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Dr. Scott
Dr. Scott, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 15168
Experience:  15 years of small animal, equine and pocket pet medicine and surgery.
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My dog has been having a hard time walking. He moves very slow,

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My dog has been having a hard time walking. He moves very slow, gets all shaky and tucks his tail in. Lab results show that he has elevated liver enzymes that are continuing to increase. He was given a lyme disease test which came out negative, but was treated with antibiotics anyway. He does not have any other symptoms of liver disease such as diarrhea, vomiting, and does not have a decreased appetite. In fact, when given food, he acts as though he is starving and franticly gobbles it down. Do you have any ideas about what this could be?
Hello there,

Sorry to hear about your situation. Has the liver been ultra sounded yet? Has the dog been screened for Cushing's disease? Has he been drinking more than normal?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Having an ultrasound done was suggested and will be scheduled, but we were told that might not even give us answers. I don't think that he has been screened for Cushing's disease. Is that something I should ask about? I haven't noticed him drinking more than normal. In fact, since he's not moving around a lot, I worried about him not getting enough water. I guess I'm just confused because he only has the two symptoms (elevated liver enzymes and difficulty walking)

I forgot to mention that I started milk thistle last week.

The elevated liver enzymes only tells us that the liver cells are swollen and leaking into the bloodstream. Additional tests are done to try to determine the specific issue with the liver so proper treatment can be done. An ultrasound is used to rule out cancer, gall bladder problems, shunts, etc.. If nothing specific is found via the ultrasound, testing for Cushing's disease would be the next step. It is not uncommon in middle aged dogs and is an adrenal gland disorder. It can be managed with medication but not cured. In many cases the elevated liver enzymes are the first symptoms of the disease. If that test is negative, a priXXXXX XXXXXver disease other than cancer would then need to be ruled out. A biopsy of the liver is usually needed to get a specific diagnosis such as an immune mediated liver disease. Treatment in those cases depends on what is found. The milk thistle is a good idea. In many cases the enzymes come down with that treatment alone but it can take several weeks. Parasites and infection are less common in these cases. Toxin ingestion almost always involves vomiting and diarrhea as well. If anything other than cancer is found, most cases are able to be managed with medication and diet alone.
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Hi Dawn,

I'm just following up on our conversation about Jack. How is everything going?

Dr. Scott