Liver issues

So rocky had lost a lot of weight and with all the snow in our area we noticed his pee was extremely dark. I actually weighed him last week and he was 16 pounds (he only weighed 19 last time we were at the vet…hes got a small frame) and we weighed him yesterday and he was 15 pounds so he's losing weight fairly quickly. We called the vet yesterday and made our appointment for last night. He took bloodwork and I dropped off urine and poop samples today. The bloodwork showed that he had elevated liver levels so he's doing more bloodwork tomorrow to test liver functions (we have to take him with an empty stomach and then two hours after feeding him) the urine results will be in tomorrow but the vet said he saw crystalization in the urine before he sent it out. we also have to schedule a ultrasound at a place over a half hour away. We can't schedule it until Monday morning though for some reason. Unless we want to go tithe university of Penn. He said it could be liver cancer or his liver failing or even just an inflammation. Anybody have experience with liver problems? Or have any questions that I should be asking?

How awful and alarming. I don't have anything very informative, except there are some special home made diets for liver issues. You may want to google that. Seems like Dr Dodds has a liver cleansing diet that I do for a week or so after my pups undergo anesthesia. Also look into milk thistle. That helps with liver functions although I don't know much about it. And think good thoughts; we'll do that here.

Thanks I looked that up.. Seems easy! We just back from our first trip to the vet today, and we saw the bloodwork tests… All the liver results that are supposed to be around 100 were in the 1000s... So very very high.. We go back in an hour and a half to finish the liver functionality test... And the urine results should be back by then..

How old is Rocky? My Kristii has liver problems with growing tumors (not cancer) that then die off and regrow. Her liver values are very high also. About 5/6 yrs ago her liver values were off the charts, however that time it turned out to be a blockage from something (we never could determine what it was) she ate. Then 7 months later her liver values (that had always been to the high side) went off the charts again, but this time is was a grapefruit size tumor on her liver. We did have it removed, which is when it was determined that by the time they did the surgery (within two days of finding the tumor) 1/2 had already died off. And it was not cancerous. She is now 15 and she continues to have very high liver values and something that seems to run in her family lines as we discovered by tracking all her siblings.

Dr Dodds diet is good to try (Kristii will not eat it)… also, SAMe is good to put them on, ask your vet about that. The only way they found the tumors were with ultrasound, so I would highly recommend that... and if necessary a biospy of the liver.

Rocky is about four and a half. Were getting the ultrasound within this week they wouldn't let us schedule it until Monday morning.. I'm not sure why.. And depending on what that shows then well get the biopsy done.

@hdolbow:

Rocky is about four and a half. Were getting the ultrasound within this week they wouldn't let us schedule it until Monday morning.. I'm not sure why.. And depending on what that shows then well get the biopsy done.

Do you know anything of his family history? Like I said, all Kristii's siblings had liver problems, so we know it is in the genes for her… one of the biggest reasons we never bred her.

I was gonna email Doris. For some reason I think she said his father was deceased when I emailed her about getting a puppy two years ago.. And his father was born in dec of 2002 so he was young.. If I'm right. Just gotta find her email I think I have it saved.

Who was is sire?

Apex ringleader of djakomba.

@hdolbow:

Apex ringleader of djakomba.

Well, I know most of the dogs in that pedigree as Arubmec is in No.California… but not well enough to know is there are liver problems.... be interesting to know what his sire pass away from, if they knew as that could give you clues.

Yeah, I'm gonna dig up her email today and give her a shout.

she said theres no health issues in his line that she knows of, and his sire was put down because of temperament issues with kids, she thinks. (which explains a lot about rocky… ) his dam is 9 and his granddam is 14 and have had no problems.. so i guess i'll have to wait till monday to see what the two other tests say and then wait for our ultrasound appointment.. 😞

Sending good thoughts to you, that is so frightening, just waiting and worrying.
Anne in Tampa

Heather, hope all goes well with Rocky and the vets get him sorted out. Our last Basenji, Benji developed a liver problem when he was 13. When the vets scanned him they found that his liver was very small, something was destroying his liver cells but we never got to the bottom of what it was. Fortunately the Liver is an organ which can regenerate cells.
I didn't know about Dr Dodds liver cleansing diet but it sounds like a good idea.

well, i just got back from the vet's office. I went just to get a copy of his paperwork and bloodwork results because we need them for friday when we get the ultrasound. when i went in there they asked if i wanted to talk to dr mike (the vet we normally take rocky to) because he just happened to be there today doing surgery. so i was waiting and the vet that did the bloodwork saturday morning came out and told me that the results weren't good. so i'm sitting there almost in tears because i thought they knew what was wrong and it was bad. Dr mike came out and told me that his liver isn't functioning correctly. Pre meal bile acids are supposed to be less than 10. his was 42.1 and post meal bile acids are supposed to be less than 20 and his was 99.7 he said this was a moderately high level but it is not the worst that it could be. He is gonna call and do a consult with a specialist at the emergency vet center where we are getting the ultrasound and see what they think. Rockys on two types of antibiotics right now, incase it is infection/inflammation, and also on a pill for his liver, and they are considering giving him a steriod too.

I guess we'll just have to wait until friday to see what the ultrasound says.

i weighed him again today, he dropped a half pound since thursday… down to 14.5 lbs.

Sorry to hear this, i hope they manage to get to the bottom of it and it's something that can be fixed.

Oh, I am sorry to read about all that. But keep in mind, he's quite young and has a loving, caring owner. It also sounds like he has some good medical minds working for him. And good thoughts from basenji owners all over the place. All of those things are BIG pluses. Try to be optimistic.

@hdolbow:

well, i just got back from the vet's office. I went just to get a copy of his paperwork and bloodwork results because we need them for friday when we get the ultrasound. when i went in there they asked if i wanted to talk to dr mike (the vet we normally take rocky to) because he just happened to be there today doing surgery. so i was waiting and the vet that did the bloodwork saturday morning came out and told me that the results weren't good. so i'm sitting there almost in tears because i thought they knew what was wrong and it was bad. Dr mike came out and told me that his liver isn't functioning correctly. Pre meal bile acids are supposed to be less than 10. his was 42.1 and post meal bile acids are supposed to be less than 20 and his was 99.7 he said this was a moderately high level but it is not the worst that it could be. He is gonna call and do a consult with a specialist at the emergency vet center where we are getting the ultrasound and see what they think. Rockys on two types of antibiotics right now, incase it is infection/inflammation, and also on a pill for his liver, and they are considering giving him a steriod too.

I guess we'll just have to wait until friday to see what the ultrasound says.

i weighed him again today, he dropped a half pound since thursday… down to 14.5 lbs.

So sorry to hear this, but the one thing about the liver is that it can regenerate… any chance you can get the ultrasound moved up? And if it is something like a tumor, it can be removed. I believe the chances would be 50/50 cancerous or not. Also have they done any xrays of the lungs?

Do you know what kind of pill for his liver they put him on?

😞 So sorry to hear this. Sending good thoughts for you and Rocky..

We lost our Tasha to liver cancer at age 12, she was a Tornado daughter but never developed Fanconi. By the time we diagnosed the cancer she was too far along, she had one Chemo treatment and died a week later. Good luck, hoping you have caught it early and the treatment works.

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