Canine Liver Disease

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Limb Hanger
 
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Canine Liver Disease

Postby Limb Hanger » July 7th, 2012, 5:04 pm

I’ve been participating on the forum for just over 2 years, and usually don’t have too much to say/type. I’d like to share something with dog owners or those that are thinking about getting a dog.
Until recently, I had little or no knowledge of Liver Disease in dogs. I have been advised that blood work to check liver functions should start as early as the age of 2 years in larger breed dogs. Like most diseases, if caught early enough it may be treated and the dog can lead to a long and happy life. I have read on the web and been told by a Vet, “a dog may have Liver Disease for a long period of time (months, years) and show no signs of illness; and then the disease very quickly manifests”. As a dog owner, I was unaware of the need to check Liver functions. An ICU Vet mentioned that most people think of the liver testing as an added expense, money grab, or a test for later in a dog’s life. There are many web sites to learn more about the symptoms of Liver Disease, please visit them and talk to your Vet.
My Chocolate Labs name is Mel (Mellow); she had just turned 6. Through her short life Mel has made many more friends than I, and is loved by all. Mel and I did almost everything together; she is the love of my life. Sometimes my wife would get a little jealous when Mel and I headed off in the truck to look for turkeys, deer, or just to “go for a ride” that usually had us going through the Tim Horton’s drive thru after our morning walks.
All through Mel’s life, I’ve been very judicious not to use pesticides/herbicides on the lawn or garden. Our flower beds contain pet friendly plants. Up until last Friday, Mel showed no signs of any illness; a recent annual visit to the Vet indicated that all systems were good. Up until last Friday, Mel seemed very healthy. Late Friday Mel vomited; Saturday she showed interest in food and water. Sunday, Mel went out to pee and came in to get a drink of water and vomited the water. Mel ate some food Sunday, and drank water. An early Vet appointment on Monday morning had us visiting a specialist on Tuesday, July 3rd 2012; and was put in the ICU. 3 small aspirated Liver biopsies were taken to diagnose and possibly treat Mel’s liver issues. Unfortunately Mel’s recovery wasn’t meant to be, complications from failing organ functions forced my wife and I to make a terrible decision this afternoon; we’re both absolutely crushed. It happened that quickly!

Please have your dogs screened for Liver Disease.
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Steve_In
 
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Re: Canine Liver Disease

Postby Steve_In » July 8th, 2012, 12:01 am

I am sorry for your loss. I have not heard of a liver disease before. I have a friend that lost his lab to a liver problem but he assumed it was due to her swimming in a golf course water hazard. Is it just large dogs or are all dogs affected to? Our vet never mentioned this test for my beagles, the Britt or my daughter's Shi Zu.
Steve, I love "smoked" turkey

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Limb Hanger
 
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Re: Canine Liver Disease

Postby Limb Hanger » July 8th, 2012, 5:20 am

Thanks. Most of the literature speaks in general terms, and may have read that some breeds are more susceptible or have a predisposition. There is just so much information on the web. I’ve Google’d “Can Heart Worm medications cause liver disease”, and read somewhere that chemical Hepatitis can be a side effect. That being said, I asked the Vet about the Heart Worm medication and told of what I read on line. The Vet stated that 100’s of medications are prescribed daily, and would guarantee that somewhere on the web negative information could be found about each one of those drugs; that made some sense to me, thinking of the disclaimers at the end of drug commercials on TV.

Here are a couple of the many links that give insight about Canine Liver Disease:

http://www.healthguidance.org/entry/152 ... -Dogs.html
http://pets.webmd.com/dogs/liver-diseas ... ilure-dogs

I hope this helps.
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Duke0002
 
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Re: Canine Liver Disease

Postby Duke0002 » July 8th, 2012, 12:00 pm

Thanks for the info, LH. Very sorry about the loss of Mel.

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grizzly
 
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Re: Canine Liver Disease

Postby grizzly » July 8th, 2012, 2:41 pm

thanks for the info as well limbhanger i'm to sorry for your lost . i know how a dog becomes a huge member in your family and it's hard when they past on ... wayne

charlie elk
 
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Re: Canine Liver Disease

Postby charlie elk » July 8th, 2012, 3:58 pm

Limb Hanger wrote:My Chocolate Labs name is Mel (Mellow); she had just turned 6. Through her short life Mel has made many more friends than I, and is loved by all. Mel and I did almost everything together; she is the love of my life.

Oh that hurts so bad, my eyes are all watery sympathizing with you. I lost my dog & best friend Archie when he was 6 - some 30 years ago, liver disease caused by an infection transferred to him by insects either mosquitoes or ticks.
The pain of loss seared so bad I made one of the biggest mistakes of my life; I did not get another dog until last year, Vic the turkey dog. Oh, the family had a dog or 3 all that time, but I kept them at arms length or more to make sure I would never feel that pain again. Over all those years I immersed myself in hunting were you did not use a dog. Even when my son got his springer, I taught him to train but since I never dealt with my pain I did not enjoy being afield, so I turned away and went back to deer hunting.
Looking back, the odd thing is I came from a long line of dog men, losing a dog was not new, I understood it to be part of the deal. Perhaps it was the early loss, age 6 is the prime...
I tell you this, just in case; and I recommend after a period of mourning, you and your wife get another dog. Just do not make my 30 year mistake.
later,
charlie
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Steve_In
 
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Re: Canine Liver Disease

Postby Steve_In » July 8th, 2012, 5:14 pm

Thank you for the reply and the links. I will be checking them out and asking our vet some questions.
Steve, I love "smoked" turkey

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Cut N Run
 
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Re: Canine Liver Disease

Postby Cut N Run » July 9th, 2012, 6:31 am

Sorry to hear you lost a friend and she didn't get as long a life as she deserved. I can't imagine my life without pets. They make our lives better. Thanks for informing us and putting the word out.

Jim
Luck Counts, good or bad

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Limb Hanger
 
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Re: Canine Liver Disease

Postby Limb Hanger » July 9th, 2012, 7:20 am

Thanks for all of the kind words. If anything, my hopes are that this thread raises some awareness for dog owners and potential dog owners to speak with their Veterinarians and ask questions. There are many different causes of Canine Liver Disease.
There is no doubt that Mel was my special girl; I can’t begin to tell you how much she is missed. It just plain hurts, 6 years is way too short. Dogs do so much more for us than we do for them; all they ask for is love, exercise, food & water, and back rubs.
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