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Elsadobiez 04-21-2019 09:55 AM

5 year old dobie dx with advanced liver failure
Hi! My five-year-old Doberman was just diagnosed with advanced liver disease. What prompted me to even take her to the vet was just frequent urination, she was still eating and acting like her normal self. Her labs showed elevated liver enzymes, she was sent for an ultrasound, and it showed that she had some cirrhotic liver. She was sent home on Demarin, prednisone, amoxicillin, and a diuretic. and we are taking more of a "palliative care approach" to try and get as much quality time with her that she has left. Anyway, anyone have any experience with this? The doctor said there was nothing we could have done differently, she's been on good food her whole life, and honestly, we brought her in as soon as we saw any changes. We got her from a reputable breeder as well. Just wanted a little insight from anyone that has been through this.

ECIN 04-21-2019 12:03 PM

Elsa - Very sorry to read this ! Now question time !

1. Did a general Vet diagnose this problem OR did you take her to a advanced type hospital ?

2. Elevated enzymes ?? So what were AST ( SGOT ) - ALT - ( SGPT ) and Alk Phophatase , PrecicsionPSL come back as ?

From what your Vet prescribed for your dog - sounds more like he is treating her for what they call Copper Storage - this is where the liver can not process the copper in there diet - or more comonnly know as Doberman Hepatitis

This is treated with Prednisone - Denamarin - what ? 425 mgs - this is a liver protectant and anti- oxidant Amoxicilln to treat potential infection in the liver .

I am not really questioning your Vet - But lots of times - Copper Storage goes under the radar - as most Vets are not around a lot of Dobermans and this is a common disease that they can get .

Hills and Royal Canin are the only 2 that offer a Hepatic dog food = almost no copper and low in Protein .

The liver is the only organ that can repair it's self !!

I would call your vet first thing Monday and as about the possibility of copper storage and see what they say . With the right treatment plan - your dog should get better - NOT cured - but will hold her own - Our Ali girl has had it since 2016 - which we damn near lost her .

Feel free to ask away any questions - I have a big folder on her treatment :grin2:

I would be very proactive in her care right now - as to not let it get any worse - Do you have a advanced hospital in your area - warning ! they are pricy But our Dober was worth every penny !


ECIN 04-21-2019 03:17 PM

Elsa - Some more heads up - If you do take her to a internal Med Vet - They will tell you the only way to know if it is Doberman Hepatitis is with a biopsy - which at the time - I had them skip it and treat as it was - Ali was to weak to go threw a surgery .

By doing a biopsy - they may be able to find the underlying cause of it and to the degree of it -

Like I said - if they did a full blood work up then the ALT ( bilirubin levels will be increased = suspected Doberman Hep.

Ali started out with 20mgs of prednisone then was dropped to 10 mgs - but they added Penicillmine 200 mgs - twice a day - that med is to help reduce liver copper accumulation . + Cephalexin as a antibiotic + the denamarin .

As time went on they added Zinc glusonate - which she is still on today . + the Denamarin

Sorry to keep posting , But super worried about our Dobie - If you need to - You can call me if you need more info - just let me know and I will PM you my phone number

BTW - I think I have this right - but the ultrasound would only show that there is damage to the liver -BUT not the reason . Again - Call Vet in the morning and ask Questions .


Fitzmar Dobermans 04-22-2019 09:43 AM

I have a 7 year old bitch with Copper Storage disease - I always do a full bloodwork panel at age two, and so caught her liver disease very early. We had a biopsy done at age 3 and it was positively diagnosed as copper storage. She gets Denemarin every day and I do half kibble - not RX but the closest to it with a super high quality diet - and half fresh food. I feed her a cup of Annamaet Aqualuk (fish based) morning and night, in the AM she gets 2 eggs (fried, scrambled or hard boiled) plain full fat yogurt, and fresh fruit (usually berries). In the PM she gets 2 eggs again, full fat cottage cheese, and some veggies. The liver RX kibbles are based on eggs... so that is why I feed her 4 eggs a day.
Her liver numbers have slowly risen, but she still shows no sign of the disease..... so we are doing something right.
My Jezebel is from my last litter - her parents were fully health tested. There is just no guarantee in this breed. It did come out later that there was some liver disease on the fathers side, but it happens and I certainly don't blame his breeder. My Jezebel is the reason that nothing from that litter was bred.

Jezebel is a beautiful girl - you would never know that she has liver disease. (pictures from last summer) spring 2018 by Mary Jo Ansel, on Flickr Summer 2018 by Mary Jo Ansel, on Flickr

MaryAndDobes 04-23-2019 11:24 AM

We've talked about liver disease on this board a number of times so I'd advise searching out past threads. Sometimes it's easiest to use google and search dobermantalk liver issues or dobermantalk cah or dobermantalk copper storage, for eg. There have been some good discussions of this in the past with members that are no longer here so please seek them out.

I've gone through liver issues with 2 Dobermans - Ember had cholangiohepatitis which would flare up, need costly treatment (hospitalization, IV fluids, antibiotics, special diet, etc) and then we'd get into a remission-like stage, and Zeke had copper storage. I was lucky that they didn't show symptoms of these until they were 7ish. Ember lived to 11, Zekey to 10.

Liver disease is nasty, and it's expensive, and I think it's kind of trite to offer that the liver is the only organ that can repair itself (no offense ECIN, just that I think it's way more serious than that). If you're lucky, you can hopefully get them into these remission states but you're always treating it, trying to stave off a flare-up. IME, it's kind of like cancer. Once it shows itself and you fight it off and get to a remission state, the periods of what I call remission tend to shorten between each flare. IME, the dogs seem to feel well if you can get them past the flare-up, but they sure seem to be miserable during.

I would think that your vet would recommend a liver biopsy if the dog is well enough to go through it. One issue there is von Willebrand's disease - do you know your dog's status? Ember was genetically affected which was fine. She was asymptomatic until she developed liver issues. The liver is key in clotting so when it becomes compromised, vWD might become an issue for previously asymptomatic affected Dobermans. Ember could not have a liver biopsy.

Zeke did, as I recall. The treatments for the various liver issues are different in some ways. Copper storage called for pencillamine, which was awful. Thank heavens they don't take it forever. I just remember it being an extremely hard time in Zeke's treatment when he was on it. Keeping Zeke eating was a real challenge. I hand fed (force fed) him quite a number of times but he still lost a good amount of his weight.

I'm not sure what information you're looking for exactly. Liver issues are not uncommon in Dobermans, unfortunately. Hopefully, you can update us on what you're looking to learn. I'm not sure if you're giving up since you mention palliative care or whether you want to look for ways to try to fight.

ECIN 04-23-2019 02:28 PM

(no offense ECIN

No Offense taken Mary :2smile:

I was just repeating what Our Vets had told us - The Liver ( they said ) can repair itself - Not 100 % ( that is what I should have posted ) but - as you have been threw - some is better than none , It is serious , That is why I posted to the Elsa how important that it was to call the Vet and ask more questions . I was not trying to sugar coat - yet - as with Ali girl - with proper Meds - they can get the levels back to normal .

And Mary - 100% right - Ali will be on meds the rest f her days here - Good post you put up


Gretchen_Red 04-24-2019 11:42 AM

This is the reason why I have full blood panels done on my dogs, which I think is strange that more breeders don't do this. I think it makes it too easy to breed dogs that have liver issues that don't show any symptoms.

I'm very sorry to hear about your dobe. I hope you get some answers and don't beat yourself up. No matter how good we treat our dogs, no matter if we feed them the best, health test, massage their paws and pamper them some times things just happen and we do our best from their to help them.

Dobe_Mom 04-24-2019 11:58 AM

Liver issues can be caused by a variety of different things. Copper storage and autoimmune disease are chronic liver disease and yes, it may be caught early enough (with regular monitoring of liver values) to intervene. However there are plenty of things that can cause acute onset liver damage.

Best wishes to you and your dog, we have been through it and back in the 90s we lost a 4 year old doberman to liver disease. It sucks.

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