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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I was concerned with my lady dobies weight.. she just suddenly looked thin.. checked out her stool with vet...neg... then we went in for blood work.. everything came back great except her liver profile.. enzymes were leaking into blood steam and she had a high reading.. that indicated liver disease.. now on precribtion food .. can and dry... and one pill a day one hour before she is permitted to eat... she is gaining weight again and acts completely normal energy level and appetite.. suppose to go for ultra sound but so far we cancelled.. we just cannot bare to hear the c word.. if we continue with this diet ...which of course we will .. hopefully the liver will improve... what can cause a dog who has had the best food and vitamins everyday to suddenly lose weight and have liver disease.. Addison disease..toxins, heridatary..i just hope things turn around on the next blood test.. ... my dobie is 7 years old..
Sorry i have not been on in awhile... very busy.. always on the go... but wondering if anyone has been through this.. and looking for more info.. thanks..
 

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Can't help with diagnoses but I can send you good vibes! Poor thing she does look thin and her coat doesn't look great either. Hopefully the vet can figure it out and she gets to feeling better!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Can't help with diagnoses but I can send you good vibes! Poor thing she does look thin and her coat doesn't look great either. Hopefully the vet can figure it out and she gets to feeling better!
thanks... i will update with a new pic.. only on new food a week and big difference.... amazing difference.. thanks for good vibes.
 

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Sea Hag
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I was concerned with my lady dobies weight.. she just suddenly looked thin.. checked out her stool with vet...neg... then we went in for blood work.. everything came back great except her liver profile.. enzymes were leaking into blood steam and she had a high reading.. that indicated liver disease.. now on precribtion food .. can and dry... and one pill a day one hour before she is permitted to eat... she is gaining weight again and acts completely normal energy level and appetite.. suppose to go for ultra sound but so far we cancelled.. we just cannot bare to hear the c word.. if we continue with this diet ...which of course we will .. hopefully the liver will improve... what can cause a dog who has had the best food and vitamins everyday to suddenly lose weight and have liver disease.. Addison disease..toxins, heridatary..i just hope things turn around on the next blood test.. ... my dobie is 7 years old..
Sorry i have not been on in awhile... very busy.. always on the go... but wondering if anyone has been through this.. and looking for more info.. thanks..
Elevated liver enzymes and liver disease can come from a variety of different things. Toxin exposure, bacterial infection, as a symptom of another disease like leptospirosis, malignancy. And genetics-chronic active hepatitis is all too common in this breed, and does seem to follow family groups.

I've had two dogs who developed chronic active hepatitis, one who died in 2008 and another who currently has the disease (diagnosed in 2008) but is still asymptomtic.

This is a progessive disease that's always fatal. Usually a significant part (as much as 75%) of the liver is destroyed before the dog shows any outward symptoms of CAH. The best you can do is hopefully get a diagnosis early and try to extend lifespan through treatment.
 

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I think it's very important to at least get a diagnosis so yu can be sure to keep her comfortable IF she might be in any pain or need meds. I have been through the dreaded cancer so I know how awful it is, but honestly I believe you owe it to to her to get a diagnosis or at least make sure she's not in pain.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Elevated liver enzymes and liver disease can come from a variety of different things. Toxin exposure, bacterial infection, as a symptom of another disease like leptospirosis, malignancy. And genetics-chronic active hepatitis is all too common in this breed, and does seem to follow family groups.

I've had two dogs who developed chronic active hepatitis, one who died in 2008 and another who currently has the disease (diagnosed in 2008) but is still asymptomtic.

This is a progessive disease that's always fatal. Usually a significant part (as much as 75%) of the liver is destroyed before the dog shows any outward symptoms of CAH. The best you can do is hopefully get a diagnosis early and try to extend lifespan through treatment.
I am so sorry to hear you already lost one and fighting for life with another... i will definitly try to get a diagnosis... i am just beside myself putting her through an hours car ride and giving her a tranquilizer.. and then hoping the person can do the ultra sound.. other then the ultra sound what can i do..is their specific blood work to identify this disease.. i thought she had all the blood tests known to man.. it was over $200 for the blood work.. which included lyme disease and heart worm etc.. what are you doing to help prolong your dogs life.. thanks so much for all the info.. my heart goes out to you and your dog... this is a very hard call.. been through so much with having so many beloved pets.. it does not get easier ..only harder!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I think it's very important to at least get a diagnosis so yu can be sure to keep her comfortable IF she might be in any pain or need meds. I have been through the dreaded cancer so I know how awful it is, but honestly I believe you owe it to to her to get a diagnosis or at least make sure she's not in pain.
i absolutely agree on the pain aspect.. i cannot go through any pet suffering.. as of now this is not an issue.. she is eating great...acting totally normal ...sleeps through the night.. but just suddenly today i noticed she is always urinating or trying to.. i just called the vet to see if this medication Denamarin she is taking for easing liver ... maybe causing this side effect..or is the liver itself causing it.. this is sudden issue.. i just took dogs for walk and watched her go running at her normal grayhound pace..but stop frequently to pee.. or attempt to...
the vet is suppose to call me back..
 

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Sea Hag
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I am so sorry to hear you already lost one and fighting for life with another... i will definitly try to get a diagnosis... i am just beside myself putting her through an hours car ride and giving her a tranquilizer.. and then hoping the person can do the ultra sound.. other then the ultra sound what can i do..is their specific blood work to identify this disease.. i thought she had all the blood tests known to man.. it was over $200 for the blood work.. which included lyme disease and heart worm etc.. what are you doing to help prolong your dogs life.. thanks so much for all the info.. my heart goes out to you and your dog... this is a very hard call.. been through so much with having so many beloved pets.. it does not get easier ..only harder!
After bloodwork that shows elevated liver enzymes, the next step is a blood test called a bile acids test. This is a two part test. First the dog has blood pulled while it has an empty stomach. Then the dog is fed, you wait two hours, then more blood is pulled. The results of this particular test tell you how the liver is actually functioning.

The next step is an ultrasound. After that, a liver biopsy. The liver biopsy is a high risk test, but the only way to definitively diagnose chronic active hepatitis. The biopsy can be done surgically, or with an ultrasound machine and a biopsy tool, similiar to a needle biopsy (the least invasive method).

My girl is on a variety of medications, she takes about 15 pills per day. The meds she takes include prednisone, actigall, flagyl, and a variety of supplements. Luckily she doesn't store copper, but many dogs with CAH do have a copper storage problem, and that requires more meds, some of which are extremely expensive. She gets bloodwork done every 3 months, and an ultrasound done twice a year.
 

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Sea Hag
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i absolutely agree on the pain aspect.. i cannot go through any pet suffering.. as of now this is not an issue.. she is eating great...acting totally normal ...sleeps through the night.. but just suddenly today i noticed she is always urinating or trying to.. i just called the vet to see if this medication Denamarin she is taking for easing liver ... maybe causing this side effect..or is the liver itself causing it.. this is sudden issue.. i just took dogs for walk and watched her go running at her normal grayhound pace..but stop frequently to pee.. or attempt to...
the vet is suppose to call me back..
Denamarin wouldn't cause a dog to drink more or pee more, but these are textbook symptoms of liver disease.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Denamarin wouldn't cause a dog to drink more or pee more, but these are textbook symptoms of liver disease.
you are a world of information.. i just looked up a couple of the diseases you previously mentioned.. and the copper hepatistis..etc.. i wish you did not have to know all this through experience but i am thank ful you have been a great source of help and info.. i am very afraid.. i maybe facing this same ordeal. i really did not expect her to show this dramatic change so quickly.. she definitly looked better and has never had one day of being sick or under the weather.. it was just her thinner body that brought us to the vet last week.. and now doing all this including med and urinating more and drinking more.. even on med and diet is not a good sign that things are better.. definitly must get more blood work and ultra sound now..no way around it..thanks
 

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Lady Liz,
I understand what you're going through right now with your girl and my heart aches for you. We rescuded Sofia a little over two years ago when she was abandoned after a recent litter.. We have no health history on her or any idea where she came from or what happened to the pups. We live in Baja where pet care is not the best, but our vet seems to do the best he can with what he has.. He drew some blood and Sofia's enzymes were extremely high... She went on a week of Baytril and we started her on Royal Canin Hepatic kibble.. within 10 days the numbers dropped so dramatically, we're thinking it might have been an infection of the bile duct. However we will continue with her copper inhibiting kibble for another couple of months as well as periodic labs.. It's scary isn't it.. prayers and good thoughts to you. Murreydobe, I've been reading your posts for a long time and I am just so sorry you're experieincing this as well. Sounds like your day consists of meds, meds and still more meds..wishing for comfort for you and of course your sweet girl.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Lady Liz,
I understand what you're going through right now with your girl and my heart aches for you. We rescuded Sofia a little over two years ago when she was abandoned after a recent litter.. We have no health history on her or any idea where she came from or what happened to the pups. We live in Baja where pet care is not the best, but our vet seems to do the best he can with what he has.. He drew some blood and Sofia's enzymes were extremely high... She went on a week of Baytril and we started her on Royal Canin Hepatic kibble.. within 10 days the numbers dropped so dramatically, we're thinking it might have been an infection of the bile duct. However we will continue with her copper inhibiting kibble for another couple of months as well as periodic labs.. It's scary isn't it.. prayers and good thoughts to you. Murreydobe, I've been reading your posts for a long time and I am just so sorry you're experieincing this as well. Sounds like your day consists of meds, meds and still more meds..wishing for comfort for you and of course your sweet girl.
oh thanks so much ...especially for the almost happy ending.. i am praying for you that things continue up .. so far so uplifting to hear this.. it gives me hope.. hope that maybe the next blood test will show improvement.. i send my very best wishes that you and your girl have many happy years together.. poor dog and all she must have been through... thank god she has you...
 

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Just wanted to give an update .. the vet called .. i will bring in a urine sample to determine whether she also has a bladder infection which could be why she is squatting more and drinking more.. i will be back when i have some news.. thanks very much..
 

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Lady Liz...my thoughts are with you going into the crash course of learning that Liver disease entails I was in the same position as you this time last year.

I'm actually surprised your vet didn't put her on a corticosteriod like prednisone/prednisolone.
as it's the main drug of treatment of the baseline condition. Denmarin is a support medication that may help the liver to regenerate some function...and other meds are used if the disease progresses to alleviate specific symptoms...it's all about tweaking meds and diet around to try to replicate the liver's function as best we can and not put it under further stress.

The most important part of living with liver disease is diet and it can be quite challenging at times. It's great that your girl is tolerating the hepatic food well as this makes it a lot easier! I'm guessing you're using Hills L/d as you mentioned canned.

She might not need to be sedated for an ultrasound...my boy just used to lie there and enjoy the "belly rub" ...and he didn't need sedation for x-rays either!!

If the ultrasound indicates changes to the liver...you then have to weigh up if a biopsy is the way to go...it's not an easy decision as there are a lot of risks involved when a dog's liver is already compromised...but if she's well enough to handle it, it can provide some definative answers and should be done sooner rather than later (my boy was already too compromised to be able to have one and the risks of bleeding too great)

One of the things that stood out in all my research was the efficacy of including oatmeal in the diet. It helps to regulate the passage of nutrients through the GI tract as well as protect the neural pathways from damage due to protein digestion by-products.

I wrote about my experiences in these threads...they're long and rambling and not necessarily what you might experience...but I included some links to some of the research I did, and others offered excellent links and advice too. I'm happy to be part of your on-line 'support' team if you want it :)
http://www.dobermantalk.com/doberman-health/49530-zillahs-gone-back-downhill-rapidly.html

http://www.dobermantalk.com/doberman-health/50921-pounds-poops-zils-road-recovery.html

I'm really hoping and praying that you're not dealing with liver disease, but just a temporary inflammation that will clear up with treatment. I hope you continue to keep us updated on how all her tests go...fingers crossed they're showing improvement.

keep a positive attitude and go get that ultrasound done. (((hugs)))
 

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Sea Hag
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She might not need to be sedated for an ultrasound...my boy just used to lie there and enjoy the "belly rub" ...and he didn't need sedation for x-rays either!!

If the ultrasound indicates changes to the liver...you then have to weigh up if a biopsy is the way to go...it's not an easy decision as there are a lot of risks involved when a dog's liver is already compromised...but if she's well enough to handle it, it can provide some definative answers and should be done sooner rather than later (my boy was already too compromised to be able to have one and the risks of bleeding too great)

QUOTE]

None of my dogs have ever been sedated for an ultrasound-it's a totally non invasive procedure.

Before I agreed to a liver biopsy, I'd get my dog dna tested for vWD if it hasn't already been done. I did a liver biopsy on one vWD affected dog, with some scary results. I really don't think I'd do one on another vWD affected dog.

The OP can order swabs to do the dna test for vWD at home through the Vetnostic website. It takes about 10 days to get the results. https://www.vetnostic.com/vetcart/index.php?route=product/product&product_id=30
 

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Sea Hag
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how long can a dobie live with liver issues in general.. if caught early on..and if it isn't cancer.. just a general idea..
I think it varies by dog. As I said, my girl was diagnosed in the early stages of CAH in Oct. 2008. She still has yet to show a single outward symptom, and her liver still looks completely normal via ultrasound.

The male I lost to CAH lived two years after diagnosis, he was also asymptomatic at time of diagnosis.
 

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agree it depends on the dog, and a complex interaction of lots of factors (how soon you catch it, how it's treated, how long a piece of string is :lol:

although Zil passed just short of a year from diagnosis, in all likelyhood it wasn't his liver that was the direct cause of death as he had strongly suspected lymphoma in the last month of his life and his last day and moments suggested it was his heart that gave out (small cough the night before...and weakening heart the morning he was going...cardiac arrest in the final moments)
...he was actually doing really well on the liver front and I'd been hoping for a year or so more.
 

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Can someone elaborate a bit more on CAH, on how it's passed on? If a sire has been diagnosed with CAH, will he definitely pass this on to one or more, or pups? What about if the sire died of copper toxicosis(?), is this different from CAH? Without getting into too much detail, I'm looking at a dog who's great-grandsire had copper toxicosis, but no other dogs in the pedigree have liver issues. They could develop it at some point, no? Would routine bloodwork be the best/only way to catch these things early?

OP, the best of luck to you and your Dobe. I hope all works out for you.
 

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Routine bloodwork is DEFINATELY the way to go!!!!! The earlier you catch it the better, I'm convinced of that!
As to the genetics....the research into it is only beginning, so AFAIK the inheritance patterns are not yet understood...but it's frequency of presentation would sugget to me that it's a poly gene/or mediated trait...possibly recessive.
...and there's a really strong indication that at least 2 forms of it are genetic based.

Until the results on the gene research is out....routine blood screens are our only hope.

ETA: copper toxicosis is a form of CAH....as CAH only means chronic (and) active hepatitis ...and hepatitis simply means inflamation of the liver...so it can have many causes ...some genetic...some environmental.

indications is that copper toxicosis is one of the inherited forms.
 
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