Many dog owners may find their dogs’ liver enzyme tests quite confusing and baffling especially if their vets fail to unravel some concepts to them. For example, the letters that will show on your dog’s liver test often include ALT, ALP, and AST. These, especially AST and ALT, show elevated liver enzymes which are indicators of liver damage or failure in your dog. Hence elevated liver enzymes mean increased ALT (Alanine Aminotransferase) or AST (Aspartate Transaminase). So you are going to learn more about elevated liver enzymes and how they affect your dog’s quality of life:
How to Treat Elevated Liver Enzymes in Dogs
The type of treatment for dogs with elevated liver enzymes is determined by the type of disease and level of damage done to the liver. For example, electrolytes and fluids are often recommended for pets who have been falling sick too often. Your vet may recommend that your dog get restricted and specified diets and life-sustaining medications Bile duct instruction can be dealt with medications like ursodiol.
Surgery is also reputed to be a very effective remedy for diseases caused by elevated liver enzymes like liver shunts in dogs. Antibiotics and antiviral medications offer effective ways of confronting liver infections. Treatment for liver cancer or tumors is determined by test results and may entail surgery and administration of medications.
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Can Antibiotics Cause High Liver Enzymes in Dogs?
Certain antibiotics can cause high liver enzymes indicating problems in your dog’s liver. It’s best to check with your vet before giving your dog any medication or adding any supplement to his food. While some antibiotics are often recommended to help your dog’s liver function properly, others are highly toxic. In essence, your vet must be fully aware of any antibiotic you’re giving your dog to use.
Causes of High Liver Enzymes in Dogs
Some herbs and plants like blue-green algae, ragwort, and certain mushrooms can cause elevated liver enzymes as well as molds that grow on corn. Other causes include diabetes, untreated worms, certain medications and antibiotics, fatty foods, and the use of painkillers. In some cases, liver disease can occur because of old age. Liver disease can also be a byproduct of genetic conditions. Sometimes, it can be caused by underlying infection or trauma to the area.
Symptoms of High Liver Enzymes in Dogs
The signs that your dog has high liver enzymes are weight loss, decreased appetite, increased thirst, staggering or unstable walk, uncontrolled urination, blood in your dog’s poop or pee, Ascites (accumulation of fluid in the stomach), vomiting, diarrhea, etc. However, it’s very easy to mistake the symptoms of high liver enzymes for symptoms of other problems because they can look very similar.
Once you notice some of these liver failure symptoms, take him to your vet as soon as possible to have him tested and treated. If your dog’s high liver enzymes are not detected and remedied early, it can cause a serious brain problem called hepatic encephalopathy.
How Long Can a Dog Live With High Liver Enzymes?
Your Dog can live with high liver enzymes if it is well maintained. Your dog has a high survival rate if high liver enzymes are detected early enough and necessary steps as suggested by a professional vet are taken. This will help to prevent the condition from reaching a severe stage that can cause death or euthanasia. Take your dog from time to time for vaccinations or examinations. More importantly, ensure that your vet knows about any supplement or drug that you are giving your dog. Be careful of what you feed your dog after diagnosis. This is important because excessive fatty foods can complicate things. Also, don’t allow your dog to go to areas where he could be tempted to feed on insects or poisonous plants.
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Treatment Options of High Liver Enzymes in Dogs
If you notice some symptoms of liver problems in your dog, your vet may ask about his medications and diets. The vet is most likely to do blood tests and X-rays or an ultrasound to have an idea of what is wrong with the dog’s liver. Diet changes also prove helpful. Your vet may prescribe a restricted special diet for your dog just to ensure that he is getting adequate calories and nutrients that will enhance his liver. Supplements like milk thistle or SAM-E may also help to treat the liver.
Does Elevated Liver Enzymes Mean Cancer?
Elevated liver enzymes do not necessarily mean cancer though increased ALT and AST levels are predictive of the presence of liver cancer. Elevated liver enzymes are just indicators of certain liver diseases that must be treated in time before they get to extreme stages that might necessitate surgery.
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