News on Willie's health issues

It's been a couple of weeks, but Willie (and Rosie) strip tested negative for Fanconi, which is good news! But Willie continues to drink more water than I think he should. So far, he has had three tests that indicate something with the liver (bile acids elevated). His last test was a fasting test. He was also tested for UTI and it was negative.

The vet suggested that we put him on special liver diet food, which is easy enough. Right now Willie is eating high protein food, and the liver food is lower protein. He said we could also do a sonogram and a biopsy of the liver. He's not a vet whose prone to invasive procedures and would probably suggest that we only do the biopsy if we can't figure out what's up. He gave me all the test results so that I could take them to my Chinese vet (who saved a cat of mine with liver problems) which is probably a good next step.

Has anyone ever encountered something like this? Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Senji was diagnosed with severe liver disease a year ago. The vet put him on Science Diet-liver diet formula…which he hated...and refused to eat unless he was absolutely starving to death. He eats mostly home-cooked food now. Sometimes mixed with some of his old dry dog food for fiber. Red meat makes him especially sick. He mostly eats white meat chicken or turkey breast, mixed with rice or pasta, and vegetables. He likes peas, carrots and green beans. He also likes an occasional scrambled egg, cottage cheese and plain yogurt.
For meds, the compounding pharmacist makes him something called ursodiol. He also takes pepcid, milk thistle and Sam-E. As long as his liver enzyme levels keep improving, I'll keep feeding him like this. Also, he eats several small meals a day. As long as I've had him, he always drank lots of water.
I wasn't willing to let them do the liver biopsy on him since it involved anesthesia, and it could've killed him in his condition at the time. They did an x-ray and blood tests only. The vet suspects that his liver problem was caused by a defect in the porto-systemic shunt. How old is Willie? Senji was 11 when he was diagnosed.

If liver problems, one of the best things to get him on is Milk Thistle…

My personal opinion would be to at least have an ultrasound done to see if there are tumors. My Kristii had a liver tumor about the size of a small grapefruit that we had removed. It was not cancer and in fact part was already dead when they did the surgery. Future blood work shows elevated liver results in the blood work and ultra sounds show a growing tumor that seems to die off in parts...... but she is on milk thistle and one cap of Hepagen-C (made by Thorne) and has been doing great for the last 4 yrs. I am of the opinion that this was a problem in the litter, as 4 of the 6 have passed due to liver problems, only Kristii has lived on... I am fairly certain that their Sire died on liver problems, but never confirmed by a Vet.... again if you can, I would opt for the liver ultrasound...

As soon as I pay the last vet bill, I'll go for the sonogram. It's funny, Willie doesn't get sick on what he eats now - I've read that liver problems can make them sick - he loves it, as a matter of fact (Core high protein). I hope he will eat the Science Diet liver diet food. We'll take it one day at a time.

Here is a link to a recipe for a homemade liver cleansing diet and information on Milk Thistle. It is from a canine epilepsy site so there is information related to that also.

http://www.canine-epilepsy-guardian-angels.com/liver_diet.htm

@lvoss:

Here is a link to a recipe for a homemade liver cleansing diet and information on Milk Thistle. It is from a canine epilepsy site so there is information related to that also.

http://www.canine-epilepsy-guardian-angels.com/liver_diet.htm

Thank you so much! And I liked seeing that it was Jean Dodds - I sent Willie and Rosie's initial blood work for hypothyroidism to her to see if she could see something the regular vet didn't and while she didn't see symptoms of hyperthyroidism, she did notice the elevated liver enzymes. Maybe I could send her the most recent tests as well. We just don't know what's causing it.

I've ordered the Science Diet, but it won't be in until Monday. Maybe I can make him some of the cleansing diet until then (it sounds pretty good to me, as well - I can cook for Willie and my family at the same time)!

What is in the S.diet food that the Vet is recommending? I am not a fan of S.Diet.. and I have not changed Kristii's food at all… I do use the liver cleansing diet along with the milk thistle and the Hepagen-C (you can order this on line).

You can go to the website and check out the ingredients to their pet products. www.hillspet.com
When Senji didn't like the liver diet formula, we tried the i/d formula for digestive problems, which was also low protein. The good thing is that if your dog doesn't like it, they'll buy it back from you. (Click the link for prescription diet.)

@elena86:

You can go to the website and check out the ingredients to their pet products. www.hillspet.com
When Senji didn't like the liver diet formula, we tried the i/d formula for digestive problems, which was also low protein. The good thing is that if your dog doesn't like it, they'll buy it back from you. (Click the link for prescription diet.)

I would never use this because it contains Ethoxyquin (a preservative). Goggle Ethoxyquin.. it is a poison… and 90% of the manufactures have removed this from Dog Food... with the exception it seems of prescription foods... you can also find this in Euk prescription foods. I looked at 3 or 4 of the SD prescription foods and they all have Ethoxyquin in them

Im sorry that your boy is having this problem. But I do want to suggest trying something different than Science Diet. Now this is all just IMO but it is not a good food, prescription or not. Most vets push SD because that's what they're taught is a good food and its the only one dogs with medical issues should eat. Also, the change to SD might not do well for him because of the quality difference between what you feed now to the (IMO) crap that's in all SD foods

(Again just IMO) I see switching a dog from a good food like Core as saying "okay I eat 3 square and balanced meals a day, but now I'm gonna eat only mcdonalds and greasy pizza because the doctor said its what I need"

There are many foods out there that are high quality and low protien. I just looked at the ingridents for the prescription food. That's just gross. There's nothing healthy about the top five and those are the main body of the food.

Okay I'm really sorry I rambled, in the end its all up to you, I just try to help people know that there are better options than Science Diet. You can also google canine nutritionist (sp?) and consult with them, also talk with your Chinese vet too about feeding options

Here is a link to series of articles about ethoxyquin.

http://members.tripod.com/dachshealth/ethoxyquin.htm

Thank you for all the advice. The interesting thing is that my partner has liver problems, and one of the things he's supposed to stay away from are preservatives, so it's pretty amazing that there are preservatives in foods that are supposed to be good for the liver. I think the food is already ordered, but I don't feel compelled to feed it to him. I'm going to try the cleanse, the milk thistle and the hepagen-c and see where it gets us. He's going to like all the attention and special foods - he loves vegies.

And then I'll take him and his test results to Dr. Wen and see what he has to say. What he's done in the past for a cat I had with severe liver problems due to taking prednisone for a long time was, in conjunction with a few other things, put her on a chinese herb remedy. I thought we were going to lose her, but she's fat and happy now.

Can you try returning the food?

And sounds like a good plan of action to me…. fingers crossed he does well!!!

By the way with the Hepagen-C, I break the capsule and mix the power with the food…

Science Diet will give you a refund for the food…as long as the dog hasn't eaten more than 1/2 of a bag of the dry, and for any unopened cans. If you bought it from the vet, they should give you the refund directly. I wasn't happy with Science Diet, but the Vet was really pushing it. It's almost like human doctors who get lots of perks from the pharm reps to push their products.

@elena86:

Science Diet will give you a refund for the food…as long as the dog hasn't eaten more than 1/2 of a bag of the dry, and for any unopened cans. If you bought it from the vet, they should give you the refund directly. I wasn't happy with Science Diet, but the Vet was really pushing it. It's almost like human doctors who get lots of perks from the pharm reps to push their products.

Exactly… and as with everything, buyer beware... it is our responsibility to do the research and ask the questions.... but it just floors me that these so call prescription foods are loaded with things like ethoxyquin. I found this out when Kristii was having food allergies.. and the Vet at that time was pushing Euk....

Funny you guys mention this as today Dallas had his third vet appointment for his puppy shots [rabies, etc] & when the vet found out I was feeding Merrick's he didn't like it. He kept trying to convince me that Purina, Euk & Science Diet are the best & that Merrick's is too new to really have the quality of food that Euk & the others have been "perfecting for centuries". I like this guy but it kind of annoyed me actually. :mad:

He said he would switch him back to Euk if he were me & also said that if I choose to stay with Merrick's I should at least have him on their puppy blend not the regular because of the extra stuff pups need. I didn't bother to mention the fact that adult Merrick's have more protein, fat, etc than any commerical puppy kibble :rolleyes: Less fillers & more concentrated…sounds better in my opinion.

Oh & also, I mentioned adding fish oil to his kibble & he said it "wasn't necessary" & that his dry skin in his ears is because I am swbbing them too frequently. That actually may be the case [too much cleaning on my part] but the fish oil could never hurt right? 😕

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