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I took Ben in for his rabies shot today. While I was there, the vet said that because Ben had another seizure recently, she wants to test him for liver problems. :smilie_tischkante: She took some blood samples today and I should hear back from her next week. She also mentioned that his blood tests from last year looked okay and that she would like to compare the two to make sure that nothing is going on.

Although I know a lot about liver function, what drugs/diet help a liver problem, and other liver problem related things from Harry, I find that I don't really know a lot about the onset of a problem, what causes it, and what symptoms to be looking for. My question is... can a liver problem, like a shunt, just develop like that in an adult dog over the course of a year or might it have been present and it's just starting to cause issues now? She also mentioned MVD. Harry's problem started when he was so young (6 months), that I'm unclear about when and how these problems start.

The vet said that if the tests indicate a liver problem, we would have to put Ben on a special diet.... well he's already on the liver diet that Harry is on.... so there goes that idea!!!

So... please send good thoughts Ben's way and thanks for any information you can give me.

Debbie
 

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Debbie - ugh. I will be praying for Ben.:wub: I have no advice at all but know so many here do. I just hope it isn't liver related. Any other ideas about the seizure(s)? Was wondering though - wouldn't the best liver test be the BAT? But they have to fast before it so wondering what test she was using. Sending positive thoughts your way. I think I want 2010 to be over already!
 

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I'll keep Ben in my prayers.:grouphug::prayer::grouphug: I have no idea about the other stuff, hopefully someone with more knowledge will post. Please keep us updated.
 

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Debbie - ugh. I will be praying for Ben.:wub: I have no advice at all but know so many here do. I just hope it isn't liver related. Any other ideas about the seizure(s)? Was wondering though - wouldn't the best liver test be the BAT? But they have to fast before it so wondering what test she was using. Sending positive thoughts your way. I think I want 2010 to be over already!
Sue,

When I first got Ben, the seizures led them to believe that he might be epileptic, but I believe that they've now ruled that out. She asked me today if he had eaten, and he had, so I have no idea what kind of test she is doing. Possibly just a test to see if liver enzymes are elevated... to see if further tests are necessary I guess??? I need 2010 to be over, too.... what a crummy year!!!!
 

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How old is Benny?

A shunt is something they are born with and won't just develop but sometimes you don't see the symptoms right away. MVD is different. Many of us...over 70% if my memory is correct have asymptomatic MVD Malts and it's even higher in Yorkies. However most don't know it since most vets don't know yet that you can have a dog with normal ALT & AST levels, but still have abnormal results from a Bile Acid Test (BAT). If your baby has normal ALT & AST levels & abnormal BAT's, but no symptoms, then they are asymptomatic MVD and you don't have to do anything special except for running a CBC yearly to keep check of the ALT & AST levels. They can go from being asymptomatic to symptomatic. Both liver shunt and MVD are genetic issues as I'm sure you are well aware of.

There's a fantastic thread that really goes into detail and might be good for you to read. It's lengthy but we have a real treasure in MaryH who has spent time with Dr. Sharon Center at Cornell.

http://spoiledmaltese.com/forum/52-maltese-health-behavior/78171-bile-acid-test.html

This one would be good to look at too.
http://spoiledmaltese.com/forum/52-...106856-liver-shunt-bile-acid-test-thread.html

Try not to worry. You and Benny are in my prayers. :grouphug:
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
How old is Benny?

A shunt is something they are born with and won't just develop but sometimes you don't see the symptoms right away. MVD is different. Many of us...over 70% if my memory is correct have asymptomatic MVD Malts and it's even higher in Yorkies. However most don't know it since most vets don't know yet that you can have a dog with normal ALT & AST levels, but still have abnormal results from a Bile Acid Test (BAT). If your baby has normal ALT & AST levels & abnormal BAT's, but no symptoms, then they are asymptomatic MVD and you don't have to do anything special except for running a CBC yearly to keep check of the ALT & AST levels. They can go from being asymptomatic to symptomatic. Both liver shunt and MVD are genetic issues as I'm sure you are well aware of.

There's a fantastic thread that really goes into detail and might be good for you to read. It's lengthy but we have a real treasure in MaryH who has spent time with Dr. Sharon Center at Cornell.

http://spoiledmaltese.com/forum/52-maltese-health-behavior/78171-bile-acid-test.html

This one would be good to look at too.
http://spoiledmaltese.com/forum/52-...106856-liver-shunt-bile-acid-test-thread.html

Try not to worry. You and Benny are in my prayers. :grouphug:
Crystal,

I'm way too familiar with liver problems because of Harry.... but not the typical ones...I know that Mary has a wealth of knowledge about this topic and I'm hoping that she's around. And...I know I'm probably asking a lot of dumb questions that I may even know the answers to if I think about them for a while. Benny is my rescue, so we don't really know how old he is, but the doctors estimate he's about 3 or 4. We'll have him 2 years in February.

Thanks for the prayers... we'll take all of them that we can get!!!
 

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She took some blood samples today and I should hear back from her next week. She also mentioned that his blood tests from She took some blood samples today and I should hear back from her next week. She also mentioned that his blood tests from last year looked okay and that she would like to compare the two to make sure that nothing is going on. last year looked okay and that she would like to compare the two to make sure that nothing is going on.

Sounds like a great vet - she's staying on top of things!!!! MANY MANY good and positive thoughts for little Ben xoxoxo
 

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Yes dogs can have no symptoms until adulthood and have a shunt. However, usually dogs with hepatic encephalopathy have seizures frequently and after meals. They also have other symptoms such as head pressing, circling, and seeming mentally "dull". While it is good medicine to rule out a liver problem (glad to see your vet doing so), occasional seizures in young adult dogs are more often due to epilepsy. Many require no treatment so long as the seizures are infrequent and do not last too long.

Your vet can compare a chemistry panel. Bile acids are only done once. Repeated bile acids will offer no further information on the current state of illness. If they're high, they're high. Bile acids are not a monitoring test. Chemistry panels are a monitoring test.
 

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Did she still give the rabies even though he's been having seizures? I wonder if that could make things worse and if he could be exempted? Just curious - did she say anything about it?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Did she still give the rabies even though he's been having seizures? I wonder if that could make things worse and if he could be exempted? Just curious - did she say anything about it?
She gave him the rabies anyway and never said anything about exempting him from the shot.
 

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Oh Debbie. I'm so sorry to hear about Benny. From my Benny to your Benny...we are sending lots of hugs, love and prayers that everything will be ok.
 

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I don't have any advice but wanted to tell you I hope your vet gets everything figured out soon.
Hugs and prayers being sent. Please keep us updated.
 
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