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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Three weeks ago Murray started losing weight, blood work showed his ALT liver enzyme elevated from 60 to 120- it has steadily increased and as of yesterday it was at 500. Xrays and 2 ultrasounds show no masses. He's been getting an extra meal each day and has gained back 2 pounds of the 5 he dropped. There are no other symptoms, other than the rising ALT level. He's been on Denamarin to support his liver, plus Baytril in case an infection somewhere in his body was causing this.

I spoke to the vet last night- he says Murray's liver is inflamed for some reason which is why the ALT level is increasing. He feels a biopsy is warranted.

Has anyone had this problem with their dog? Please comment- I'm not inclined to biopsy at this point, would rather monitor for awhile longer. I'm just wondering what others have done in this situation.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Update: this morning the vet took more blood to test for Leptospirosis and put Murray on Amoxicillan along with the Baytril- in other words, he is treating for Lepto until the test results come back on Monday-

If anyone has been in this situation I would love to hear your comments-
 

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I'm sorry to hear Murray's having problems, and I hope he's back to 100% very soon. I can't add much, just that this summer I have a friend who had three dogs who all came down with something. One died very quickly, and the vet treated the other two for lepto (without knowing for sure that's what it was) and they survived. Sounds like your vet is on top of things. Keep us updated.
 

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Very scary. I'd be tempted to do the biopsy just to be sure but I'm a bit overly cautious at times. Losing one far too young will do that to you. Hope he's back to normal soon... perhaps the lepto treatment will do the trick.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The surgical biopsy would be major surgery, and because Murray is almost 9 and has a history of bad reactions to drugs, vaccines, etc, I'm really scared to have this done. If his problems continue on a downward spiral I guess we won't have a choice. For now I'm hoping he does have Leptospirosis and that the antibiotics knock it out. I'll keep everyone posted on how it goes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
We're praying for you. How's he doing now?
His blood work on Friday showed his ALT double what it was the week before, so his liver is inflamed and getting worse right now instead of better. I'm reading everything I can find on liver problems in dogs, and have gotten some good information from people on another dog forum who have hounds with liver problems.

He had unexplained weight loss about a month ago which is why we tested him, but he's gained back some of it and isn't losing any more at this point. No vomiting or diarrhea, so that's good too.

Paul and I have decided to just continue to monitor him for now, he's on Denamarin (milk thistle and Sam-e) to support his liver, and Friday we put him on Hill's perscription L/d - We aren't doing the surgical biopsy, which is major surgery, unless he gets alot worse.

From what I understand, alot of dogs with liver problems can do well with diet change and Denamarin, so at this point I'm trying to stay optimistic, although I have to admit I finally lost it on Friday when the blood test came back so high despite everything we've done.

He hasn't been doing his pet therapy visits, but if he starts feeling a little better I'll take him in to the nursing home, because I know his friends there are missing him, and I think he'd enjoy it too.
 

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Just curious - you said a surgical biopsy would be a major medical procedure. Would they actually cut Murray open? When Spencer had his liver biopsy, they used ultrasound to guide a rather large needle into his liver. They stuck him a few times, taking several samples out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Just curious - you said a surgical biopsy would be a major medical procedure. Would they actually cut Murray open? When Spencer had his liver biopsy, they used ultrasound to guide a rather large needle into his liver. They stuck him a few times, taking several samples out.
Our vet doesn't feel he'd get an adequate sample with a needle biopsy- he wants to open him up, biopsy the liver, and look around- I think he suspects Murray has a tumor someplace that's not showing up on the ultrasounds and xrays, probably due to his sudden weight loss. Paul and I think it's too drastic considering Murray's age and allergic reactions to drugs, so we're not doing it. Depending on how Murray does over the next couple of weeks, we might have to re-evaluate.
 

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I was wondering if that was what was going on. I would have never put Sadie or Spencer through any big surgeries in their later years either. The needle biopsy may give some info, though. Might be better than none at all. Good Luck.
 

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I'm so glad your main concern is keeping Murray comfortable and not subjecting him to procedures that could cause more harm than good. How does he seem these days? How are you coping? Lots of basset hugs and kisses are good medicine for both!

Hang in there!
 
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