Liver enzymes - ALT 658 help pls - German Shepherd Dog Forums
 
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 07-10-2019, 03:04 PM Thread Starter
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Exclamation Liver enzymes - ALT 658 help pls

Hope everyone is doing great!

I would really appreciate some help!

So my 7 y.o. female GSD has extremely elevated ALT - 658 (normal is 18-121 U/L). It's been the same since last year and all other liver enzymes are within norm. She doesn't have any health issues, her appetite is great, she looks great and even the vet doesn't know exactly what's going on. In few weeks, we're going to have liver function test done.

Her results so far:
- ALT 658 (norm 18-121 U/L)
- Hemoglobin 21.3 (norm 13.4 - 20.7 g/dL)
- Hematocrit 63.4 (norm 38.3 - 56.5 %)

Everything else and all other liver enzymes are within norm.


I also came across information that Hep B vaccines can cause extreme elevation in ALT in dogs... Wonder if that has anything to do with it...

Besides that she was just diagnosed with Pannus - seems this one is pretty common in GSDs...

Thank you for your help!

Marta
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 07-10-2019, 05:30 PM
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[Puts on nursing cap...] The elevation in hemoglobin and hematocrit is very slight and I'd guess it's because your dog may have been slightly dehydrated at the time blood was drawn. It's definitely not something I'd worry about.

Elevated ALT (in humans, but the canine norms are fairly similar) generally indicates some sort of hepatitis. It can also be due to the liver being injured by a drug or toxin.

When my husband was alive, our GSD, Tasha, escaped from the backyard because he wasn't watching her carefully. She ate something/got into something toxic, and during the night, she threw up all over the hall rug several times. By the next morning she was running a high fever and was so weak, he had to lift her into the car to take her to the vet.

She was treated with antibiotics, and recovered quite quickly, but her ALT remained elevated for quite some time. The vet had me doing all sorts of tests on her that were costing $$$$. All sorts of dire predictions were made: Addison's disease, cancer, etc.

I finally put a stop to it, because she seemed perfectly healthy. When she was next due for her shots, I had the liver enzymes retested. They were perfectly NORMAL!!

Tasha passed in her sleep at the ripe old age of 14 years.

So, to make a long story short, your dog MAY have been exposed to some toxin or infection that did some damage to the liver. The liver detoxifies most of the toxins that get into our bodies, but it can suffer damage from the toxins. Because of this, it's one of the few organs that has the ability to heal itself, given time. I'd retest the enzymes before going for the liver function test. It might save you a bundle of money.

Last edited by Sunsilver; 07-10-2019 at 05:35 PM.
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 07-10-2019, 08:20 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you for your response!

I was thinking the same regarding ALT results, but it's been 2nd year in a row that she tested so high (the other two blood markers I included just in case, even though they're barely elevated).

She also doesn't take any meds and is always watched while outside, so I know that she didn't eat anything unusual (she's an indoor pup). But, it could be something even in the house and/or maybe toys that she's playing with...

I'm glad to hear some reassurance though that it might be nothing. She seems completely healthy and strong otherwise.
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 07-10-2019, 08:35 PM
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mdm, oops, I missed that it had been elevated for over a year! Sorry!

If that's the case, I'd be inclined to do the liver function test. At her age, it COULD be cancer. And some of the most common cancers don't cause any obvious symptoms until it's too late.
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 07-11-2019, 05:28 PM
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I’d ask for an ultrasound to rule out a mass.
Both my dogs had liver cancer. Both had surgery to remove enormous tumors. They’re doing fine. They’re on a bunch of supplements to keep it from coming back.
Could be a lot of things, I’d want to know if they see anything obvious.
Good luck!
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old Today, 06:28 PM Thread Starter
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M&J, thank you for your response! I'm happy to hear that your dogs are doing great!

The vet suggested ultrasound after doing liver function test first to see if anything comes back abnormal.

Do you remember by any chance your dogs liver enzyme tests? Did you pups have any signs/symptoms? Just wondering what were the "signs" that something wasn't right.

Thank you!
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