Elevated liver enzymes and eosinophils in 8 month old pup - Doberman Forum : Doberman Breed Dog Forums
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-02-2020, 12:31 PM Thread Starter
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Elevated liver enzymes and eosinophils in 8 month old pup

Just took my 8 month old pup to the vet because he is very skinny, you can see his ribs. He always has an excessive appetite, is very active, lots of energy! He was eating blue buffalo, he consistently had loose stool and gas along with the lack of weight gain. He is 25 inches tall from the ground to withers and weighs 60lbs. His stool was tested for parasites and yielded negative results. However, his liver enzymes and eosinophils were elevated.

The vet said it can be allergies or possibly a liver shunt. I switched his food to natural balance venison and sweet potato. His stool became firm, until today it is loose again and he has bad gas! From what I have read regarding a liver shunt he displays none of the common symptoms such as stunted growth (he’s just underweight), lethargy, seizures, head pushing.... has anyone experienced any of these issues? Or have any advice?
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-02-2020, 04:10 PM
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25 inches at the shoulder and 60 pounds doesn't seem that out of whack for a young dog who is likely still growing. Showing the last few ribs is actually about where you want them to be in terms of weight. And young dogs are often lanky looking--they haven't reached full maturity. Think teenage human boy--long lanky and skinny.

Do his hip bones or backbone stick out?

Do you think you could post a picture or two of him standing from the side and the top so we can see how skinny his brand of skinny is?

In terms of loose stools and gas, generally that means that the dog isn't tolerating his food well (not necessarily true allergies which provoke an immune response.)

I think of Inflammatory Bowel Disease, which is actually more of a syndrome rather than a specific diagnosis--that is, the dog may have digestive problems, increased liver enzymes, weight loss--the intestines are chronically inflamed--but the causes may be different.

Food allergies and intolerances are one possibility. Parasites (which you've checked), immune system problems and inherited genetic predisposition are others. Sometimes you can't really figure out what is causing the problem, but in any case, it is generally managed by fiddling with the diet and medications, if necessary. I personally would try one more food switch and see if that helps--Pro Plan Focus Sensitive Skin and Stomach, salmon and rice is one that a lot of dobermans seem to do well on. Take a couple of weeks to switch him over slowly and see if you get an improvement.

You could try a hydrolyzed protein food--the proteins in the food are broken down into individual components (sort of), which takes allergic reactions an animal may have to a specific food source out of the picture. But that is a prescription diet and is more expensive, which is why I personally would try the Proplan first.
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Last edited by melbrod; 06-02-2020 at 04:17 PM.
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-02-2020, 04:41 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you so much for all of your input. I too have a feeling this is some sort of food intolerance. His diet is limited ingredient at the moment, I know it takes some time to see a change. We started this diet about 2 1/2 weeks ago, I would like to give it more time. I will try the food you suggested if this is not successful. You can see all of his ribs, and his hip bones. How do I post a picture? My apologies, but I am unfamiliar with this site?
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-02-2020, 04:46 PM
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It is easiest to use an online photo host like imgur or Flickr to post pictures here.

We have a tutorial showing how to use Flickr:

https://www.dobermantalk.com/new-mem...ng-flickr.html
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-02-2020, 05:08 PM
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Has your vet suggested investigating the possibility of EPI (exocrine pancreatic insfficientcy?

I looked and it looks like there is some information on Google about it--mostly aimed at people but a little on dogs. It's common in some breeds (German Shepherd Dogs for one and some of the symptom sound like some of your puppy's symptom.

But I didn't get a chance to go looked to see what clinical tests might show postive results for EPI--some of the symptoms look a lot like what you get with IBD or IBS. And the one note I did find said that IBD might be concurrent as a condition with EPI.

Fairlure to thrive--problem with gaining weight, bad stools and flatulence, ravenous appetite but a failure to gain weight.

Treatment involve diet modification and addition of pancreatic enzymes because with EPI the problem stems from a lack of pancreatic enzymes so food doesn't get absorbed properly. It is evidently a fairly complex disorder and one you might want to discuss with your vet.

Good luck--I've never had a dog with this problem but it's something that pops up in any breed from time to time and sometimes ends up being kind of mystery problem because it tends to mimic problems similar to other disorders.

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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-02-2020, 05:18 PM Thread Starter
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-02-2020, 05:21 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you so much, I also read about this. I will definitely be discussing this with my vet. I have a feeling this is going to be a long road.
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-02-2020, 05:32 PM
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I would definitely like to see some weight on him. Hope you get some answers soon.
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-02-2020, 11:30 PM
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My second dobie had high liver values as a young dog. As much as I hated to, I put her on SD liver diet and that was compatible with her until she died from cardio. I had tried all kinds of food but that was the one she wanted to eat. Got rid of the loose stools. There are lots here that feed a raw diet also and have good results. Any kind of gas means something is not right with the gut and the dog. I have been very fortunate and she and the dobie I have now never had bad gas.
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-03-2020, 07:09 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you Sandy, I will definitely keep that in mind.
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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-03-2020, 09:17 AM
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Did your vet test for liver shunt? I had a yorkie with it and I know a few dobes that have had it. I've never experienced any of those issues. I did experience elevated liver values, UTI's, they do tend to be smaller, and they tend to react worse to any types of shots but my yorkie was a fireball of energy lol.

What were the liver values? Were they excessively high or just higher?
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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-04-2020, 07:59 AM Thread Starter
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My vet did mention the possibility of a liver shunt, because he would need o see a specialist he suggested we try to rulethat out by working on his diet. After the one day of diarrhea we are back to firm stool, how long do you think it would take to see him put some weight on if the food I am currently using is effective?

His abnormal lab values are as follows:
ALT: 278 (H) ref range: 12-118
Alk phosphatase: 175 (H) ref range: 5-131
phosphorous: 7.0 (H) ref range: 2.5-6.0
glucose: 68 (L) ref range: 70-138
Eosinophils: 1500 (H) ref range: 0-1200

The glucose is barely low, e eats in the AM and PM and was tested at about 5pm so I am not worried about that. His eosinophils seem to be the most off which indicates inflammation (most likely of the GI tract), this is why the vet and I feel it is food related.
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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-04-2020, 08:01 AM Thread Starter
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I am sorry to hear that you lost your fur baby Sandy
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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-04-2020, 09:33 AM
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My vet had different value ranges for ALKP, they have Low 23 High 212, just an fyi.

How has your puppy done with his shots? Does he still act normal?

Has your vet looked into Copper Storage Disease? Or Chronic Active Hepatis? These are somewhat common in Dobermans.
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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-04-2020, 09:47 AM
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Sometimes normal values are lab dependent--that is, different labs may have a different range of normal values depending on the methods they use and the population they typically test (young vs old, for example).

In people, the ranges are quite different depending on their ages--ALP [alkaline phosphatase] can be increased with both various liver disorders and with actively growing bone tissue, so it will be higher during times of active growth (growth spurts in kids, pregnant women.)

An increased alk phos in dogs does not always indicate liver problems. From "Diagnostic approach in dogs with increased ALP activity"

"Causes of increased total ALP activity can be classified as: 1). Age (young dogs) and breed-related considerations (Siberian Huskies with familial hyperphosphatasemia; Scottish Terriers); 2) Drug-induced (corticosteroids, phenobarbital, others); 3) Cushing's Disease; 4) Primary hepatobiliary disease (intra- and extrahepatic cholestatic disorders, including vacuolar hepatopathy, cholangitis, hepatitis, neoplasia, nodular hyperplasia); 5) Systemic disorders causing reactive hepatopathy or physiologic stress associated with acute or chronic illness (neoplasia, infection/inflammation; pancreatitis; GI disease; endocrine disorders such as diabetes mellitus, hypothyroidism) and 6) Bone-related disorders (neoplasia, nutritional osteopathy, hyperparathyroidism)"

All of this gobbledy gook basically means that Alk Phos is good for picking up liver disorders, but an increased level may not specifically point to liver problems.

ALT is mostly specific for the liver though, and his value for that is increased also....
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post #16 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-04-2020, 12:13 PM Thread Starter
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He acts normal with shots. Thank you for the different ranges, I am a registered nurse and this is the case with people also. I did contribute the increased ALT to bone growth because I read that it will be elevated with osteoblastic activity. He recently grew very tall. In the picture above he is standing next to a 110 lb rottie and he towers over her. I will continue his current diet for a few more weeks in hopes he will gain some weight!!! I will keep everyone posted. Thank you all again for these great suggestions.
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