my 12 year-old maltese,bungee, was diagnosed with hepatitis on the6-26-08.his vet put him on baytril for an infection.diarrhea was bad and has let up,vomiting has subsided.liver enzyme count was 825.origin of infection is not known.he had a herniated intestine that was repaired in 2006,but has came back again.surgery delayed because of his blood work.he goes back to the vet on 7-01-08 for a follow-up.feces is a copper color which worries me.can the infection cause the liver problem which could clear up after being on meds or is this a stage before total liver failure.vet has discussed options i am not happy about.his appetite is good,water drinking is better than before(was almost constantly)attitude is good.any advice would be greatly helpful. thank you
Optional Information: Age: 12; Male; Breed: maltese
Hi there. Infection in the liver can come via a couple of routes, one is from the intestine-whereby it ascends up the bile ducts into the liver, the other is through the blood- as the liver is the bodys main 'filter', any bacteria in the blood stream are filtered through and can settle out in the liver. If the diarrhea had been going on for a while before the liver infection, then the intestinal route is probably the most likely.
Liver enzymes are NOT a reliable way to say if the liver is going to fail, as they are not 'function' tests, a liver function test- which would be called a bile acid stimulation test, tells you reliably if liver function is good. The enzymes been high may just reflect inflammation within the liver at the present time, due to the infection.
Hope this helps
bvm&s degree, 15 years in companion animal practise