A friend called tonight who has a 10 year old Boston Terrier. He has lost 2 lbs in the last 2 weeks, is very hungry, but not himself. They took him to their vet and had a full blood screening. It came back that he had elevated liver enzymes. After the $250 of testing, the vet wants to do a $380 ultrasound to see if it is the liver or the pancreas. If they invest the $600+, that only gives them a diagnosis, not a cure, which would be much more. The vet told them the pancreas was treatable, more so than the liver. (I would think the opposite, as the pancreas is an organ you don't mess with).
Have any of you had experience with elevated liver enzymes as a diagnosis from bloodwork?
I don't know the lifespan of a BT, but they are just not ready to say goodbye to him yet. Thanks.
Elevated liver enzymes are not necessarily a death sentence. There are several liver enzymes that are tested, they can all indicate something different and there are a number of reasons they could be elevated, including certain medications causing an increase in values. I would suggest the US be done. I hope the quote of 380 includes a liver biopsy because thats a little high. Not out of the ballpark high, but still. As far as the pancreas is concerned, again certain things can cause an elevation in those values also. Medications, certain indiscretions in eating, like pancreatitis caused by eating high fatty foods or getting into the garbage. Again the best course of action is an Ultrasound to determine the problem.
I am a firm believer in ultra sound. My cocker spaniel was not him self and puked a couple of times; ultra sound showed pancreas problem. Blood tests showed many things were not as should be. Surgery was done that evening, the pancreas ruptured at the very beginning of the surgery. What a mess of junk in him, he was cleaned out as best as possible. It was also attached to the liver. He was a very sick boy. He is a healthy young man now. If the ultra sound was not done, we would not have known, the rupture would have happened, we could have lost him.
My dog Cinnamon just had her third ultrasound and round of blood work yesterday (just over $100 each time, fyi). She has had elevated liver enzymes for a few months now. The vet has put her on Sam-e and milk thistle (your friend should ask the vet about this), and we are watching her levels. Her liver looks fine, spleen a bit mottled, and gall bladder basically normal for a 10-year old. During the second ultrasound the vet found large kidney stones (about 4 of them) in one of her kidneys, but the kidney looks ok and kidney enzymes are normal. Anyway, I would reccomend the ultrasound just for peace of mind - while the vet is looking at the liver ask him to look at other organs - for the price of this procedure he should - just to make sure there aren't any other problems.
Scout, do you (or anyone else) have any experience with large kidney stones? Vet says this is odd in large breeds. The vet says they are too large to pass and does not want to do surgery unless she develops a problem. So we are just watching and will follow up in three months unless she has a problem. Vet says dogs often live just fine with stones and that the elevated liver enzymes are more of a concern. Vet says elevated liver enzymes and kidney stones are not related. Guess I'll just keep an eye on Cinna.