Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Cookie's ALT Update

Cookie's belly is as good as new. The fur grew back completely after her ultrasound, even before the bugs start coming out.


Because the results of the ultrasound and biopsy were neither alarming nor really conclusive in explaining the live enzyme elevation, we booked an integrative consultation to see what's happening and what we might do to make the liver happier faster.

It was our first integrative consultation with our new vet up here.

In the meantime, Cookie was getting an adjusted diet, dandelion and milk thistle to help the liver out.

While at the vet, we decided to retest the blood values to see whether there has been an improvement.

We agreed to only run what they call a pre-op panel, because all we really wanted to see was the ALT. And since we were already drawing blood we also got it tested for heartworm and tick-borne diseases as we do every spring. (Cookie is clear of all of those.)

Cookie's ALT has gone down!

It is still at high normal but it's gone down from 225 to 104 (normal range being 10-118). That is a very good news. What we're doing was working and the liver is getting happy.

The TCVM exam also didn't reveal that the liver would be in distress. We can discontinue the milk thistle and stick with the dandelion for the time being. We also discussed licorice, which I still have to look into some more. As far as her diet is concerned, Cookie is getting things that make for a happy liver.

It wouldn't be my luck if I got to leave with good news only.

The pre-op panel includes a few other things, including BUN and creatinine. Those are considered a reflection of kidney function, though the BUN can be out of range for all kinds of other reasons as well.

Both BUN and creatinine were elevated on that draw.

I'm putting freaking out on hold, though, because both the vet and myself feel there were other things at play which could have done that.

Cookie was quite stressed this time. Apparently, they just had a dog in who was attacked by other dogs and was terrified and freaking out. The vet tech who came to draw the blood was comforting and restraining him just before she walked in. As it seems, sensitive as she is, Cookie picked up on all that and it got her quite upset. She didn't want her blood drawn, she didn't want to be there, just wanted to get out the door.

With the trip, the weather and the stress, she was quite dehydrated at the time of the blood draw.

Because she didn't need to fast for the test we were after, she had her lunch as well as a bunch of treats.

Any combination of these things could have caused those levels to elevate.

Cookie isn't showing any signs of a problem. The TCVM exam didn't show any issues. The vet said that she wasn't feeling what the lab work was showing.

I am used to one blood level or another being out of whack every now and then.

As long as it's not the same one repeatedly, as it was with the ALT.

So for now I refuse to panic. 

We will, however, get urinalysis done to make sure the kidneys indeed are as happy as they should be.

Serves me right for being too diligent?

Makes me think of full body scans. The more you look, the more likely you are to find things which might not mean anything but will get your blood pressure up and do have to be checked.

Here is hoping that it was just a result of circumstances and not a true reflection of anything.

As for our new vet, I really love that she's happy to discuss things with me. We seem to be very kindred spirits.

Related articles:
Regular Wellness Exam: Cookie's ALT Was Elevated 
How Far To Take It When The Dog Isn't Sick?
Cookie's Elevated ALT: The Ultrasound and Cytology

Our Journey to TCVM (Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine)
Four Paws, Five Directions: The Theory Behind The Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine
What To Expect During A Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine Exam 

What's In The Urine? (Part II: Urinalysis) 
What's In The Blood? Blood Testing And Interpretation

Related articles:
Incontinence? Cookie's Mysterious Leaks
From The End Of A Lead Line To Casa Jasmine: Meet Cookie, Our New Adoptee
And So It Begins Again(?) Our First Health-Related Heart Attack With Cookie 
I Didn't Know I Could Fly: Why Cookie Wears A Harness Instead Of A Collar
C.E.T. Oral Hygiene Chews For Dogs CAN Be A Choking Hazzard 
Our First Health-Related Heart Attack With Cookie: The Knee Or The Foot? 
Creative Solutions And An Incidental Product Review
Too Young For Pot: Cookie's Snack With A Side Of Hydrogen Peroxide  
Taming Of The Wild Beast: Cookie's Transition To Civilization  
Staying On Top Of The Ears: Cookie Is Not Impressed  
Putting The Easy Back Into Walking
Cookie's Ears Are Still Not Happy 
The Threat Of The Bulge Is Always Lurking 
Today Is Cookie's Three-Months Adoptoversary  
Cookie Meets The Electric Horse Fence And Her First Chiropractic Adjustment  
Why Examine Your Dog's Vomit? 
Why Is That Leg Still Not Happy? Cookie's Leg Keeps Getting Sore 
Cookie Too Is Insured With Trupanion
Does Being Insured Mean Being Covered? Our First Claim With Trupanion
Is Cookie's Leg Finally Getting Better?
Is Cookie Going To Be Another Medical Challenge Or Are We Looking To Closely? 
The Project That Is Cookie: Pancreatitis Up Close And Personal  
Pancreatitis: Cookie’s Blood Work   
Another Belly Upset: Pancreatitis Again Or Not?  
Happy Birthday, Cookie 
Who's Training Whom? Stick And Treat 
Don't Just Stand There, Do Something? Cookie's Mysterious Bumps 
Cookie's Mysterious Bumps Update
One Vomit, No Vomit 
Happy One-Year Adoptoversary, Cookie!
Cookie's Leaks Are Back: Garden Variety Incontinence Or Not?
Cookie's Leaks Update 
Don't Panic, Don't Panic: Know What Your Job Is 
The Continuing Saga Of Cookie's Leeks: Trying Chiropractic Approach 
Cookie's Minor Eye Irritation
Regular Wellness Exam: Cookie's ALT Was Elevated 
Cookie's Plantar Paw Pad Injury 
How Far To Take It When The Dog Isn't Sick?
Cookie Has Tapeworm Infection 
Cookie's Elevated ALT: The Ultrasound and Cytology  


Do you have a story to share?

Your story can help others, maybe even save a life!

What were the first signs you noticed? How did you dog get diagnosed? What treatment did/didn't work for you? What was your experience with your vet(s)? How did you cope with the challenges?

Email me, I'll be happy to hear from you!

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