Ask the Vet About Liver Disease in Dogs and Cats
As a practicing veterinarian, Dr. Dym has over 19 years of experience and dedication to enhancing the overall health and well-being of pets. His commitment and passion for pet health continuously drives him to learn more about the art and science of homeopathy through ongoing training and education.Submit Your Question
Question:13 year old cat very friendly has been diagnosed with liver disease. Has quit eating. Might eat a piece of food at most. Has lost over 1/2 of body weight. Has become congested and eyes seem to run. Sleeps a lot but still purrs. Vet gave an appetite stimulate and some type of steroid drop for eyes. You can see the yellowing of the eyes. Cat does not seem to be in pain. Is there any supplement or food the you would recommend. Thanks
Answer:Having your veterinarian place a feeding tube is usually ideal for these cats - you can rarely get enough calories into them otherwise but I would really need to see her bloodwork, x-rays and ultrasound to be able to tell exactly what is going on with her liver to be able to make any other recommendations so consult your veterinarian for the best advice and ask them about a feeding tube.
Question:We have a 12 year old shepherd husky mix, female. She has tested with elevated liver enzymes and had four seizures within 5 months. She doesn’t seem to have all fathers symptoms of liver disease. She has a very healthy appetite, she still goes outside to go to the bathroom and her bowel movements are healthy. She has no jaundice and her belly swelling is questionable because she is such a good eater and has always had a ponch belly. She is lethargic and seems to have intermittent vision issues. She also seems to have hepatic encephalopathy. She paces around the house and in the yard.. She is no longer social. Can this really be from the liver? Or could something else be going on? She also has some sludge in her gall bladder. We are feeding her Hills l/d and supplementing with Denmarin. She is also on Keppra. I just want to be certain we are treating the correct thing. Our vet is of the opinion it is just liver. Are there any other diseases that could cause her symptoms? Thank you so much.
Answer:You can attribute all of those clinical signs to liver disease. I would really need to see her blood work, x-rays, ultrasound, etc. to really give you any more useful advice.
Question:Hello, My 13 year old cat suddenly starting eating less and less each day until 3 days has passed with only water and starting to vomit yellow foam. I took him to the vet and did blood test that resulted in some low results in the following: ALP 5 - CA 4.0 - Phos 3.3 He then gave my cat 1 antibiotic injection and 1 anti vomiting injection and 1 injection of vitamins for the liver on August 3rd. Until August 6th my cat hasn’t eaten anything and threw up yellow foam 5 times over the range of 5 hours, so I took him again to another vet on duty in the same clinic and he informed me that his liver is weak and affecting the kidneys who he noticed they are very small when he examined them with his hands. He gave him 1 injection for anti vomiting and told me to give him 1 pill of cystone medicine for 30 days and prescribed me drops to add to the water for his liver and ensure i force give him water through a 20Ml needle 3 times a day For 7 days which I have been doing. I just got the cystone pills delivered and my cat is feeling great now but has not yet produced stool. I feel hesitant giving him cystone because I am reading it is for kidney stones. The vet said it well flush and cleanse his kidneys to make them stronger due to his age. Should I give him 1 cystone pill for 30 days as directed?
Answer:I don't know of a cystone product that has been approved for usage in cats, so I can't really advise you one way or another. Consult the veterinarian that prescribed the medication and/or call the manufacturer of the medication.
Question:Dr. Dym, The product Denosyl is what I was going to order for Lexi. Marilyn
Answer:Here is a direct link to Denosyl: https://www.1800petmeds.com/Denosyl-prod10434.html. Ask your veterinarian if Denamarin might be right for your dog - it is considered the upgrade of Denosyl because it contains milk thistle as well as SAM-e: https://www.1800petmeds.com/Denamarin+Tablets+-prod11008.html
Question:Dr. Dym, My dog Lexi (24 lbs) is a mix of chihuahua and terrier and has had 3 blood draws showing 331-349 ALK liver numbers . She has had 2 months of Denumarin with no change. Can I give her Milk Thistle capsules or the DY ??? that I found in your lists. They want to do another blood draw for liver function or ultrasound and I am spending money I don't have with no results. Thank you, Marilyn PS-I am concerned but she isn't acting ill at all. No issues.
Answer:Denamarin already contains milk thistle (that's what the Silybin is) so you don't need to add more (as long as she's taking her appropriate dosage). I don't know what you mean by DY ???. If she isn't making progress on the Denamarin, she will need the ultrasound next.
Question:As stated above- he seems weak and drowsy - he did eat an hour ago Is he having adverse reaction to meds? On Thurs He had convenia injection as well as cerenia and fluids at vet office Today he had one baytril tablet per vet advice. He has been treated with these same meds on previous flareups of liver elevated levels
Answer:"Weak and drowsy" is not really a noticable or common side effect of cerenia, convenia, fluids or baytril so I worry that it is something else so having your veterinarian recheck him is ideal.
Question:My Two Year Old Female Dog Has Vomitting,Lethargy And A Fever. What Could Be Wrong?
Answer:Many Possibilities From Acute Viral Upset, Paraasite, Dietary Indiscretion, Metabolic Disease Of Liver Or Pancreas. If Signs Persist Or Worsen, See Vet For Full Workup And Evaluation For Proper Diagnosis.
Question:My Cat Started Steroids For Pleural Infusion On Thursday Late Afternoon Around 5pm. I Gave Him Pills Fri, Sat, Today Around 10am. He Was Eating Fine Until Saturday And Then Had No Interest In Food Or Cat Treats (very Abnormal For Him.) Today We Got Him To Eat A Few Bites Around 1pm Of Crabmeat (his Favorite Treat) And Then Again At Around 5pm. At The 5pm Feeding He Ate More And Way More Enthusiastically. He Is Drinking A Lot. My Main Question Is Will The Steroids Cause Him To Feel "weird" And Not Want To Eat? I Know They Are Supposed To Make Him Ravenous But By Doing Some Online Research I See They Can Have The Opposite Effect Also? He Is Acting About 95% Normal Other Than This. His Breathing Is A Bit Heavy But He's Breathing Through His Nose And Not Making Any Strange Noises, Etc. While He's Breathing. He's Resting Peacefully And Still Interacting With Us - Not As Much As Normal But He's Had A Rough Week. I Just Want To Know If He's Trying To Tell Me It's Time By Not Being As Hungry Or If He's Just A Bit Off From The New Medicine. Thank You
Answer:Steroids Likely Not Involved With Loss Of Appetite, But Whatever Primary Disease Cause Of Pleural Effusion Buildup In Chest I.e Heart Disease, Cancer, Liver Disease, Etc Need To Be Ruled Out.
Question:Hi, I Am Sorry I Dont Think I Spelled The Topic Correctly, My 17 Year Old Cocker Poo Has Always Had A Heart Murmur, My Vet Said It Has Now Spread To The Right Side Of Her Heart Which He Claims Is The Reason For Her Not Being Able To Walk As Well And Or Collapses, However I Dont Understand Why, Why Would The Heart Do That To Her Legs? She Has Been On Prednisone, Enalapril, Thyroid Med,Thyeolmpian, And Liver Medicine Also For Her Other Illness As Well, But She Still Always Wants To Eat , No Matter What
Answer:I Would Ask Vet Abou Perdnisone Alternative, As Steroids Can Make Heart Disease Difficult To Control And Manage. I Would Ask Your Vet About New Prescription Drug Called Vetmedin, Which Has Done Wonders For Dogs With Heart Disease.
Question:I Recently Read That It Is Beneficial To Give Dogs With Liver Problems Liver (cooked Or Raw), Is This Correct? Our Miniature Dachshund Was Recently Diagnosed With A Liver 1/3 The Size It Should Be - No Sign Of Disease (had A Biopsy). He Is Currently On A Bland Diet (oats, Rice, Mashed Veggies And Boiled Chicken). I Know That He Would Love A Change As He Has Red Meat Only Very Occasionally. His Veterinary Care Is Thorough And On Going But I Am Struggling With His Diet - He Is Too! thank You For Your Time. regards Debbie
Answer:I Have Not Heard Of Using Liver For Liver Disease. Sounds Like You Have A Good Diet In Place. Consider Supplements Such As Denamarin As Well To Help With Liver Function.
Question:Hello.i Have A 6 Year Old Cat.he Was Very Fat.and Sudanlly He Stoped Eating And Drinking.i Tryed Antibiotics.but Its Not Working.and He Makes Some Sounds He Never Made Before.he Got Very Skiny.please Give Me Some Advice To Save Him.
Answer:This Cat Needs To See Vet Asap, As Could Have Disease Called Fatty Liver Syndrome Or Hepatic Lipidosis Which Needs Intensive Medical Management By Veterinarians First In Office.
Question:I've Been Reading Your Site, And Find That My 12 Year Old Male Chihuahua Has A Common Condition. Heart Murmer, Over Weight, Pot Belly, Enlarged Liver, Excessive Thirst And Bladder Stones. We Are Waiting For A Result From A Liver Biopsy To Determine Cushings Disease. Is This Disease Treatable? I Can't Seem To Get A Direct Answer, And Am Extremely Confused About This Disease. Any Help Is Greatly Appreciated!!!
Answer:Cushings Disase Is Very Treatable Howver I Would Make Sure Diagnosis Is Accurate. I Would At First Use Blood Tests Like Low Dose Dex Suppression Blood Test Or Acth Stim Test To Rule This Disease Likely In Or Out. Then If These Are Positive, Then I Usually Have Ultrasound Done Of Adrenal Glands To Assess Their Size And Shape To Help In Diagnosis As There Can Be False Positive Blood Tests. If Positive Truly, Then Newer Drugs Like Trilostane Can Be Quite Helpful And Is Safe In Most Cases(but Expensive) Or Others Like Lysodren Or Ketoconazole Often Control But Dont Cure The Disease. Complications Like High Blood Pressure Should Be Checked For As Well As Secondary Urinary Infections With Urine Cultures.
Question:My Aunt's Dog Gypsy Died A Year Ago. She Stopped Eating And Looked Anergy And Was Sent To A Vet. Lab Showed Elevated Wbc And Lymphocytes And Alt And Ast Were Elevated. The Vet Did Another Liver-specific Test And Confirmed Liver Dysfunction (w/o Final Diagnosis). The Vet Suspected Hepatitis Or Acute Leukemia And Prescribed Amoxicillin Clavulanic Acid To Treat Infection. Gypsy's Stool Turned Black And Hard After 3 Days Of Abx Treatment And Was Deterioating Even Faster. She Died Around 10 Days After Treatment. 1)what Is The Justification For Treating Potential Liver Disease With Amoxicillin Clavulanic Acid Which Also Damages Liver? 2)why Given Abx While Hepatitis Is Mostly Viral? thank You For Your Time. sincerely, catherine
Answer:Great Questions Catherine. Actually Many Conventional Vets And Mds Reach For Antibiotics Even When They Have Not Documented Any Specific Bacterial Cause Of The Problem, With The Justification That There 'could' Be Bacterial Component. Actually As You State Most Cases Of Liver Dysfunction In Dogs Are Not Due To Bacteria But Either Inflammatory Or Less Likely Viral. Occasionally Leptospirosis Which Is Bacterial Infection Can Cause Liver Disease But Amoxicillin Would Quickly Treat That In Most Cases. Cases Like This Are Why I Prefer Holistic Vets Who Try And Look At Whole Pet And Other Factors In Liver Disease. Learn More With Book Dr Pitcairns Guide To Natural Health For Dogs And Cats By Richard Pitcairn, Dvm, Phd As Well As Www.theavh.org