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.SanneMember
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.anonymousMember
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.Denne AMember
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?joanne lMember
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 1 year 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.ChipyMember
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. 🙂
I’m having the same issues with my dog for a year now hi ALT and the other liver enzymes. I took him to a specialty vet out in Las Vegas oh my goodness the money that I have spent and zero results! So I did my research on the computer myself and asked my regular veterinarian and he had no solution for it as well until I went to the dermatologist because I started noticing that his Fur was thinning and then on top of his head he would get some blood blisters. So she told me he ended up getting a bacterial infection in his stomach that treating it and on his skin because when they keep licking their paws because his stomach’s bothering him that they spread a bacterial infection. Oh he looks a lot better his fur looks like it’s thickening up since he’s been on antibiotics problem is that they put him on antibiotics before just from the regular vet but they didn’t continue to fix his situation to find out what the problem was. The dermatologist told me to do a trial and eliminate chicken and beef she stated that any dog that’s been on food for many years anybody can gain a food allergy at any time. But you really got to be stricken all the treats have chicken, turkey, beef so I got him a lamb and a fish recipe so she told me about this dog food and wow was it expensive very good though quality and the dog loves it. So I tried they are doing your own kit and I purchase the ingredients it’s really all human grade food and a vitamin powder that you add in for some vitamins it’s Just food for dogs the food is fantastic I make it takes four hours out of a month for me I cut it I put it in a food processor and then I bake the lamb and the fish inside the oven I broke it all up mix it up put them in freezer baggies and it last me a month for two dogs best thing I ever did. So I’ll be going back to the veterinarian I actually switched because my other one wasn’t doing anything for me so I go back at the end of the month and we will check on those liver enzymes again I will keep you posted.
So sorry, I forgot to post back. We switched to a LID duck diet and her enzymes went back down to normal. I feed primal duck in evening and Go! Duck sensitivities mixed with vital essentials raw duck nibs. MY vet said it was a food intolerance. Unfortunately we need to switch AGAIN bc my vet wants her off any food with peas, legumes etc due to DCM. I can’t find a food without those ingredients. Primal would cost $80 month which is too much. FYI my dog is approx 12-13 yr old Chi mix. She’s a rescue so age is a guesstimate.Patricia AMember
Teagsmom at age approx 13 I wouldn’t switch her food if she’s doing well on it. I have using Primal for my two chihauhuas’with kibble to stretch the cost of the Primal. I switch from Stella’s and Chewy’s grain free (which does contain peas etc.) and grain inclusive. My two are doing very well health wise .
- This reply was modified 2 months, 3 weeks ago by Patricia A.
Hi I work in a pet store and study dog and cat nutrition at work and at home. Duck is a cooling protein that helps with inflammation but so is whitefish, alligator, red snapper, and there are a few others as well. As far as your concern with DCM; it is a topic that I am very wildly knowledgeable in and talk to many customers about. I recommend reading the whole FDA article or at least skimming through it. There are two documents, one is all the cases and one is the FDA’s study. The results are inconclusive at the moment and many brands are working together with the FDA to further investigate.
From reading it I can tell that there are many factors that the FDA left out like affordability (who can afford the vet bills for these tests? What food are they feeding if they can afford? Are they feeding a more expensive kibble or a cheap one at Walmart?), genetics (what breeds are more likely to have which diseases? How many of this species is in the USA (out of 77 million dogs), metabolism (how can a dog digest a kibble diet compared to dehydrated, canned, freeze dried, or raw? How bioavailable is taurine in kibble?), what diets were these dogs on (a majority were on kibble only, some had a mixture, I think 1 or 2 were on raw, and couple had dehydrated foods).
In the end, out of the 500 some cases of dogs with DCM a huge section were fed kibble only diets. So, if anything I would link it more so as a kibble problem than a grain free vs with grains. With the research I have done looking at scholar articles, brand studies (of course always reading between the lines because brands what to do a study to help their brands cause), blogs, and websites, I have noticed that grains cause more inflammation in dogs than peas as they are not as easy for dogs to digest. They force the organs to work a little bit harder. If you notice too, no raw diets (at least that I have come across) have grains in them, only fruits and vegetable, and meat.
But if you do decide to feed grains. Please watch out for smelly ears, itching, and hot spots. As grains, along with chicken, are a very common allergy in dogs (since they are put into a lot of foods due to their low cost).
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