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My baby Diesel, only 5 year old, is supposed to weigh 80 pounds. He weighs 60. His dramatic weight loss led me to the vet. We did bloodwork, his ALT liver count was EXTREMELY HIGH a month ago, I had it rechecked, it went up, and rechecked on Saturday, up again. Normal levels are below 118-ish. Diesel is over 1000.
I'm so heart broken. He also has Von Willebrands. He had a malignant tumor removed in February and the vet thinks the cancer spread to his liver.

What makes this so difficult, is he is acting like his happy self. Has ANYONE experienced this?---extremely HIGH alt levels? I don't know what to do.
I HATE the thought of thinking about a time frame. I am dreading the day I notice that he is in pain. Please, if anyone has had a dobie with any type of liver disease, please, please let me know exactly what kind of time frame, symptoms, any type of info.
This isn't fair to my poor little Diesel :(
 

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terriorist entertainer
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I'm really sorry you're going through this. It's impossible for us to give you a time frame as Liver issues can be very individualistic. There are diets that put less stress on the liver, as well as herbs and drugs. But if it is cancer, depending on the type and the condition of your boy at the time, there may be little you can do other than palliative care. Your vet is going to be able to assess this better than we are. Although getting a second opinion may be a good option if you're not comfortable with your vet's assessment.

I nursed my CAH (chronic active hepatitis) dobe last year. It's not something I would wish on anyone.

A biopsy would probably be very risky for your boy if he has Vwd, so ultrasounds and x-rays might be the only other diagnostics apart from bloodwork that are available.

Switching him to a diet of white meat only, fish, tofu, cottage cheese and oatmeal will take some load off his liver and help to keep other associated problems under more control. Also getting the full blood reports from your vet so he can explain the implications of the other liver readings, as well as protein, platelets and albumin results. It will help you to get a clearer picture of where your boy is at.

Please let us know how this goes. further tests might be needed to get the full picture.
 

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thank you for your response. it helps to see people care.
I (and the vet) agree with you, a biopsy is too risky. And at this point, the vet said even if we did the biopsy, and it said it is cancer, the "most curable" options are too invasive or will hinder his quality of life. Opening him up--not an option with vwd, and chemotherapy is going to lower his quality of life dramatically and the success rate is way too low to even consider it.
He went over the other numbers with me, they are all very high.
I know there is no "time frame" I can be given. I took him to the beach last night and let him run free. He was so happy, and so was I. I pray he is not in any pain. The vet gave me prednisone to keep him comfortable, but my concern is the prednisone is going to block signs of pain, so I am contemplating only giving it to him at night.

again, thank you for responding. means a lot to Diesel and I :)
 

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I have nothing to add but sending lots of good thoughts and prayers for your boy. Please keep us updated on how things are going. My Baron has early stage DCM and I have learned from so many people on DT that dogs live in the moment. So all we can do is treat each and every moment as special. I am glad you found DT. It is a great source of support.
 

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sandy2233
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Emily was diagnosed with CAH also. She was showing 2 signs of the disease when I insisted on some bloodwork. This was last January. We monitor her blood every month sometimes twice if values are too wacky. She had no yellowing of skin, gums and at this point there is no damage to liver yet. She is on a very low dose of pred and Science Diet Liver Dog Food. After she was switched to the SDLD, she has never gone off feed. At this point, she feels good. Still continuing to show her. The pred is affecting her hair right now and vet is trying to find a different steriod to use. Thinks the pred is causing some cushing similar symtoms. Alot of hair loss all over and it spots. If your vet is not familar with this disease, find another.
 

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thanks for sharing those beautiful photographs of Diesel at the beach.

i have never dealt with liver issues in any of my dogs so cannot help with advice or suggestions to help.

maybe do a few searches here in DT's health section, these is lots of information on liver issues.

Hugz and hope for you and your boy.
 

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I've dealt with many problems with the Dobermans but never a true liver issue. My heart and hugs go out to you and Mr. Diesel.

These guys are amazing. They will run and play and live life to the fullest until they just can't. At that time your boy will tell you. I know it is so very hard, but until Diesel tells you he's too tired or in too much pain, try to enjoy many more runs at the beach. Take as many slobbery kisses from him as you can.

If you and your vet have decided there is nothing you can do other than help Diesel with pain, I would give him the amount prescribed. If it masks it to you, it is probably masking it for Diesel as well.

How many mg is Diesel taking? He may seem more thirsty than usual and may need to pee more frequently. I believe that is normal with prednisone.

I thought this was a fairly good article:

Prednisone for Dog Cancer
 

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Holier Than Now
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thank you for your response. it helps to see people care.
I (and the vet) agree with you, a biopsy is too risky. And at this point, the vet said even if we did the biopsy, and it said it is cancer, the "most curable" options are too invasive or will hinder his quality of life. Opening him up--not an option with vwd, and chemotherapy is going to lower his quality of life dramatically and the success rate is way too low to even consider it.
He went over the other numbers with me, they are all very high.
I know there is no "time frame" I can be given. I took him to the beach last night and let him run free. He was so happy, and so was I. I pray he is not in any pain. The vet gave me prednisone to keep him comfortable, but my concern is the prednisone is going to block signs of pain, so I am contemplating only giving it to him at night.

again, thank you for responding. means a lot to Diesel and I :)
Bold emphasis is mine.

I'm so sorry to hear you and Diesel are facing this.

I agree with getting a second opinion if you're not comfortable with your vet's level of experience with Doberman liver disease.

As far as that part I bolded, I think maybe you're just not thinking clearly, due to the stress and sorrow. Because isn't blocking his pain exactly what we're trying to do?

You're going to want to focus on keeping him as comfortable and feeling as well as he can, in the coming days. Do change his diet to support his liver, and I'm surprised your vet didn't put him on one of the products that also support liver function.

Other than that, try to enjoy each day, treasure the time you have--it may be some time before you have to say goodbye and that will suck a lot, but at least you'll have no regrets--that you did your best by your handsome boy and enjoyed the time you had together on this earth.
 

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denormalized
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In addition to white meats and the diet that Australdi suggested, feed many small meals - minimum of 5 equal meals per day. Also SAMe and Milk Thistle can support the liver and help it regenerate the lost tissue which is why there are enzymes released into the bloodstream (used to measure liver damage).

You can get Milk Thistle and SAMe all in one Denamarin tablet - 1 for 65lb dog, 2 if more than a couple of pounds over. If you keep him under 70lb, you could stay with a single tablet per day for the silybin (milk thistle active ingredient) and SAMe.
 

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I am so sorry you are dealing with this. In late June Wolf's ALT levels were over 500. He took denamarin for 2cycles and his levels came back to normal unfortunately he was soon diagnosed with the bone cancer. When his alt was high we did an ultrasound and it found nothing

We are still unsure what caused the levels to go up but the denamarin worked at least for the 3 months we had with him

Again I am so sorry and I send hugs and prayers and just hug him extra tight
 

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My baby Diesel, only 5 year old, is supposed to weigh 80 pounds. He weighs 60. His dramatic weight loss led me to the vet. We did bloodwork, his ALT liver count was EXTREMELY HIGH a month ago, I had it rechecked, it went up, and rechecked on Saturday, up again. Normal levels are below 118-ish. Diesel is over 1000.
I'm so heart broken. He also has Von Willebrands. He had a malignant tumor removed in February and the vet thinks the cancer spread to his liver.

What makes this so difficult, is he is acting like his happy self. Has ANYONE experienced this?---extremely HIGH alt levels? I don't know what to do.
I HATE the thought of thinking about a time frame. I am dreading the day I notice that he is in pain. Please, if anyone has had a dobie with any type of liver disease, please, please let me know exactly what kind of time frame, symptoms, any type of info.
This isn't fair to my poor little Diesel :(
O my heart is breaking for you and your sweet dobe..........love them every minute you can ........hugs from across the miles!!
 

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thank you for your response. it helps to see people care.
I (and the vet) agree with you, a biopsy is too risky. And at this point, the vet said even if we did the biopsy, and it said it is cancer, the "most curable" options are too invasive or will hinder his quality of life. Opening him up--not an option with vwd, and chemotherapy is going to lower his quality of life dramatically and the success rate is way too low to even consider it.
He went over the other numbers with me, they are all very high.
I know there is no "time frame" I can be given. I took him to the beach last night and let him run free. He was so happy, and so was I. I pray he is not in any pain. The vet gave me prednisone to keep him comfortable, but my concern is the prednisone is going to block signs of pain, so I am contemplating only giving it to him at night.

again, thank you for responding. means a lot to Diesel and I :)
Predisone is NOT for pain. You should follow the Vet's Prescription, exactly. There are other drugs that are pain meds. If you are altering the Vet's RX, in any way, you should let your Vet know.

In your original post, you asked for a time frame for your beloved Dobes' prognosis? My best advice to you, is to live with the same philosophy as the Eastern Monks. Think that today is your Dobe's last day, then you will appreciate every day more.

Which is worse? One of our posters, recently, had their Dobe unexpectantly cough, stop eating, and the Poor Dear was gone in days. Maybe, that person would have wanted to get some extra pictures or go for a special walk? They couldn't. Their dog is in Heaven. As bad as it is for you, and I am sorry for your Dobe and you- atleast you know. You can give your Dobe that special hug. Give the little piece of the pizza. Talk a car ride. Go to a new park.

With liver failure, you want to reduce the amount of the protein. Protein when metabolized, creates ammonia. Liver patients get extremely high levels of ammonia which then creates brain encephalopathy. This is altered awareness and extremely toxic. I am sorry you are going through this.
 

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I know exactly how you are feeling. My 4 year old Doberman had very high ALTs in June. I had an ultrasound (to rule out any masses on the internal organs) and further blood testing done about 1 month later showing still very high (over 1000) ALT. He has been on SamE, milk thistle and ursidol ever since. His ALTS have steadily been going down but still not in the "optimum" range. I should note to you that my dog has Addison's disease so he is on Florinef and Prednisone already.

My dog also is acting fine (eating, playful, etc). He is not suffering, so I will revisit the medication issue when his condition starts to deteriorate ( which can take days, months or years!)
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Diesel was on Denamarin when we orginially had bloodwork done, and his numbers only got worse
I give him milk thistle as well.
It just seems like nothing is working. His numbers have gotten increasingly worse each time we go for bloodwork :(
We did ultra-sound and x-rays in the beginning after we first did bloodwork and saw his numbers. His liver was deformed looking and looked like little masses on it.
Honda123- I didn't say or mean that prednisone is for pain. If he is in pain, it helps to keep him comfortable.
Lil_Devil- did your dobie lose a lot of weight?
I can't stand it anymore when people say "oh he is so beautiful, and he is SO SKINNY, is he part grey hound?"
I get this weekly and it breaks my heart because it is just another reminder that he is sick.

Again-thank you all for your support. You really have no idea how much it means to me. I'm so happy I found DT. <3
 

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lovemesomedoberman
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My baby Diesel, only 5 year old, is supposed to weigh 80 pounds. He weighs 60. His dramatic weight loss led me to the vet. We did bloodwork, his ALT liver count was EXTREMELY HIGH a month ago, I had it rechecked, it went up, and rechecked on Saturday, up again. Normal levels are below 118-ish. Diesel is over 1000.
I'm so heart broken. He also has Von Willebrands. He had a malignant tumor removed in February and the vet thinks the cancer spread to his liver.

What makes this so difficult, is he is acting like his happy self. Has ANYONE experienced this?---extremely HIGH alt levels? I don't know what to do.
I HATE the thought of thinking about a time frame. I am dreading the day I notice that he is in pain. Please, if anyone has had a dobie with any type of liver disease, please, please let me know exactly what kind of time frame, symptoms, any type of info.
This isn't fair to my poor little Diesel :(
just catching up on all the news since we had no power for a few days( thanks superstorm sandy)sorry to read about Diesel. My dobe Ramp was diagnosed with lepto which led to chronic active hepatitis in June of2006, he was 3 years old. I was devastated not knowing what to expect. He was on alot of meds and you would never have known he was as sick as he was.(no symptoms)A year later he had to have a ventral slot,then a year after that he was diagnosed with DCM. He was happy until the end,and I made every day count not knowing when it would be our last he died while on our morning walk May of this year. My advice to you is enjoy every minute you have with him like it is your last..
 

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lovemesomedoberman
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just catching up on all the news since we had no power for a few days( thanks superstorm sandy)sorry to read about Diesel. My dobe Ramp was diagnosed with lepto which led to chronic active hepatitis in June of2006, he was 3 years old. I was devastated not knowing what to expect. He was on alot of meds and you would never have known he was as sick as he was.(no symptoms)A year later he had to have a ventral slot,then a year after that he was diagnosed with DCM. He was happy until the end,and I made every day count not knowing when it would be our last he died while on our morning walk May of this year. My advice to you is enjoy every minute you have with him like it is your last..
sorry I gave the wrong year, he was actually diagnosed in 2009 and was 5years old and lived to 8.5 years
 

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My heart hurts for you. We also had an enzyme scare about a year ago. All the symptoms of liver disease, but thank God it turned out to be a UTI and her numbers became in range within a month. As I read all the posts here, I am amazed at the strength and out pouring of love and support from so many members who know and understand the heartache you're going through. They are right.. make every day a treasure. Do everything you can for 'normalcy as Diesel will feel your sadness and respond in kind. Prayers and best thoughts heading your way.. Kate and Sofia
 

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Still a Pup
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I am so sorry for what you are going through. Have you seen an internist? I see that you are in Boca. I live in Coral Springs and have used Dr. Morales at Coral Springs Animal Hospital. She is a wonderful internist and helped me a great deal when my Aubrey had liver cancer.

If you need any moral support let me know. We are "neighbors".
 

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Sorry a little late to reply - he is not losing weight because he is also on steroids (Florinef/prednisone)

Diesel was on Denamarin when we orginially had bloodwork done, and his numbers only got worse
I give him milk thistle as well.
It just seems like nothing is working. His numbers have gotten increasingly worse each time we go for bloodwork :(
We did ultra-sound and x-rays in the beginning after we first did bloodwork and saw his numbers. His liver was deformed looking and looked like little masses on it.
Honda123- I didn't say or mean that prednisone is for pain. If he is in pain, it helps to keep him comfortable.
Lil_Devil- did your dobie lose a lot of weight?
I can't stand it anymore when people say "oh he is so beautiful, and he is SO SKINNY, is he part grey hound?"
I get this weekly and it breaks my heart because it is just another reminder that he is sick.

Again-thank you all for your support. You really have no idea how much it means to me. I'm so happy I found DT. <3
 
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