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Dr. Kara
Dr. Kara, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 14832
Experience:  Over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian.
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My dogs bloodwork came back with a 1.7 protein level and thay

Customer Question

My dogs bloodwork came back with a 1.7 protein level and thay want to do ultrasound etc.
My vet seems very concerned about this protein level and is this something we should be concerned about.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 1 year ago.
Hello, my name is***** and I have over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian. I am sorry to hear that Whiskey has had intermittent diarrhea and blood tests show low levels of blood protein.
This is something to be very concerned about, because low levels of blood protein can indicate serious underlying disease, and blood protein levels are important in systemic health. This is something that absolutely needs to be explored and the cause diagnosed so appropriate treatment can be started.
Low protein levels can be due to inadequate diets (very unlikely), an inability to digest and absorb protein (primary intestinal disease), an inability to make proteins (liver disease) or loss of proteins (kidney disease or intestinal disease).
Generally we will check levels of protein loss through the kidneys by measuring protein levels in the urine compared to creatinine levels (kidney waste product) in light of the concentration of the urine. An ultrasound of the kidneys helps us to evaluate kidney architecture.
Liver disease is evaluated via blood tests (check enzyme levels and a function test called a bile acids test) as well as radiographs and/or an ultrasound of the liver to look at organ size, architecture and blood vessels.
Intestinal disease is evaluated via blood tests (albumin levels, folate and cobamalin levels), ultrasound evaluation of the intestines as well as biopsies.
Low levels of blood protein lead to fluid leaking out of blood vessels and accumulating in the tissues or abdomen or chest, poor healing ability, poor immune system function, and stress on the heart and all other organs.
Your veterinarian is trying their best to get a diagnosis and come up with a plan to address Whiskey's illness and an ultrasound is a big part of that appropriate plan.
Please let me know if you have any further questions.