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High liver values - Please help!

Posted: Wed Mar 12, 2014 6:42 pm
by sunnygirl01

I took my old girl Cheyenne in for her annual checkup the other day and had a full blood workup done.
The vet said she has very high liver values and has suggested we do an acid test, ex-ray, and ultrasound. I also discovered a lump on the front of her right rear leg that the vet aspirated and send to the lab. She didn't get much but what they saw is consistent with a fatty tumor. They did not see any malignant cells.
Cheyenne is around 15 years old. She is a Border Collie mix. The high values she highlighted as a concern are as follows:

Cholesterol @ 260
ALT (SGPT) @ 139

Last year in her senior blood work she had high Protein values. The vet suggested the Science Diet K/D but I went looking for a better low protein food and switched her to Blue Buffalo Senior (the better/best dog food debate is such a confusing/frustrating topic for me). This time her protein levels are at 8.7. I don't know what they were last time....she gave me a printout of the lab work this time.

I am looking for any input you guys may have. If I remember right we have a vet that frequents this forum. Cheyenne seems to be fine. I have a few concerns about this vet. She recommended doing surgery to remove the lump from her leg. However, in the past she has mentioned that it is not safe enough (due to her age?) to put her under to clean her teeth (she has the most disgusting mouth and she is a poop eater). Also, the tests she recommended are expensive. She doesn't feel anything on her liver but wants to do all of those tests to make sure (of what?). When I try to ask questions she talks in circles. I guess I am looking for advice and opinions on how to proceed.

Re: High liver values - Please help!

Posted: Wed Mar 12, 2014 8:39 pm
by turtle
My old dog also has very high liver numbers, she is now 12 yrs going on 13 yrs. Back in 2012 her ALT was over 1900 which is way high. Your old girl’s ALT of 139 is not any where near that high so I would not worry too much.

Here is the 2012 thread on her troubles which might help you –


Also I had some other tests done and they really did not show anything. I ended up giving her SAMe to help her liver and it works well.

I have been giving my old dog the SAMe since fall of 2012 which has helped a lot in lowering the ALT numbers. She is due for another blood check soon, the last one was 2 months ago and the ALT was about 300 if I remember right. She has never acted sick but I am glad her numbers are now 300 and not 1900. I wish her ALT was 139…

So I would not be too concerned about just the ALT numbers unless there is something else going on. I would not feed her Science Diet K/D, there are better low protein foods out there. I do a combo of home cooked and raw for my old dog.

If you are not comfortable with your vet, I would get a second opinion from another vet. I always get a print out of the blood work and keep it in my dog’s file, that way I can show all her records to any vet. It does seem odd that your vet did not want to clean her teeth but now wants to put her under for surgery… if you have concerns, I would get another opinion.

In closing, those numbers do not seem too awfully high to me and I would see another vet, and see what they say.

Re: High liver values - Please help!

Posted: Wed Mar 12, 2014 9:08 pm
by sunnygirl01
Thank you so much for the reply and the link turtle. When I saw the numbers in your post my jaw dropped! Those are so very high! I would have been freaking out! I hope your old girl is doing well.

I will look into the SAMe. I have never heard of it before.

Re: High liver values - Please help!

Posted: Thu Mar 13, 2014 10:31 am
by turtle
I am glad I could help. Yes, I was really worried when my old girl had her ALT at 1900, that was scary high. She is doing pretty well these days and her ALT has remained around 300 now.

The SAMe is good stuff, it did help her. The one for dogs is Denosyl and I give her that and I also use a human SAMe, whichever one I have on hand. My dog is 48 pounds and I give her both the Denosyl for dogs over 35 pounds (425mg) and for dogs less than 35 pounds (225mg) in rotation since she has pretty well stabilized in her bloodwork.

I buy the Denosyl from Amazon, they have it at a pretty good price with free shipping. My vet had charged me $105 for the first box of 30 pills and implied that it was a prescription product. But then I found it for a lot less so that helps since I do give it just about every day. The human SAMe is at my grocery store for a decent price too.

If you are worried about your old dog’s liver numbers you can certainly try the SAMe, it can’t hurt. It is good for older dogs and people take it too for liver problems.

Reading your post again, it does seem odd that your vet is saying those numbers are so very high, and why would they want to remove a lump on an old dog that is a fatty tumor and does not have malignant cells? Old dogs get lumps and they don’t always need to be removed.

Good luck with your old gal and let me know how she does. I had a border collie mix for 17 yrs, she was a good dog.