Liver problems in my B

Most of the time we think and concentrate on the kidneys. The liver can also be a problem. My 14 yr old blk/wht, Nika was going through what the vet thought were back related whimpering and crying episodes with darting around and hiding under the dining room table.

The vet gave me the usual pain meds which by the way are bad for the liver. I went to a holistic vet and she mentioned that her liver enzymes were high from her blood test done at the original vet. The original vet didn't mention it. Her thyroid also showed low T4 that the original vet gave me thyroxine for.

But before I went to the holistic vet my friend Susan who has Apu Basenjis (since 1973) told me right away get her on the liver cleansing diet.

Please see this link.
http://www.canine-epilepsy.com/Liver%20cleansing%20diet.htm

The changes started to occur pretty quickly. I took her off the pain meds after 3 days at the start because it wasn't handling the problem. I didn't think it was a back problem. You can really get some amazing results from that diet. She's been totally quiet, relaxed and drinks a lot less water.:)

It's great diet to even put your B on or any dog for a little while and it will clean their system and liver up. Overweight, poor coat, drinking a lot of water, no energy, dog being irritable are some signs of a liver issue.
It always a good idea to have blood tests done just to make sure all is OK.

Good advice, Dan!

Glad to hear that Nika is on the mend. It is important to look at ALL the results of testing, and to treat the animal as a whole! Veterinary medicine is very imprecise in a lot of ways, because animals cannot "tell" us what hurts, how it feels, when it's better, etc… A lot of detective work and some guessing has to happen to diagnose our furry friends.

Additionally, as an owner, you know your dog best, if you don't think that what the vet says is the problem, is, then look deeper.

That's exactly right. Like going to the doctor sometimes a second opinion is necessary, researching it yourself and asking your B owner friends. If I would have kept her on the Carprofen (remydal) it would have been disasterous as that drug is very bad for the liver.

I'm so happy you were able to correct the problem before it was too late. My Basenji-mix passed away in June from liver disease. Her chest seemed larger. It was because of an enlarged liver. I had three different opinions before a vet correctly diagnosed liver disease, but it was too late. Cinnamon stopped eating and within a week was gone. I was heartbroken when I realized she had been treated for all the wrong things. I feel like I should have done more and could have given her a couple more years. Cinnamon was 13 years old and a rescue from SPCA.

I am so very sorry for your loss.

Don't be too hard on yourself Vicki, you took Cinnamon to 3 vets. That's a very good effort! I'm sure Cinnamon knows you were trying to help her. We just don't think too much about the liver. I was lucky because my breeder friend, Susan recommended the diet. This was after the vet visit. I wasn't even thinking about the liver and I thought well it couldn't hurt. The organ can become overworked and toxic over time.

I know how you feel, Vicki. I recently lost my Eski to kidney failure. I completely missed some of the early warning signs. By the time we figured it out he was pretty far gone. He was a rescue and I had him for about 15 years.

You gave Cinnamon a good life, and a great momma!! Well done, she appreciated it I am sure.

Thank you for your kind words.
I've never been as close to a pet as I was to Cinnamon, so my heart still aches.

Some of the members here probably read the story of my boy Senji and his liver disease. Around New Year's of 2007, he stopped eating, and by the time I got him to the vet, he stopped drinking too. (I was squirting water in his mouth with a syringe.) I had to find a new vet, since his old vet was too far away. BTW, his last check-up at the old vet was 6 months prior, and they never ran blood tests on him other than to check for heartworm. The new vet diagnosed him right off the bat. Put him on a bunch of meds and a lower protein diet. His meds included milk thistle, Sam-E, vitamin E, prednisone, an antibiotic, pepcid, and ursodiol. The vet thought he wouldn't live 6 months. Senji acts like a young pup when he's running around outside. Currently, he only takes the ursodiol and pepcid daily. His cirrhosis was so bad, his liver was shrunk down to 1/3 the normal size. Ironically, I'm taking him to the vet tomorrow, so we'll see how his liver enzymes are holding up.
As for diet, he gets white meat chicken and turkey plus pasta or rice and vegetables. I grind up some of the meat to hide his pills. I also add some Pedigree dry dog food to the mix. If I don't, he gets the runs. He can't eat any organ meat or beef, pork or lamb. It makes him sick. He also gets a scrambled egg, low-fat cottage cheese or yogurt once in a while.
Senji will be 13 in December.

Milk Thistle is great for liver problems… as is Thorne Hepagen-C... my Kristii, who grows non-cancer tumors on her liver had one remove (the size of a grapefruit 2yrs ago) still to this day has liver values off the chart... but is doing great... just on these two supplements. Seems that she is genetic to liver problems as all but one that I know of in her litter died of liver problems... (and I am her breeder and she was never bred).... so there is hope for liver problems... and the great thing about the liver is that it will "re-grow".....

Mine is taking Denamarin:

Denamarin is a liver supplement for dogs or cats containing S-Adenosylmethionine (SAMe) and silybin. When liver function is compromised, the exact cause can often be difficult to determine. Supporting the liver, regardless of the cause, is essential if function is to be improved. Administering SAMe, which is found in Denamarin, has been shown to markedly increase liver glutathione levels2,3, a potent antioxidant formed when cats and dogs metabolize SAMe. The SAMe in Denamarin has also been shown to help protect liver cells from cell death4,5 and may help cell repair and regeneration.1 Denamarin also helps support your pet's liver through the administration of silybin. Silybin is the most active part of an extract from milk thistle known as silymarin. Silybin/silymarin has been shown to support liver function by acting as an antioxidant. Silybin also stimulates the flow of bile through the liver to aid in the digestion and absorption of nutrients from your pet's diet. Silybin also helps with liver cell regeneration and may enhance levels of glutathione, the liver's major “detoxifying” agent. Denamarin has no known side-effects and your veterinarian can evaluate the length of support needed through follow-up examinations, blood work, and/or other laboratory work. At home, you can watch for improvements in your pet's attitude, appetite, and activity level.

I've never heard of Denamarin. Is that a prescription product or do I have to go to a "holistic" vet? Senji just had his vet appointment last night. His liver enzymes were stable, but the vet said that he's developing kidney disease. Being that he's a basenji, does this mean he has Fanconi's? He'll be 13 years old. She wants me to buy a prescription dog food for him for kidney problems. I have a feeling it's probably Science Diet. I know Senji won't eat that junk…he was on their liver formula before, and would rather starve than eat it. I don't know if I can follow the Fanconi protocol. It seems high protein and Senji needs a lower protein diet so that his liver isn't stressed. I don't know what to do.

@elena86:

I've never heard of Denamarin. Is that a prescription product or do I have to go to a "holistic" vet? Senji just had his vet appointment last night. His liver enzymes were stable, but the vet said that he's developing kidney disease. Being that he's a basenji, does this mean he has Fanconi's? He'll be 13 years old. She wants me to buy a prescription dog food for him for kidney problems. I have a feeling it's probably Science Diet. I know Senji won't eat that junk…he was on their liver formula before, and would rather starve than eat it. I don't know if I can follow the Fanconi protocol. It seems high protein and Senji needs a lower protein diet so that his liver isn't stressed. I don't know what to do.

If his kidney values are in decline at age 13, then that is due to old age… If Fanconi, he would be spilling sugar in his urine... did the Vet check for that? However, at his age, I would be very suprised if this was Fanconi. It is not unusual for an old dog to develope kidney problems. My Maggii was in renal failure the last 1 1/2 of her life... (at 15 to almost 17).. and now I have OJ at 17 that is in semi renal failure... but that is due to age... not Fanconi. There is medication for decreased kidney function.. it is called Azodyl. Check it out on the web and ask your Vet about it.... and you can buy on the web and it might be cheaper then what your Vet might charge. Also if really in renal failure or close to it.. SubQ fluids can be given at home and it is not that hard to do...
In regards to lower protein.. you know that there are ongoing debates if these is really true or not... my 17yr old is on EVO.. pure meat... so obviously not low protein...

And your right, the food usually from SD for Kidney the first thing listed is corn... been there, done that... too bad that dog had allergies to corn and what a complete mess that was.... and again... I would look into the Azodyl... I use it.. and it has stablized the kidney values in my 15 and 17yr old... at least for the time being...

I got Denamarin from the vet. You can get it from Amazon too or anybody on the web. Here's the link.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-listing/B001483FMM/ref=pd_bbs_sr_olp_2/103-5125310-1987067?ie=UTF8&s=home-garden&qid=1223066153&sr=8-2

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