Oscar's vet visit and blood test results

A couple weeks ago I posted questions related to Oscar's recent Red Yeast issue, as well as stinky issues like breath and gas. Recently, I'd noticed changes in Oscar's behavior which were concerning only because they were outside his norm. Things like excessive drinking (although I hadn't noticed excessive urination), lethargy and being more clingy than normal. So, in an abundance of caution I took him to the vet. No infections were discovered, no blockages, fever or anything else indicating illness. Blood liver results indicated a slightly elevated AST and an even higher Alk Phosphatase (3x the highest normal level) as well as elevated cortisol (which may have been due to Oscar's anxiety level, being at the vet's office). Vet suggested an ultrasound and/or an all-day test to monitor cortisol to rule out Cushings disease. Due to Oscar's sensitivity to vet visits I tend to opt for whatever is the least traumatic, rather than rushing into additional testing. I'm considering supplementing a liver support preparation for the time being and am waiting to hear back from my vet on her approval. I'll get Oscar retested in a month or so. BTW, as to the Red Yeast, vet has perscribed ketoconazole. We'll see how well that works.

In the interim, I'm researching dog foods that might also help to support liver function. I've read that fish-based diets aren't the best due to seafood having possible toxins. Oscar's main dry food is fish based. Any suggestions?

 

Thanks!

Debbie S/

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Replies

  • Denamarin is a very good liver supplement for dogs. I would ask the vet about that.

    I don't know where you read that about fish based diets, but it is not accurate. There are no toxins in any of the food brands we recommend, fish-based or otherwise. Dietary changes have no effect on liver function and it is not advised to make changes in diet unless there is severe liver disease or excess copper levels in bloodwork. I would leave his diet alone, the last thing he or you need right now are additional changes and variables to worry and wonder about. :)
    Adding a new medication and possibly a new supplement is enough. Too many changes at once can cause problems and confusion. 
    This article may reassure you. 
    https://www.tuftsyourdog.com/dogfoodandnutrition/feeding-the-dog-wi...

    Feeding the Dog with Liver Disease - TuftsYourDog
    There are only two main instances where dietary change has been shown to be beneficial for liver disease.
  •  Thanks Karen. Maybe I had confused toxins with "certain compounds" in fish as per the article you linked to:

    “Things like organ meats and fish contain higher levels of certain compounds (purines, some of the amino acids) that can be particularly harmful for dogs with bad liver disease."

    In any case, the article refers to dogs with severe liver disease, which certainly isn't the case with Oscar (not yet, anyway).

    I'll hold off changing his diet, although there's something my gut tells me is off with his latest 2 bags of Acana Lamb and Apple. The smell is definitely different and stronger. 

    I'll look into denamarin.

    Again, thanks!

     

    • I'm confused. How is his food fish based if it's the Acana Lamb and Apple formula? 

      • Acana Lamb and Apple is just a small portion of Oscar's blend I put together for him. The majority of his meal is Fromm Grain Free Weight Management which consists primarily of whitefish and salmon proteins. He had been on that exclusively for a good while while he lost weight, but it didn't have enough calories to help him maintain his weight. 

  • I can tell you that Jack had elevated alkaline phosphatase for years and years, as a result of being on prednisone for his IBD, and it had no effect on his health or anything else. An elevated liver enzyme by itself doesn't really mean much. Until the number is over 600, even the internal medicine specialists don't worry about it or do anything to treat it.  

    • Yeah, my research bore that out. The slightly to moderately elevated numbers Oscar had just didn't warrant the additional tests my vet suggested.

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