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> Liver Issues - Feedback Please!
post Feb 4 2014, 11:48 AM
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Group: Pet Lovers
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Member No.: 8,226

Hey everyone,

Just recently my pug, Hank, who is 6 1/2 years old, has been diagnosed with some form of liver disease/damage. My heart it completely broken, as he is the sweetest and most loving dog. For the past few days he has been at the local vet overnight (Friday night through Monday night - I will be picking him up on Tuesday). He is receiving a multitude of antibiotics that are meant to kill any potential bacterial infections, as well as support the liver. His test results from the most recent blood work are as follows:

Bilirubin: 5.3 (up from 5.0 when he was first brought in)
ALT: 3100 down to 2500
ALP: 2700 (up from 16 when he was first brought in - the vet explained that this is a normal reaction, as the liver is attempting to overcompensate).

Hank has an ultrasound on Friday before being admitted and the vet did not see any damage to the gall bladder, liver, or any signs of cancer. I have been warned, however, that the cancer could potentially be cellular and thus a biopsy would be the only way of actually finding out if he does or does not have cancer. The vet also is unsure what has caused the damage and thinks it could have been the ingestion of a toxin (which I find highly doubtful because Hank next to never eats random things from the floor) or potentially cancer. But, the vet really has no clue and is focused on treating the liver currently. Again, as the vet stated, only a biopsy will tell for sure.

Also, Hank is yellowish, which was explained by the high bilirubin levels, but he is active, alert, happy, and his appetite has returned. Currently, the plan is for Hank to come home tomorrow, take a number of antibiotics, and then have his blood work tested again in a few days. If his numbers decline then we will proceed with the medication. If not, I will have the biopsy done.

I guess I am not totally sure why I am rambling. I would like to know if anyone has experienced anything like this and can share their story. Or, I am guess I am just looking for support. Hank has been there with me through my most difficult times (divorce, selling a house because of the divorce - basically a total upheaval in my life). He has been there for me each day and although I am in a new long term relationship with a great person, have adopted a second dog (Corgi mix); I am not sure what I will do without him. He is truly my best friend. Any feedback at all is greatly appreciated in this difficult time.


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post Feb 4 2014, 12:52 PM
Post #2

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Hi, Tom, please permit me to offer you my sincerest concerns with your precious Hank's medical crisis. I do so know from first hand experience how traumatic it is to have a precious companion seriously ill, and frightened that it could become the reason for shortening their earthly journey.

I am not a veterinarian or vet tech, but there may be some things I can help you with. First of all, the "yellow" in his skin, eyes, etc., is called "jaundice" and is directly related to his liver malfunctioning. This can be caused by several factors, one of them being an infection called Hepatitis. I presume your veterinary care provider has tested your precious Hank for this and that the results have come back negative. When there are no definitive or "smoking gun" reasons for an illness, the only thing that can be done is supportive care, which it sounds your precious Hank is receiving. Please know your precious Hank, and you, are in my thoughts and prayers that the medications will resolve your precious Hank's health crisis, and provide him a good quality of life so that he can continue to share his earthly journey with you.

Tom, please know you are doing everything in your power to give your precious Hank the proper medical care he needs to get well. Please know you are among friends here who truly do understand what you are going through, and we are here for you for as long and as often as you need us. Please know your precious Hank, and you, are in my thoughts and prayers, and please let us know how he's doing.

Peace and blessings,

In heaven's perfect garden there is no grief or pain, and all of God's creation join the angels' sweet refrain.

The most blessed way I have of knowing God's comforting love and grace is to look into the eyes and heart of God's creatures' sweet angelic face.
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