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My 95 pound 8yr old GSD has some elevated liver enzymes. While she is off all other meds, and until the next blood test. The vet put her on Denamarin for Lg dogs. I would have thought just leaving her off of the meds and retestng her in a few months would better tell if it was the meds (tramadol ocassionally for pain, some Rimadyl with it) not very often at all) and Thyroid pills for hypothyroidism at cause and if the liver enzymes were still high then put the dog on Denamarin??? I don't know.

I also wanted to know if anyone has given their dogs equal alternatives with the same ingredients as Denamarin as Mild Thistle etc? It is very expensive, but if she really needs it she will get it.
 

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Welcome, Donna!

You can get Denamarin slightly cheaper from Allivet.com (today they're running 10% off of everything with a coupon code on the landing page).

Our rescue has had a few dogs that needed it, and our vet told us it was worth the price -- she'd sell us a cheaper option if she found one that was as good. The company that makes it (Nutramax) is known for outstanding quality control. If you look at the lab reports for a lot of herb supplements, they don't even contain any of the stuff they say on the label...with a sick dog, quality matters.

I'd really encourage you to try to figure out what's going on with the liver. Something is damaging it -- toxin, medicine side effect, disease process....that's pretty important to figure out, so that you can stop the damage and give it time to regenerate. You may need to work with your vet doing some detective work to find the root cause.

Are you and your vet discussing whether to continue giving Rimadyl, given the liver stuff going on? Liver and kidneys are known targets for Rimadyl damage. I'm not one to panic over NSAIDs (I've used them safely in lots of dogs)...but I would really hesitate to give any NSAID to a dog with any liver disease without having an internal medicine specialist review the case first. That's the very real danger zone for this class of drugs. I'd probably even consider even taking the dog off it if it's not essential to quality of life, and then re-running the test of the liver enzymes to see if they get better after a few weeks.

Also, it might be worth talking more to your vet about the tramadol -- the evidence IN DOGS with tramadol and pain is poor (it makes them high but apparently doesn't really do much to relieve pain based on the most recent studies...a lot of vets have stopped prescribing it once they figured out dogs don't metabolize it the same way people do...but some vets haven't focused on the research and keep on using it as they always have). I wonder if Gabapentin is worth trying (it's especially good for nerve pain).
 
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