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Ask Dr. Stacy Your Own Question
Dr. Stacy
Dr. Stacy, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 1545
Experience:  10 years of experience in general practice.
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My dog has gh liver enzymes which was detected through blood

Customer Question

My dog has high liver enzymes which was detected through blood work . The only symptoms he had was he was walking very slow 11 year old chihuahua. All tests came back good except for liver and X-ray showed heart murmur. Giving him metronidazole chewable so but he swallows them. Since then it's been constant soft stools every time he eats. He's also very hungry. Weights 11.5 pounds.
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. The Veterinarian will know if your dog will be able to digest that. What is the dog's name?
Customer: Lucas
JA: Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about Lucas?
Customer: They didn't start him on heart meds yet bc they want to get his liver enzymes under control he also is takes denamarin in the morning
JA: OK. Got it. I'm sending you to a secure page on JustAnswer so you can place the $5 fully-refundable deposit now. While you're filling out that form, I'll tell the Veterinarian about your situation and then connect you two.
Submitted: 3 months ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Stacy replied 3 months ago.

Thank you for your question. My name is***** I have been a small animal veterinarian for 14 years and I'd like to help with your question.

Elevated liver enzymes in older dogs are a pretty common finding. They can be caused by a number of things... sometimes simple aging changes in the liver will cause it and it is nothing to be worried about. It can also be realted to medications if he is on any medications (anti inflammatories are the most common to cause this). It can be related to hormone abnormalities, such as cushings). Cushing is probably the most common thing I see. Cushings causes a few other symptoms that I usually ask people about... such as increased appetite, thirst, and decreased muscle strength. Are you seeing these symptoms?

The problem is that elevated liver enzymes can also be see with very serious conditions, including cancer. You would have to do more tests to know if this is something serious or not. I usually stop any medications that they were on prior to the enzyme elevation (it doesn't sound like he was on any), test for Cushings if there are any symptoms of cushings, and consider a liver ultrasound to make sure there isn't a tumor. There is also a test called a bile acids test that can test the actual function of the liver that I do sometimes. If all this is normal, I treat with denamarin and metronidazole like your veterinarian is doing.

So, I think you are on the right tract for now. The only thing I would consider is the cushings test. If there are no signs of heart disease (no cough) then I would hold off on heart medications. However, if he is coughing I think the heart medications are indicated even if the liver enzymes are not sorted out.

I hope that helps, but if you have more questions, let me know. If not, please don't for get to rate my answer.