My chi mix just had her annual exam. She’s a senior so I have a complete CBD panel done along with some other tests. Everything came back fine except her ALT count (liver enzyme) was sky rocket! Normal is 21-121 and hers was 501. Naturally I freaked out because she has zero signs of anything being wrong. She had a bile acid test, ULtrasound and the vet tested for Lepto just to rule out everything. Ultrasound came back clear (thank goodness) but vet said bile acid test showed a tad of inflammation. She said this could be due to a food allergy. I had been feeding her Primal raw at night and Instinct Raw Boost with Stella and Chewy meal mixers in the morning. The Stella and Chewy meal mixers are her FAVORITE even though I prefer Primal.
My vet suggested that I start feeding ONLY duck to rule out a food allergy. I didn’t realize how many companies add turkey and/or chicken with Duck. Primal was easy because they make freeze dried duck. I purchased Zignature Duck and ordered Natures Instinct LID Duck. I also got some goat milk and can food to add more moisture. I purchased Rawz Duck and Rawbble Duck can wet food. Both are comparable. This is where my questions come in……has anyone experienced this before and the result was a food allergy? What food do people prefer (Zignature vs Instinct and RAWZ vs Rawbble wet)?
My neighbors had the same thing happen with their small dog. They switched from ZiwiPeak to a low protein kibble and the ALT went down from the high 500’s to normal range. MY vet said high protein food would not cause the liver enzymes to go up or down. If this is true, I’m not sure how to explain my neighbors situation. Since adding more kibble vs solely raw at night, my dog poops at min 3x a day. When on raw, it was 1-2x times a day and much smaller. I will have more info once we test her levels again in a few weeks but am curious if anyone has experienced this and/or has any recommendations. Btw my dogs behavior hasn’t changed. If it’s a food allergy I will be surprised bc her stools have always and continue to be firm. She’s never had Diarrhea- knock on wood. Thanking you in advance.
I would stop all raw foods and all boutique foods and go with a bland food by a well known brand that employs a veterinary nutritionist. Example Purina Pro Plan Focus for sensitive skin and stomach or Fromm Adult Classic.
Just add some water to the kibble plus a little canned food.
Regarding goats milk: http://skeptvet.com/Blog/2019/01/dont-give-raw-milk-to-your-pets/
PS: You could always consider getting another vets opinion if you don’t see improvement soon. It’s easy nowadays to have test results and such faxed.
I have no idea if that could be caused by a food allergy but I would think your vet would know more than me, or anyone here for that matter. That said, my vet does say high protein diets can elevate liver enzyme count so who knows. Different vets seem to have different answers for everything.
If I needed a simple duck based food I would personally go with Farmina. Protein is also more moderate if that is what you are looking for. It couldn’t hurt to lower the protein a bit. Dogs do not need 35%+ protein. Not that higher protein is necessarily bad, but if you suspect it may be causing problems with your dog you can certainly cut it down https://www.farmina.com/us/dog-food/n&d-quinoa-functional-canine/443-skin-&-coat-duck.html
They also have a duck based canned food
I would not feed Zignature right now as they have had quite a few links to DCM in dogs. Seems like a risky food until more is found out. I do not like Instinct either as most of their formulas are quite high in ash, calcium and phosphorus. I am not familiar with the other brands listed.
Resent question and answer over here that you may find helpful http://skeptvet.com/Blog/2016/07/more-nonsense-from-holistic-vets-about-commercial-therapeutic-diets/#comments
March 9, 2019 at 8:45 am
I have a dog weather liver count of 400 Alt for the last 4 months it was 800 Alt when I took her in 6 months ago the vet said she had elevated liver and slow slow heartbeat what should I feed my dog she is on denamarin I was wondering if I should give her Dr Marty’s propower on top of the denamarin or what else would you recommend for her liver and heart
March 10, 2019 at 2:28 pm
I would recommend finding out what the problem is through appropriate diagnostic tests rather than using unproven supplements without knowing what they are supposed to be treating. If your regular vet is stumped, consider seeing an internal medicine specialist.
You never mentioned your dog’s age? Is the dog over age 7?
Slight anomalies in lab work are not unusual….
I would consider making an appointment with a Veterinary Internal Medicine Specialist.
I AM CURRENTLY HAVING THIS SAME ISSUE> My small Bichon Frise who is 11 yrs old, 17 lbs, had his dental cleaning today and when his blood levels were checked I was told his liver enzymes had increased from 90 in Oct 2018 to 190, she said its not alarming but it is an increase. About 2 yrs ago, I started added Stella & Chewy’s freeze dried mixins to his food and had no issues and he loved it! I then switched to the Extinct freeze dried topping brand to try it for a month and his enzymes shot up, once I took him off they normalized. I went back to Stella & Chewy and he has only had that the turkey flavor since. There has been no change to his diet from Oct 2018 until now other than occasional table foods. Should I stop the Stella mixins as well? Could this be the cause of the increase because the vets aren’t sure what could be causing it. Has anyone else had this issue with this brand?
I just wanted to chime in here, there are several things that can cause this, one of them is toxins, cushion disease and diabetes, mold on food. However, if anyone suspects diet to be the cause than change it. Since toxins and mold are two of the possible causes than maybe it could be the food. I am not a vet I just read and try to help to the best of my knowledge.
I just found this article: https://www.dogsnaturallymagazine.com/what-that-liver-enzyme-test-is-telling-you/
There are 4 or 5 liver enzymes and what they do. So I guess it depends on what liver enzymes are high. Ask your vet which ones were high and maybe that can help narrow down the cause.
- This reply was modified 5 months, 1 week ago by joanne l.
I want to share my experience with Ziwi Dog Food.
In December of last year, we took our 15 yo Pom, Bailey, in for a dental. Her bloodwork came back perfect. Her ALT was in the low
100’s. Our vet said anything below 200 was acceptable for her age.
Sometime in January, I made the switch from a frozen raw food
to Ziwi. Within a few weeks, I noticed Bailey’s appetite had
started to decline. Unfortunately, I attributed it to her age. Bailey had been in excellent health except for early dental disease as the result
of being in a puppy mill for her first two years. In the last few years, she began losing her hearing and then vision, but she was perfectly healthy other than these issues. Because I thought her picky eating was related to her age, I did NOT act quickly enough and take her to our vet. I mean, her bloodwork was perfect right? So for the next 2 months it was a daily struggle to find something that would appeal to Bailey’s taste. In March, I took her in for an examination. Initially,
Our vet thought kidney failure; however, after checking kidney function he checked her liver enzymes. Her ALT was 2664!!! How in the world? I had an extremely difficult time convincing
our vet it was not Lepto. We had absolutely no standing water anywhere on our property let alone our furkids’ fenced yard. Also, because of Bailey’s vision loss we stayed with her while she was outside. In fact, we never leave any of our 5 Poms or GSD outside without one of us. Believe me when I tell you that I tried absolutely everything to get her ALT within an acceptable range from giving her daily B12 injections to feeding through a syringe to adding Denamarin and even insisting on a prescription for prednisone to increase her appetite. She improved a little for about a month. Her next ALT was 1600 so I thought we were making some improvements, but she began declining again and this time she did not improve. She had lost about half her body weight and was so frail. I knew she was telling me it was time to let her go. That was May 1st. In June, our Bandit suddenly stopped eating. Never was there any other sign he was unwell – just a lack of appetite as with Bailey. No vomiting, diarrhea, etc. I immediately took him to our vet to have his enzymes checked and his ALT was 400!!! Our vet did an ultrasound and saw no evidence of a mass or something to explain the elevated ALT. Our vet prescribed the Hills KD which I was not in favor of so I purchased Dr Harvey’s Paradigm Superfood and went back to a low protein slightly-cooked diet. I immediately bought milk thistle and SAM-e for pets and gave him the maximum dose of milk thistle for his weight. Based on my research, the denamarin did not contain an adequate amount of milk thistle for pets whose liver was
damaged. Within a few weeks, our Poms, Cricket and Rumor , suddenly stopped eating. I knew if Cricket EVER refused a meal something was wrong. Sure enough, they both had elevated ALT – Cricket was 183 and Rumor was 150. After much debate with our vet, I immediately stopped feeding them the Ziwi and began the same protocol as Bandit. I also stopped the Half Moon organic dog
which are extremely high protein (as is Ziwi). Our vet added Ursodial which is bile acids. Bandit’s last liver panel was nearly perfect. His
ALT was 140 (he is 7 and this is high-normal, but within an acceptable range. Cricket and Rumor will be re-tested next week, but I already feel confident their ALT will be an acceptable number because their appetites have returned. Oh, one last thing! We had liver panels performed on our Piper (our super-size Pom at 17lbs) GSD Sadie, and their results were perfect! How could this be? The only differences were: they were not exclusively fed the Ziwi (I halved it with the Stella & Chewy and Open Farm freeze-dried raw) and size. Our 4 Poms who had elevated ALT’s were between 6 and 11lbs and fed exclusively the Ziwi air dried. Does anyone think this is merely a coincidence? I cannot accept it as coincidence. I am trying to get them back to a home-prepared raw (or slightly cooked) diet. I
had them all on a raw diet for about 7 months a few years ago, and
they loved it. My only concern at that time was my concern that I wasn’t adding the correct amount of necessary vitamins and minerals for each one of them, but I recently learned Dr Karen Becker (an holistic veterinarian) has formulated a meal mixer that contains everything necessary to ensure my home-prepared diet is nutritionally balanced. If anyone is interested, you can find the meal mix available at Mercola Healthy Pets website.
Blood testing results from raw fed dogs will often differ from those of their kibble fed counterparts. I only learned this after switching from kibble to raw. Dogs fed raw food naturally have higher enzymatic activity. The majority of vets don’t advocate raw feeding and much of the reason for this is they don’t understand much about it. The result is that many vets are alarmed when the raw fed dog’s blood values are skewed and this can result in costly and unnecessary follow up care. The reference range of normal values varies from lab to lab and the units from country to country. There are so many benefits to feeding a raw diet, I would highly recommend avoiding kibble that is so often full of toxins. I wish I had started feeding raw sooner. My little guy was almost 5 y/o when we switched him to raw from high-end kibble (mixed with canned food). His joint issues and overall health improved within months. I started detoxing his liver twice annually following Dr. Peter Dobias’ liver detox protocol for dogs and now his ALT levels are perfect every year. 🙂
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