuff at work:


ALB - 3.1 g/dl

ALKP - 41 U/L

ALT - 152 U/L

AMYL - 941 U/L

BUN - 40 mg/dl

Ca - 10.3 mg/dl

CHOL - 140 mg/dl

CREA - 1.5 mg/dl

GLU - 104 mg/dl

PHOS - 4.5 mg/dl

TBIL - 0.2 mg/dl

TP - 5.8 g/dl

GLOB - 2.7 g/dl

Na - 158 mmol/l

K - 4.7 mmol/l

Cl - 125 mmol/l


HCT - 49.1%

HGB - 17.1 g/dl

MCHC - 34.8 g/dl

WBC - 6.5 x10 to the 9/L

GRANS - 4.4 x10 to the 9/L

%GRANS - 68%

L/M - 2.1 x10 to the 9/L

%L/M - 32%

PLT - 192 x10 to the 9/L


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And I just realized that her GLU is higher this time (199 compared to 104) - is that a big difference?


glucose goes up with stress and/or if she had eaten within two hours prior. it's more than likely normal for her situation. if you notice in the future unexplained weight loss with lots of drinking and lots of peeing, have glucose rechecked because those are common symptoms of diabetes. when I ran lab samples, I found normal glucose to be the exception rather than the rule.



Angie, Pewter, and Storm-puppy

Forever missing Misty-Mousie (9/9/99 - 10/5/15)
Fort Wayne, Indiana

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Take a deep breath :P I think her bloodwork looks great. Yes, the glucose is a little on the high side but, that may be stress related. You might want to have her urine checked--they can look for glucose or ketone's in the urine to rule out diabetes. They will also check the specific gravity of the urine (that checks the urine concentration--diabetes make you drink more therefore, diluting the urine--you would like to see a reading of 1.030 or higher--oh, and the first morning urine would be the most accurate).

Breath :P :P

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Diagnosing an enlarged liver on a physical examination not always a straight forward thing. Especially in a Greyhound with a very deep chest. The liver also won't fluctuate in size significantly from 1 day to the next so if a liver is truly enlarged... it is likely to stay that way for awhile b/c it rarely swells overnight. There are LOTS of possible reasons for an enlarged liver but first thing you would want to know is if it is truly enlarged. I'd consider an x-ray of the abdomen to evaluate the size of the liver. With the ALT and ALP being normal that makes liver disease less likely but not impossible. ALT will elevate when there is damage to a liver cell but diseases can effect the liver without always damaging liver cells. ALP elevations are a LOT harder to deal with b/c mild/moderate elevations can be completely normal in older dogs or can be indicative of disease.


I'd get an x-ray and if the liver is not enlarged... you have no worries. : ) If it is enlarged... I might have a radiologist take a look at the x-rays to confirm the enlargement and then you can decide if anything else such as an ultrasound should be considered. My guess is w/ normal bloodwork... the liver likely isn't overly distended but an x-ray should tell you for certain.





Bella and Sky at the bridge

"Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened." -Anabele France


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