Hi all. My basenji Suzy is a 12 year old 28lb healthy looking girl. She has always been very healthy apart from high liver enzymes for about five years (caught on yearly routine bloodwork). They have gradually crept up over the years and her highest was around 600, although all of them have been elevated for this time. She has never shown any symptoms of being ill, no stomach problems, sickness, skin, eyes, gums and coat are excellent. She did have six teeth removed, two about five years ago and four more eighteen months ago. She also has a touch of arthritis and we give her Galiprant occasionally for this, especially this time of year when it gets cold and damp. She also takes thyroid meds as she was low on the t4 test. She has had several ultrasounds and her liver looks normal, we also had a Cushing test which came back negative. We have been giving her Denamarin and Marin+ for the entire five years her enzymes have been high.
Four months ago, we took her for her regular blood work to check the enzymes (we do so every about three months) and they were the highest we had seen (highest one was 600) so the vet prescribed Ursodiol, which is a bile acid supplement designed to help her liver. We did a bile acid test and it came back poor, so he said the Ursodiol might help. We also switched her door to Royal Canin hepatic prescription food. We retested her blood after a month and her enzymes all came down. Then we restested again three months on and two are normal, the other is 380 or so, down from 600. So it seems that things are making a difference.
I don’t really want to put her through a liver biopsy, on the ultrasound and xrays (abdomen and chest) everything looks great, as though she has no liver disease. Also the vet said as we are managing it well, it seems unnecessary at her age.
Now we get to the strange part. She has had two episodes where she seems disoriented since we started this. She will just suddenly look at you dumbfounded as though she doesn’t know what is going on. The latest bloodwork showed she has low blood sugar, 56 was the reading from the lab, 70 on an Alphatrak glucose meter. She does not like the hepatic food much and is not a morning eater, so we were feeding her minimal food as we are also mindful she is overweight, which is not good for her joints. So with the low blood sugar, we are trying to get three smaller meals down her over the day and trying to get her to eat more. She has however never been underfed, so I don’t really understand why the sugar is low. Her calcium also came back at the top of the high side but within range on the latest tests.
We took her for another ultrasound and everything looks good, so it is a mystery. The vet did find a small tumor just under her tail but says it is probably benign and is only on the skin. He also did urinalysis which he said had small crystals in it, they are rechecking this again and I should get the results back in the next few days. The Ursodiol is an appetite suppressant in some cases, so maybe it was that? We were going to do an insulin test, but since we increased the food, we fasted her 12 hours, brought her to the vets and her blood sugar was perfect, so couldn’t do the test. Finally, her weight has been stable for the last two years.
Has anyone encountered a mysterious low blood sugar / symptoms like this?
Am I doing the right thing avoiding the liver biopsy?
I am going to book her in to have the small tumor removed, so I figure might as well do a dental cleaning at the same time. The vet says she is in marvelous shape for her age.