Dog

Get Your Dog Care Questions Answered by Experts

Ask an Expert,
Get an Answer ASAP!

Dog
This answer was rated:

Our 5 year old male neutered shetland sheepdog has had food

allergies, 2 possible cases of...
Our 5 year old male neutered shetland sheepdog has had food allergies, 2 possible cases of gastritis/pancreatitis (last in 2011) seasonal allergies and superficial punctate keratitis.

Our immediate concern now is a high cholesterol test of 323 on 8/1/13 (preop before teeth cleaning) and previously 274 on 12/5/12. He is on Zignature lamb and rice grain free Exclusively plus steamed green beans since CN lamb and rice was recalled. Its Fat content is max 16.60

Also he has had consistently high hemoglobin (almost all over 19 since 2010).

Reportedly, shelties are predisposed to high cholesterol and we are concerned and would like to know as much as we can about this aspect, including what is considered to be normal/ abnormal ranges, what the implications would be of such a condition, whether the fat content in his food should be reduced and if so, to what range as well as anything else that is relevant to hyperlipidemia in dogs etc.

Also, if you can speak to the consistently high Hemoglobin levels and what this also could be indicative of and what further followup should be considered.

Finally, circovirus had been confirmed in our state. What would be important to know and do about this too.
Show More
Show Less
Ask Your Own Dog Question
Answered in 1 hour by:
10/6/2013
Dr. Deb
Dr. Deb, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 10,708
Experience: I have owned, bred and shown dogs for over 40 years.
Verified

Hi, I'm Dr. Deb. I recently came online and see that your question about RB hasn't been answered. I'm sorry that you've had to wait for a response but if you still need assistance, I'd like to help if I can.


1. Yes, certain lines of shelties are prone to hypercholesterolemia and you're correct to be concerned, especially if he's already had two pancreatitis episodes.
Each lab is different in terms of high normal when it comes to values but a cholesterol of 323 isn't terribly high. For example, high normal for the lab I use is 328 with low normal 112.
A non-fasted sample can also cause this value to be elevated as can the diet that is fed.
Risk factors associated with "true" elevated cholesterol levels can include the following:
a) Pancreatitis
b) Changes of the eye such as lipid keratopathy, stromal dystrophy, lipid in the aqueous humor, uveitis, blindness, and lipemia retinalis.
c) Changes in the skin (although these are less commonly seen) such as itching and hair loss.

2. Low fat diets with a fat content of between 12-15% are usually suggested for those dogs at risk for developing recurring episodes of pancreatitis. I usually recommend prescription food Royal Canin Low Fat or Hill's I/D which is also a good choice.

3. Human/table food can definitely increase the lipids in the blood and thus shoud be avoided for those dogs at risk.

4. Omega 3 fatty acids dosed at 10-30 mg/kg a day may be helpful. Welactin or 3V capsules are good choices since quality control issues exist with supplements.

As to the Hemoglobin levels, the range is 12-18 g/dL for the lab I use.
To be honest, I don't worry about mild elevations in this number in a clinically normal patient, since it's usually secondary to a difficult blood draw or hemolysis during handling/storage of the blood.


As to the Circovirus that's been receiving attention in certain states, there isn't enough information known about it to make definitive statements.

To quote the Ohio Department of Agriculture: Dog CV is newly isolated and there is very little information available about the virus, where it came from and how it spreads. The limited research available shows that canine circovirus can cause vasculitis and hemorrhaging in infected dogs.

I researched a veterinary database about it and the information that I found pretty much confirms the above statement: we just don't know enough about it yet.

Again, I'm sorry that you've had to wait for an answer to your questions, but I hope this helps. Deb

Ask Your Own Dog Question
Customer reply replied 4 years ago

Rb gets no other food... Zero human or other dog treats. Only kibble and green beans. His cholesterol check was a fasting one since he was getting his teeth cleaned and could not have anything after mid night of the night before. Does this additional info change anything? Lamb is high in cholesterol, so is this contraindicated for him? Unfortunately, a blood test that was done a couple of years ago due to several bouts of diarrhea suggested that as he was allergic to chicken, eggs, beets, salmon, lamb dog food was his least reactive protein and thus his sole dog food source. Should we get another cholesterol test done? What blood test or other event confirms a dx of hyperlipidemia in dogs (pet MD notes that a strict fast of 12 hours and a blood test result of 300 confirms hi c in dogs thus fueling our confusion and concern)? If this was your beloved dog, what action would you pursue under these circumstances especially since our dietary options are extremely limited. As to the hgb values, what might higher than normal be suggestive of? Could they be a sign of gastritis? Thank you for responding initially and hopefully subsequently.

You're welcome:)

Thanks for the additional information but the fact that no human food is given and that the cholesterol was a fasting number doesn't really change the fact that 323 is not higher than normal, for my lab anyway. You might ask your vet what the range would be for the lab they use. I hate to disagree with other professionals but I don't consider cholesterol slightly higher than 300 to be of a huge concern in an asymptomatic dog, especially if the triglycerides are also normal ( see below).

I don't doubt that he may be allergic to certain kinds of foods, but blood testing is notoriously unreliable in confirming this fact. Food trials are really the best way to determine if a dog is allergic to one particular food or not.
But for the sake of argument, let's assume that he is allergic to the foods you indicate, then you're going to be somewhat limited in the options as to what you can feed him if you're trying to reduce his fat. At a little over 16% fat, your current food isn't bad but you'd have to research others to try to get that number between 12-15%. An alternative would be to feed a home cooked diet formulated by a veterinary nutritionist to ensure that it's balanced and healthy. This service is actually available on the internet but it can be expensive.
There's no question that this can be a balancing act for some dogs when multiple problems exist or are suspected.

Since Hyperlipidemia can be secondary to other underlying diseases, I'd also want to rule them out. I'm assuming his glucose was normal so Diabetes isn't on the list and that his kidney/protein values were normal so protein losing nephropathy is also eliminated but other possible causes include Cushing's disease, and hypothyroidism Hyperlipidemia secondary to an underlying disease will typically resolve or improve with correction of the metabolic disturbance.

I would also run a triglycerides test if not already done. Most labs don't include this value in routine screening and it needs to be requested.

If this were my case or my dog:
1. I'd repeat the cholesterol with at least a 12 hour fasted sample and also run a triglycerides test.
2. I'd rule out an underlying endocrine disease as I mentioned above.
3. I'd want to make sure that drugs such as steroids (even topical products or licking off drugs from owners) weren't falsely increasing the results.
4. If an underlying cause is not found and hyperlipidemia is diagnosed, then familial hyperlipidemia may be present. Additional testing such as lipoprotein electrophoresis and/or ultracentrifugation can be done to determine the nature of the defect and determine the abundance of the different lipoprotein fractions and their content.
I've never run these tests because my treatment suggestions wouldn't change based on the information gained.


Higher than normal hemoglobin values are also usually seen with a higher than normal hematocrit. If that's the case, then dehydration, liver disease, polycythemia are possible explanations. Some dogs such as sight hounds also run higher as a breed.
However, if only the hemoglobin is elevated, then sample handling is usually the reason.
It wouldn't be related to gastritis other than possible dehydration associated with the condition.


Deb



Ask Your Own Dog Question
Customer reply replied 4 years ago


Your replies have been most helpful, thorough, and very educational for which we are most grateful.


 


In searching prior vet visits, when the most comprehensive blood work panel was done back in 12/12, it revealed a cholesterol of 274,Triglycerides of 75, Glucose 107, T4 1.8, with the HGB still running high 19, and HCT 54. All of his other prior HGB and HCT tests have also run consistently around 19 and 55. Albumin also tends to run in 4.2 Range. Additionally, back in 2011 a vet did an ACTH test which we were told was negative.


 


With regard to your specific comments about if this was your dog/ patient, and that steroids can elevate cholesterol, LO AND BEHOLD, RB did get a 2mg injection of VETALOG for his allergies about 3 days or so before this reading!


 


So, any chance you have an office in either Michigan or FloridaWink? Compounding our situation medically, is that we divide our time between these two states and thus have two vets providing treatment and thus we lack uninterrupted continuity of care, and at times receive differing perspectives.


 


So, unless we hear back from you with what appear to be other great insights, we will repeat his cholesterol and triglyceride blood work and ensure that he has had nothing for a full 12 hours before. We will also work on reducing the fat content of his grain free lamb kibble, perhaps by going back to a mix of the grain free (16 fat) and lamb and rice (11 fat) to bring the final total down within the recommended range 0f 12-15. We were doing this before the Cal Natural recall with no apparent adverse consequences.


 


Thank you again for being so responsive and providing such a comprehensive reply!


 


 


 

I'm glad that I've been able to help.

Unfortunately, I live in New England so it doesn't look like I'll be seeing you as a client anytime soon:)
I do understand how difficult it can be if there's not continuity of care and I also know that vets have differing opinions about many things. Veterinary medicine, similar to human medicine, is sometimes as much of an art as it is a science, unfortunately.

That's interesting that RB received a vetalog injection prior to the blood tests; since it's a long acting steroid, it may certainly have falsely elevated the cholesterol level.
It will be most interesting to see what the values are when repeated and this drug is no longer in his system.

 

Most of the chemistry panel results that you provided are within a normal range, especially the triglycerides which aren't even close to being high. The albumin is the only one that's slightly elevated (high normal is 4.0 for my lab).


As to his consistently mildly high Hematocrit of 54% with HGB also correspondingly high, this may be normal for him, especially if he is asymptomatic. Not all dogs fit within the reference ranges of a particular lab. I try not to overinterpret the lab values if they're outside the normal range and I have a healthy patient. Sometimes I think we have a tendency to forget to look at the dog and not the numbers, if that makes sense.

 

But if he's not a big water drinker, mild dehydration could cause an elevated hemotacrit as well as mildly elevated albumin.

 


I also think that being proactive with respect to the fat content of his food is prudent.

I'll be interested in knowing what the repeat testing shows if you have a chance to send me an update at that time.

Even after you've rated (if you do, of course), we can still continue to communicate at no additional charge to you. I can also send you a follow up email in a few weeks to which you can respond when you have the time to do so.

 

Best regards, Deb






Dr. Deb
Dr. Deb, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 10,708
Experience: I have owned, bred and shown dogs for over 40 years.
Verified
Dr. Deb and 87 other Dog Specialists are ready to help you
Ask your own question now
Ask Dr. Deb Your Own Question
Dr. Deb
Dr. Deb
Dr. Deb, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 10,708
10,708 Satisfied Customers
Experience: I have owned, bred and shown dogs for over 40 years.

Dr. Deb is online now

A new question is answered every 9 seconds

How JustAnswer works:

  • Ask an ExpertExperts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional AnswerVia email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction GuaranteeRate the answer you receive.

JustAnswer in the News:

Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.

What Customers are Saying:

You are a light at the end of scary tunnel when $ are tight, but people need professional help to turn to for help with their dear pets!

LinhCharleston, WV

$1,000 spent at his vet, and I finally get the correct diagnosis from Nancy Holmes for $15

CarolCedar Hill, MO

I think this is the greatest web site in the world. Thanks to all!

JudyNew Haven, CT

I have referred several friends to your web site. I'm impressed with how easy it is to use your site, the Experts available and the quickness of answers.

NinaUSA

I am completely pleased with the quick response that I received in our time of need for our dog, Jasmine. I couldn't believe how quick the response was and I thank you. It's good to know you're there!!

Jasmine's MomUSA

Please let everyone involved with your site know that your Expert, Dr. Lucy, has saved my dog's life. I will recommend your site to all my pet loving friends. Thank you again for simply being there!

Sonya GEasley, SC

Last night my Expert spent close to 3 hours working with me on my dog's illness. Thank you so much for this opportunity to share in her care and knowledge!

Cathie MPompano Beach, FL

< Previous | Next >

Meet the Experts:

Dr. Gary

Dr. Gary

Dog Veterinarian

3,033 satisfied customers

DVM, Emergency Veterinarian; BS (Physiology) Michigan State Univ

Joan

Joan

Vet Tech

5,320 satisfied customers

Vet Tech for over 35+ years working w/Dogs/Rescues

Candy

Candy

Veterinary Technician

7,973 satisfied customers

Practicing Veterinary Technician for 26 years.Former Veterinary Practice Owner, Technician Trainer

Dr Scott Nimmo

Dr Scott Nimmo

Small Animal Veterinarian.

5,120 satisfied customers

BVMS, MRCVS. { Glasgow UK }

Dr. Andy

Dr. Andy

Medical Director

4,898 satisfied customers

UC Davis Graduate, Interests: Dermatology, Internal Medicine, Pain Management

Theresa

Theresa

A Voice for Your Pet

4,705 satisfied customers

19+ years experience in small animal medicine

Dr. Drew

Dr. Drew

Veterinarian

3,292 satisfied customers

Small Animal Medicine and Surgery

< Previous | Next >

Related Dog Questions
My dog has a large tumor on her thigh area. Blackie 10. She
She had this for 2 years but it just keeps getting bigger… read more
Dr. Alleyne
Dr. Alleyne
Veterinary associate
Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine
1,120 satisfied customers
My small are laying around and every now and then he passes
Second opinion] My small are laying around and every now and then he passes gas … read more
DakotaSouthFive
DakotaSouthFive
Independent Contractor
High School or GED
12 satisfied customers
My dog exhibits a strange behaviour this morning. He is Boo
He is doing an action that strongly mimics a human forcefully breathing through their nose when they have a blocked nose. … read more
PitRottMommy
PitRottMommy
Veterinary Nurse
Associate Degree
9,206 satisfied customers
I have an 8 year Siberian husky who today after being seen
Hello I have an 8 year Siberian husky who today after being seen at a vet and emergency vet specialist because he was hacking / coughing mostly at night like he had something in his throat when there … read more
PitRottMommy
PitRottMommy
Veterinary Nurse
Associate Degree
9,206 satisfied customers
She already has had one puppy it been an hour and no more
She already has had one puppy it been an hour and no more yet … read more
PitRottMommy
PitRottMommy
Veterinary Nurse
Associate Degree
9,206 satisfied customers
Vet My Blue heeler started crying yesterday and is tender on
Vet My Blue heeler started crying yesterday and is tender on her upper rear leg. She is not sore anywhere else and is walking slow, but normal. She can jump down off of things but not up on things. Sh… read more
PitRottMommy
PitRottMommy
Veterinary Nurse
Associate Degree
9,206 satisfied customers
He ate one 200 mg ibuprofen yesterday around 5pm, early this
He ate one 200 mg ibuprofen yesterday around 5pm, early this morning he started vomiting. He is drinking lots of water. No diarrhea … read more
PitRottMommy
PitRottMommy
Veterinary Nurse
Associate Degree
9,206 satisfied customers
A small 15 lb mini poodle just ate a large chocolate
A small 15 lb mini poodle just ate a large chocolate brownie, cake style dark … read more
Pet Doc
Pet Doc
Senior Small Animal Veterinarian
BVSc
2,782 satisfied customers
Been dry heaving for a few hours now and breathing a little
Been dry heaving for a few hours now and breathing a little faster then normal … read more
Dr. Alleyne
Dr. Alleyne
Veterinary associate
Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine
1,120 satisfied customers
My dog ate 1 maximim strength mucinex sinus max night gel
My dog ate 1 maximim strength mucinex sinus max night gel tablet. Opened the tablet licked the gel inside. It contains acetaminophen 325 mg dextromethorphan HBr 10 mg doxylamics succinate 6.25 mg phen… read more
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin
Veterinarian
DVM
3 satisfied customers
Our 20 month old English Cocker puppy vomited 4 Times after
Our 20 month old English Cocker puppy vomited 4 Times after we gave her a bath and dried her off. We cleaned her up and now she's curled up in her kennel. I'm a little bit worried. … read more
Joan
Joan
Vet Tech
Private
5,320 satisfied customers
My small are laying around and every now and then he passes
My small are laying around and every now and then he passes gas … read more
Jane Lefler
Jane Lefler
Dog Behaviorist/Trainer/Breeder/Health
3.75 GPA 36cr. Multiple Tech traini
0 satisfied customers
My dog was seen in the emergency vet hospital yesterday for
My dog was seen in the emergency vet hospital yesterday for conjunctivitis in both eyes and vomiting. She had been vomiting for approximately 12 hours and her eyes started the morning before first wit… read more
PitRottMommy
PitRottMommy
Veterinary Nurse
Associate Degree
9,206 satisfied customers
She is peeing in her sleep and tonight she peed and threw
She is peeing in her sleep and tonight she peed and threw up. She seems to be in a trans-like state when this happens. But I don't think it's a seizure because she is somewhat coherent … read more
PitRottMommy
PitRottMommy
Veterinary Nurse
Associate Degree
9,206 satisfied customers
My pregnant dame went to the vet today because we planned
My pregnant dame went to the vet today because we planned her mating with our stud. I noticed a bulge growing by her inner thigh so we wanted to check it out and have an xray to confirm the pregnancy.… read more
PitRottMommy
PitRottMommy
Veterinary Nurse
Associate Degree
9,206 satisfied customers
He is shaking panting and has a warm nose. Sparkles little
He not himself he always love to play and he slept al day and now he is sitting up almost in my face… read more
PitRottMommy
PitRottMommy
Veterinary Nurse
Associate Degree
9,206 satisfied customers
Clinging, panting, shivering and licking my skin. Oliver, 14
I am currently looking after 2 small dogs for a friend . These dogs are regular companions of Oliver. He also has a brother. All are small dogs. Oliver weighs 16 lbs… read more
Dr. Christina
Dr. Christina
Small Animal Veterinary Internist
401 satisfied customers
My dog keeps stretching...definitely not normal. Stretches
My dog keeps stretching...definitely not normal. Stretches his front legs out and hikes his rear, like he just got up from a nap....but this is like every 5 mins or so. He will get up from laying down… read more
PitRottMommy
PitRottMommy
Veterinary Nurse
Associate Degree
9,206 satisfied customers
Disclaimer: Information in questions, answers, and other posts on this site ("Posts") comes from individual users, not JustAnswer; JustAnswer is not responsible for Posts. Posts are for general information, are not intended to substitute for informed professional advice (medical, legal, veterinary, financial, etc.), or to establish a professional-client relationship. The site and services are provided "as is" with no warranty or representations by JustAnswer regarding the qualifications of Experts. To see what credentials have been verified by a third-party service, please click on the "Verified" symbol in some Experts' profiles. JustAnswer is not intended or designed for EMERGENCY questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals.

Disclaimer: Information in questions, answers, and other posts on this site ("Posts") comes from individual users, not JustAnswer; JustAnswer is not responsible for Posts. Posts are for general information, are not intended to substitute for informed professional advice (medical, legal, veterinary, financial, etc.), or to establish a professional-client relationship. The site and services are provided "as is" with no warranty or representations by JustAnswer regarding the qualifications of Experts. To see what credentials have been verified by a third-party service, please click on the "Verified" symbol in some Experts' profiles. JustAnswer is not intended or designed for EMERGENCY questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals.

Show MoreShow Less

Ask Your Question

x