Stella, our Pembroke is a few days shy of 6 months and just got out from getting spayed. The doctor mentioned her liver enzymes were a little bit high? What could be the cause??

A little background:
Diet: Purina Puppy Chow Dry Kibbles
She just lost her baby teeth recently

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I'm surprised the vet didn't tell you. I can't say, I would call the vet and ask. I would, however, put her on a better quality food. Not trying to be rude, but Purina Puppy Chow is a notoriously poor quality food. I doubt it has any affect on her liver, but you never know.
For corgis? Most likely obesity, however...other possible causes are:

Adrenal insufficiency
Elevated triglycerides
Medications including certain nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, antibiotics, anti-seizure medications, and acetaminophen
Muscle disorders
Thyroid disorders
Tumors of the liver or bile ducts
Wilson's disease
Before you worry too much, generally speaking if a dog's liver results are off enough to be of immediate medical concern, the vet will not proceed with surgery. I have a friend whose Yorkie's liver enzymes were very high and they delayed surgery for 6 months til the numbers improved. So there is a very good chance the variation from "normal" was small.

I suggest discussing it with the vet and and seeing if she/he thinks it is cause for concern, and if any follow-up is recommended. Sometimes they just recommend doing another panel within a certain time frame to get an idea of a pattern.

As someone who gets routine bloodwork a couple times a year, I can say that a certain amount of variation from the normal range can be ok, depending on the circumstance. I'll sometimes come up with low white counts or slightly high hemoglobin or something.

The normal range for ALKP, for example, is 23-212. That is a HUGE range of "normal". So if the number is slightly above "normal" for a test with such a high range, then that might not mean much of anything at all.

But if it were me, I'd want to have a chat with the vet's office.
Thanks for the reply. The enzymes were not too high and said it was not high enough to be of concern of ATM, but Stella is coming back for a follow-up so we will see. I will definitely have a chat with the vet at her follow-up next week.

What kinds of food do you guys recommend? For puppy and then adult?
To some folks choosing a dog food is sort of like choosing a religion. :-) For years now I've fed my doggie pals Iams and am quite happy with it and the dogs always look good and their blood work is good. I'm sure others will weigh in with recommendations of their own so take a look at what people suggest, do some reading and comparison of labels, visit some websites on pet nutrition, and go from there.
There are several discussions about food on here also you might want to check them out.
Hey.. I've been dealing with the exact same thing with Rocky over the past few weeks. He has some routine blood work, his enzymes were high, so we followed up with a bile acid test, which revealed that his liver function is fine.

I go to a pretty standard vet, but decided to also consult a holistic vet in the area and got some good info from both of them.

So, here is what I have learned so far:

- the list Sam gave is pretty comprehensive, the holistic vet also said it can be residual from parasites or genetic disposition as well. There are lots of possible causes.... but both vets suggested we make a few changes and then repeat the blood test in 2 months before considering more expensive options (ultrasound).
- Both suggested that Rocky take Milk Thistle (which is available for Humans) and there is TONS of info about it helping with liver issues (He is 35lbs and we give him 100mg/twice a day)
- One vet strongly recommended SAMe which is used to improve liver metabolic activity and restore proper liver function
(also available for humans or as a dog-specific brand)
- Our vet in Taiwan sent us a clam extract which as far as I know is only available in Asia.. but apparently there are HUGE positive effects with it.
- We were feeding Rocky Orijen which is really high in protein and can apparently cause some liver problems in some dogs, so we have switched to Fromm's whitefish-sweet potato kibble. Immediately when we found out, a natural food specialist suggested that we feed Rocky a liver cleansing diet which was homemade whitefish +beans+zucchini+sweetpotato diet which we did for two weeks (not sure if that is okay for pups?).
- our standard vet told us to put him on a "low protein" kibble (less than 8%) such as dr. hills or one of the ones they sell in the vets office, but the ingredients in those are garbage.. so I would be a bit wary of low quality, well marketed food.

SO yeah... maybe talk to your vet about MIlk Thistle and SAM-e. It might be different issues because he is a puppy.

The vet in Taiwan also said that liver issues aren't terribly uncommon and that liver is an amazing regenerative organ and that often just adding a bit of milk thistle can help bring the enzymes and liver function back to normal.

THat is really just a lot of information and in my research, haven't found a really conclusive answers, because it can be soo many things...

I guess I would suggest changing one or two things at a time and monitoring, then you can figure out what the cause is.

Good luck!
I'll let you know if Iearn anything more.
Thanks for all that info, it is really informative and will help me!
I'd be interested to hear what your vet says. I actually had the same thing recently -- for ME! After a routine physical the doc called and wanted me to retake my blood panel, because my liver enzymes were high. But he said there were a million and one minor reasons why that could be -- including having had a slight cold, or having had a recent bruise or cut that was healing. So we waited two weeks, and when they retook them, they were fine. (Understand, I'm just over 50, and feel like body parts are going bad every day, and so every time something is "a little high" or a "little off" I prepare myself for the worst -- and all my friends confessed to feeling the same way! We're all nuts, I guess, lol.)

Now, I'm not a dog (darn it all) but "a little bit high" could mean, as it did for me, that the liver was just doing its job. Although I would definitely get different food and not puppy food either, at 6 months.
After the suggestions, we went out this week and bought Stella some better food. We had no idea how terrible Purina was and after reading the reviews, we went shopping right away! We looked at Hills Science and Orijen, we bought a package of Orijen and will see how it goes for awhile.

Regarding the liver enzymes, I will keep everyone updated. Personally, I take milk thistle for myself due to some medications I am taking and it actually works wonders on the liver, so we will possibly look at getting a "dog" milk thistle formula.

Thank you everyone for your suggestions, it has been very helpful and we appreciate it! Will keep everyone updated with what we learn.


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