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Regular Contributor
Posts: 223
Registered: ‎04-02-2013

Hi, was wondering if anyone had an issue with an elevated ALT, one of the liver enzymes in their dogs?  I have a 10 year old Bichon, she just had her senior lab tests with her yearly exam and vaccinations. Last year her ALT was 127, which was slightly higher than the 120 normal. This year she was 163. All her other labs were normal. We are going to repeat lab in 2 months. Vet mentioned something about milk thistle or other pills that could help. Meanwhile, I switched her food to one that is supposed to be better for liver issues, and going to try not to give her table scraps. Has anyone had any experience with this. Not sure if 163 is terribly elevated or not. Also has anyone used milk thistle? Thanks in advance, Susi.

Valued Contributor
Posts: 791
Registered: ‎08-24-2011

My 6 pound Maltese had elevated liver enzymes after an attack of pancreatitis. The attack was caused by him accidentally eating the food off of a guest's dinner plate, consisting of ham, buttery potatoes and other fatty foods. He nearly died, he was on doggy life support for 12 hours, but he made it out just fine. My vet put him on a LOW fat diet for life.His enzymes are normal now, and have been for years. Is it possible your Bichon has been dining on some fatty foods? My vet said small dogs are especially vulnerable to fats in their diet. Just an idea. Good luck and hope you find out the cause.

 

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Regular Contributor
Posts: 223
Registered: ‎04-02-2013

She hasn't been sick, just labs are rising. We have been guilty of giving her table scraps. We are just going to stick,with dog treats until we recheck. Not sure of how high her numbers are relative to being worrisome.  I am hoping it is related to that only. I am glad your little Maltese is ok!

Respected Contributor
Posts: 4,435
Registered: ‎10-03-2014

Yes, two of my small dogs in the past.  Nothing ever found abnormal on one of them.  The other pancreatitis because of others, not me, giving her people food; however, a different enzyme is usually high. 

 

Still it's good you no longer give your dog people food.

 

Elevated liver enzymes in older dogs may be just aging.  Sometimes it's something else.  

 

Respected Contributor
Posts: 2,203
Registered: ‎07-19-2013

@Susic 

 

from "for the love of dogs" Dogster article I found:

 

How to handle elevated liver enzymes in dogs

Many senior dogs will have high ALP values on their screening tests. 

 

If the patient is healthy otherwise, vets often repeat the liver tests in six to eight weeks to see if the elevation persists or worsens.

They carefully investigate if any medications, herbs or nutraceuticals could cause the abnormal liver tests.

 

The majority of dogs with increased hepatic enzymes will not have liver disease, and those with mild changes may benefit from switching diets or adding nutritional supplements.

 

Monitor the dog closely for vomitingdiarrhea, lethargy, bruising or discolored skin spots, spots of blood in his stool or urine, or loss of appetite.

 

The site mentioned it can be nothing to worry about and a change in diet and a bit more exercise can help - or further test can reveal other ailments - for now it sounds like you are doing right by your beloved pet.  

Contributor
Posts: 27
Registered: ‎12-08-2018

Both my Bichons had that. And the one was from pancreatitis and reducing fat was good. But did do milk thistle. Got at vitamin store, get a capsule and just open up and sprinkle some power on the food and mix it in. Be careful it is a yellow powder and it will stain. I opened several at once and stored powder in small bowl so did not have to mess with everyday.

Regular Contributor
Posts: 223
Registered: ‎04-02-2013

Thank you all for your info.! I was hoping that could be the problem . She is too cute for her own good and loves to beg, and hard to resist. My previous Bichon had Cushing Disease, so I freaked out a bit when Vet called. I didn't get a chance to ask him a lot of questions. So we switched her dog food, BB Life Protection for seniors , supposed to be good for liver issues, and no more people food until labs! Hope that does it. Thanks again for taking time to repond!

Valued Contributor
Posts: 584
Registered: ‎08-07-2015

Glad her other labs were normal. It could be just an older age temporary spike.  My senior poodle had elevated alt at various times. Sometimes due to gastric issues, sometimes no cause just older age. Vet recommended prescription diet and if I made him anything it was minimum ingredient clean food. We supplemented with Denamarin and milk thistle prescribed by my Vet. I didn't stress bumps in the  range too much once his labs were pretty consistent and all else was good. .  This combination of  diet, supplements did help. He lived to 17 with no liver issues. 

 

 

 

Regular Contributor
Posts: 223
Registered: ‎04-02-2013

Thank you Diane , that is good to know. I always think the worse. I want to keep her around for a long time too. Vet mentioned Milk Thistle too. Will wait and see what he says about dose. Would be nice if we get good results next time.

Trusted Contributor
Posts: 1,349
Registered: ‎07-24-2012

 

 

 

My sister used milk thistle to help her dog with this problem.