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Mildly Elevated Alt Liver Enzymes; Should I Be Concerned?


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Fred came home on October 28, 2012, the day before Hurricane Sandy. He had been in Wheeling, WV for about 1 year after coming off the track, because no one wanted a black male, not cat safe, and an adoption group near Amsterdam, NY, Forever Home Adoptions, brought him north in the hope of finding him a home in August, 2012, I believe. He is almost 6. While he was with the foster home parents, for about two months, I think, he ate Darford kibble. I have been feeding him the same food since he came to me, about two weeks ago, with the addition of a half can of Blue Buffalo to moisten the kibble with each meal. I've also been giving him a glucosamine500/chondroitin 400 capsule with each of his two daily meals, since that is what his "sister", Kimba, gets, and it seemed to me that for the same reason she needed it, he would too.

 

He got to the vet for his general checkup on Saturday 11/10, and his results were unremarkable except for a slightly elevated ALT (SPGT) value of 144; the normal range is 12-118. I've read elsewhere that the time to worry is when this level is two to three times the normal range, which is certainly nowhere near what he has. My vet prescribed a month of Denamarine. Is she overreacting?

 

The only other value that was slightly out of whack was his pH from his urinalysis, which was 8.0; normal range is 5.5 - 7.0. That she didn't mention, I imagine because it is too small a rise to be of concern. But she clearly was concerned about the liver values. How worried should I be?

 

That aside, Fred is an AWESOME dog. He is so sweet, full of affection, likes to play and run in the yard, chews his bully sticks and stuffies, and follows the lead of his predecessor in interest, Kimba. They seem to be forging a real bond as she explains to him the ins and outs of being retired. He is very unwilling to learn about stairs, so much so, more than my three prior greys, that I suspect he may have had a very bad experience with them, and I am not pushing them. Kimba, my other grey, is a lively lady, 5 1/2 years old, and has been with me since July 7. In comparison to my first greyhound, Booker, whom I adored, these hounds are incredibly un-neurotic, laid back, and cheerful. But I was hoping not to have to deal with any major health issues, at least for a while. If anyone has any experience with ALT liver enzyme values like these, I'd appreciate hearing about your experiences.

 

Thanks,

 

Terry

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Loving Kimba & Fred, missing Booker & Polly, first greyhounds, never forgotten.
"I am in favor of animal rights as well as human rights.
That is the way of a whole human being."
Abraham Lincoln

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I'm curious to read the responses. Henry's bloodwork came back today, and the liver enzyme levels were high. They were also higher than normal during his last round of bloodwork in March. He has seizures, so I'm wondering if there's any connection between the two?

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Desi had an elevated ALT back in the spring. - 177- Freaked me out, although the vet said that wasn't "scary" high. Did a month of Denamarin anyway.

Rechecked ALT in 30 days, back down to his normal 55 and has not increased again since then. I wondered it that higher number wasn't maybe just a

fluke and he really hadn't needed the Denamarin.......hindsight & all that.

Blessed is the person who has earned the love of an old dog.

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Denamarin is awesome stuff!! Needs to be given on an empty tummy, about 2 hours after a meal and 2 hours before a meal.

Wendy and The Whole Wherd. American by birth, Southern by choice.
"Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy and taste good with ketchup!"
****OxyFresh Vendor ID is 180672239.****

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Yes, that is what I am wondering, too, DesiRayMom. Part of what is so scary is not knowing how seriously to take this value. It's not super high. Were Desi's other values normal, like Fred's? I'll go ahead with the Denamarin, and hope that Fred does as well afterwards as Desi did, but I'll still wonder what caused the higher value, and whether if he didn't take the Denamarin the end result would have been the same.

 

Terry

 

GreyTzu, that will be hard to do. I can give Fred the pill an hour before breakfast, but two hours before will be really hard. The prescribing info says 1 hour before eating. Won't that be good enough?

 

Terry

bth_FredandKimbaGreytalksignature1.jpg?t

Loving Kimba & Fred, missing Booker & Polly, first greyhounds, never forgotten.
"I am in favor of animal rights as well as human rights.
That is the way of a whole human being."
Abraham Lincoln

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Congrats on your adoption! I'm a volunteer with Forever Home Greyhound Adoptions, which is out of Middleburgh, NY, not Amsterdam, and our president, Paula, has a heart as big as all outdoors when it comes to Greyhounds that have been left behind. So glad you took him, and lots of good wishes that he is healthy.

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Think your vet is being overly cautious. However, Denamarin is an awesome supplement for ailing livers-just don't think you need to use it at this time.

 

http://www.greyhound-data.com/dir/446/Making_Sense_of_Blood_Work_in_Greyhounds.pdf

 

Yes, that is what I am wondering, too, DesiRayMom. Part of what is so scary is not knowing how seriously to take this value. It's not super high. Were Desi's other values normal, like Fred's? I'll go ahead with the Denamarin, and hope that Fred does as well afterwards as Desi did, but I'll still wonder what caused the higher value, and whether if he didn't take the Denamarin the end result would have been the same.

 

Terry

 

GreyTzu, that will be hard to do. I can give Fred the pill an hour before breakfast, but two hours before will be really hard. The prescribing info says 1 hour before eating. Won't that be good enough?

 

Terry

If you are going to proceed with the Denamarin give it an hour before breakfast after an overnight fast. It's poorly absorbed hence the need to have an empty tummy-also keep the tablet in the blister pack until right before administration.

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All of Desi's other numbers were fine......but probably just like you, I worried about it anyway, and one box of Denamarin was a small

price to pay for peace of mind. Maybe he really didn't need it, but it didn't hurt anything, and made me feel better.

 

Hope your outcome is just as reassuring.

Blessed is the person who has earned the love of an old dog.

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Denamarin needs to be in the intestine to provide the most good, hence the fast. Disco's ER Vet was adamant about the 2 hour rule. We are allowed to give the tab with a pill pocket.

 

For Disco, I simply set my alarm at the appointed time, gave him the Denamarin and went back to bed. Although, I work nights and we just don't feed him or give any treats after 3 a.m.. But we went though over two months of a plethora of daily meds. at timed intervals, resulting in many alarms and lack of sleep.

 

I am not trying to argue with tbhounds. I am simply parroting the information our ER Vet gave us. :)

Wendy and The Whole Wherd. American by birth, Southern by choice.
"Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy and taste good with ketchup!"
****OxyFresh Vendor ID is 180672239.****

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I agree with tbhounds that your vet is being overly cautious. The Denamarin won't hurt so there's nothing wrong with using it. If the dog is acting completely fine and not having any problems, I often don't immediately start meds or supplements for liver enzyme elevations, even if they are higher than 2-3 times the high end of normal.

 

Knowing that the liver is the organ that processes and filters just about everything that the dog eats or is exposed to, any number of things can cause mild, temporary insults to the liver, which will increase those bloodwork values. Simply rechecking the bloodwork in a month or so will usually tell you if it's a longer lasting trend that is cause for concern, or just a temporary elevation that isn't significant (in which case, the numbers are usually back in the normal range after a month or two).

Jennifer &

Willow (Wilma Waggle), Wiki (Wiki Hard Ten), Carter (Let's Get It On),

Ollie (whippet), Gracie (whippet x), & Terra (whippet) + Just Saying + Just Alice

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I just posted this asking the same thing

http://forum.greytalk.com/index.php/topic/292045-diamonds-bloodwork/

 

Diamond's ALT was 284 last year and now it's 184. The vet wasn't worried but I have have him on milk thistle for the last year.

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Kari and the pups.
Run free sweet Hana 9/21/08-9/12/10. Missing Sparks with every breath.
Passion 10/16/02-5/25/17

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Thank you all for your input! I contacted Dr. Christine Kellogg at OSU who told me that Fred's ALT value was normal for greyhounds. So my mind is at rest!

 

Terry

bth_FredandKimbaGreytalksignature1.jpg?t

Loving Kimba & Fred, missing Booker & Polly, first greyhounds, never forgotten.
"I am in favor of animal rights as well as human rights.
That is the way of a whole human being."
Abraham Lincoln

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