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Dr. G.
Dr. G., Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
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Experience:  Private Practice Veterinarian
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My miniature schnauzer Lilli is 6 years old. She was

Customer Question

My miniature schnauzer Lilli is 6 years old. She was diagnosed with liver failure on Thursday June 2. I brought her in because she was peeing on the floor, a lot. She had never done before. She was drinking a lot and she wasn't eating much. Bloodwork shows liver failure. She is jaundice. I am giving her Denosyl, Protandum, vitamin E, probiotic, Bimoxx, famotidine and multi pet vitamin. She is only 15 lbs. And I am sure she is losing weight. I just need to know what I can do for her to try and help her. She won't eat canned food. I am going to try rice and hamburger next. I hate to even ask but how long do you think she will last. I am going to be lost without her.
Submitted: 4 months ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. G. replied 4 months ago.

Hello, my name is***** am a licensed veterinarian and I will try and help you as best as I can.

Please allow a few minutes for me to read your responses and for me to respond back.

Expert:  Dr. G. replied 4 months ago.

I am sorry to hear that Lilli is having this problem.

I will need a little bit more information to better help you.

When was the last time she ate a full meal?

Does she normally eat prescription food for liver disease? What is her normal diet?

Any vomiting or diarrhea right now?

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
She has always been a light eater. Maybe 3/4 a cup or less a day and I feed Taste of the Wild. I started noticing she hasn't finished her food early last week, so for about 5-6 days ago. Last Wed she started having accidents on the floor. She started Thursday. She has completely stopped eating as of Friday. She vomited once yesterday and twice today.
Customer: replied 4 months ago.
I tried feeding her Candidae from a can 1 tbsp mixed with 1 tbsp cooked oatmeal. She refused. I gave her 3 tsp of Gerber baby food, she threw up later. I bought a small jaw of Caesars chicken dog food and mixed 1 tsp with 1 tsp of the Candidae and she ate it but vomited it up 50 min later.
Expert:  Dr. G. replied 4 months ago.

I see.

Liver disease that has progressed to jaundice is very worrisome. This could be related to her liver failure or this jaundice could be due to something else. Regardless she needs to see a vet. Her bloodwork should be rechecked to ensure there is no hemolytic anemia causing the jaundice, appetite loss, and vomiting. She could also have severe gall bladder disease causing these same signs. Typically liver failure patients are kept on a liver specific prescription diet such as Hills L/d. These diets are low in protein which is what these dogs need. You can try feeding a cooked egg white to see if she is able to tolerate that, however I doubt she is going to hold anything down without prescription medication for vomiting. Most likely, she will need to be kept on IV fluids to flush her system.

Expert:  Dr. G. replied 4 months ago.

It may be best to avoid giving her any other food tonight so she doesn't just vomit it back up. I would try the egg white and if she can't hold that, don't give any more food.

I would take her to the vet tomorrow at the latest for further care and workup.

Expert:  Dr. G. replied 4 months ago.

If she has not yet had an ultrasound that would be highly recommended. A biopsy is needed to determine the exact cause of the liver failure (blood vessel abnormalities, cirrhosis, tumors, inflammation, copper issues, etc.) and that can potentially be done via ultrasound. Knowing the exact cause can help guide treatment further if that is the route you would like to go.

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
I brought her to our vet twice last Thursday. She did bloodwork and sent it off. Friday it came back and it showed extremely high enzymes, Billirubin, and one other lab I can remember. My vet basically said she's in liver failure and there's nothing she could do further. I am going to take Lilli to a specialized vet/hospital on Tuesday. I hate waiting that long but I have no other choice Than to wait. She is very jaundice. I've been trying to love on her as much as possible. I am so sad am I don't know what to do or how I will pay for a specialist.
Expert:  Dr. G. replied 4 months ago.

I am sorry to hear that.

I think her best bet is seeing the specialist. You need to figure out what is going on.

High bilirubin can be due to many things as can very high liver enzymes, not always specifically due to liver failure. The best thing is to have the consult with the medicine specialist and then decide where to go from there. They can give you all of your options and potential diagnoses based on the exact lab results that have already been done. Most likely they will start with an ultrasound.

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
I asked my vet about IV fluids and she said that most likely it would flush out toxins but within a few days the toxins would build back up.
Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Sounds like I need to find a new vet.
Expert:  Dr. G. replied 4 months ago.

Without knowing exactly what is going on you don't know that for sure. Most of the acute liver failure dogs we see undergo IV fluids and antibiotics for a few days until the values go down and the dog is doing better. The bilirubin can damage the kidneys, so you want to make sure you are flushing that out as best as possible with IV fluids. If this is a hepatitis, it can often resolve with antibiotics and IV fluids. We just need more information at this point.

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
can you say that it possibly could be something other than liver failure? And something that could possibly be reversible?
Expert:  Dr. G. replied 4 months ago.

Liver failure can be acute or chronic. Sometimes this can be reversible and no longer be a problem. Other times there is an underlying disease or too much damage and it will be irreversible.

There are many things that can cause these levels to be high: inflammation of the liver, different infections, blockages of the gall bladder, inflammation of the gall bladder, gall bladder stones, hemolytic anemias, different tumors (both benign and aggressive), and other diseases.

Without treatment or further diagnostics you just don't know what is going to happen next.

Expert:  Dr. G. replied 4 months ago.

It might be helpful to see your regular vet tomorrow to get some medication to help stop vomiting and increase appetite. They can also start her on IV fluids and medications then transfer to the specialist the next day. Another option would be to go to the specialist tomorrow as an emergency. That is the way most see a specialist when they don't have a specific appointment available. It's worth calling the specialist tomorrow to see if they can get you in sooner since she is worsening. They often make exceptions in those cases.

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
My vet did give her a shot for vomiting but didn't send anything home. Can she use ondansetron? I'm a pharmacy tech am I do have that at home but not sure if that is ok for dogs. My vet said to give her ranitidine twice a day and I have and I use 1/2 of a Greenies pill pocket and she takes that ok
Expert:  Dr. G. replied 4 months ago.
You can give ondansetron. Injectable would work better since she is vomiting but you could give an 4mg tablet to her to help with her vomiting.
Expert:  Dr. G. replied 4 months ago.
She may or may not vomit it back up
Customer: replied 4 months ago.
I have 4 mg ODT because I had gall bladder surgery myself 2 months ago so I have some on hand
Expert:  Dr. G. replied 4 months ago.
I would go ahead and give one tonight, it may help her feel better.
Expert:  Dr. G. replied 4 months ago.
I must apologize, but I will be logging off very soon. I would like to make sure you are taken care of before that. Is there anything else I can help you with tonight? Is there any other information I can provide for you?
Customer: replied 4 months ago.
I did and she took it fine. I found coverage for my job tomorrow and I'll be taking her to the specialist tomorrow now. Thank you so much for your help.
Expert:  Dr. G. replied 4 months ago.
You are very welcome. You can give another dose in the morning as well. I wish you both the best. Have a good rest of your night.
Expert:  Dr. G. replied 4 months ago.

I strive for 100% Customer Satisfaction. Please feel free to reply back to me if you need any further information or if you are unsatisfied with this chat. Otherwise, please accept this answer and leave positive feedback for this conversation. Thank you very much and have a great day!

Expert:  Dr. G. replied 4 months ago.


I just wanted to check in. How is your pet doing? Is there anything else I can help you with? Please feel free to reply back at your convenience and let me know if there is anything more I can do for you. Also, please feel free to leave positive feedback for this conversation at any time so we know you no longer require continuing this conversation. I wish you and your pet the best. Have a great day!

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