.I have a 3 year old Australian Shepard who is deaf due to a double merle breeding. I brought her into the vet several times with concerns that she just didn't seem right. Occasional diarrhea, inappetance, frequent drinking and increased urination were all on my list but they were never consistent symptoms as they would come and go. On top of this I had been working with her and a vulva issue for months that included multiple vet visits, creams, etc. They finally said she had urinary incontinence and put her on a steroid. Nothing helped. Finally I took her back in and insisted on blood work. All was normal aside from an ALT of 235. The vet proceeded and gave her 3 vaccines as part of an annual checkup. Lepto, Lyme and Rabies. I was told to retest in 3 weeks to see if the levels would lower. I didn't make it to 3 weeks. Two weeks later she threw up bile and would tremble after the smallest amount of food which I really had to coax her to even eat. I brought her into the vet and just two weeks later ALP of 202, TBIL of 11 and ALT of 1392. I rushed her from my regular vet to a DMV medical center with 24 hour care where she was on IV for 72 hours and an ultrasound was performed. Despite the time on IV her blood levels never dropped. The ultrasound showed no signs of a shunt or tumor but they did advise her liver was very small and abnormal in shape. The specialist said that he felt we were dealing with a chronic liver disease which would result in failure, but the only way to know for sure was a biopsy. When I asked if the biopsy would determine the cause to cure her, he said no. He felt strongly she was born with a defect and managed up till this point. Pre blood work even demonstrated that her clotting factors were down so the biopsy was a risk in itself. I made the decision to bring my baby home as I did not see the point of her spending any more time there. He advised me with her levels and no improvement, I probably had 2 days and he sent me home with a small supply of a nausea meds and a probiotic. At this point I took to the internet and researched and reached out. It's been 6 weeks now that she is home. Maintaining her takes all of my time outside of my employment as I cook for her, feed her many small meals, time her supplements etc. It is of course worth it. I have brought her back twice since initially brining her home for further exams on her vulva. They took a culture and prescribed Baytril to treat a susceptible infection. Each time I have brought her in since they run urine and blood work. Last week her urine gravity was almost normal as was all her blood work aside from an ALT of 234. Next week I am taking her in for a biopsy of the skin on her vulva and a bile acid test to determine the function of the liver. I am still not comfortable with a liver biopsy at this time. Was it the steroids that caused this, the vaccines, the infection of the vulva, her genetics? The point is I don't know if I will ever really know and that seems to be the frustration with the liver. All I can hope is that my little girl can stay stable and I hope the drop in enzymes is in fact a sign of recovery and not a cover up from the remedies I was been practicing. I currently give her denosyl, a liver cleanse, vitamin K and most importantly I am cooking for her myself. All natural and balanced. Is what I am doing helping, is the baytril playing a big role? Again, I don't know. All I know right now is she still wags her tail when I get home. After I wake her up of course, since she didn't hear me come home... ;)
I guess I am posting this to share my experience, learn from others and offer any advice on what I have done so far if it will help anyone else. Hope to see some action soon. Thank you in advance!