Dr. Karen Tobias' research at U of T has raised some questions about the accuracy of the Protein C test:awww, jackie, i love seeing pictures of your mikey man. thank you and mary and carina for all of your insight, we are so lucky to have you here on SM.
my experience with 2 MVD dogs was that they had very high bile acid values (>130). at the time of their bile acid tests, they also had elevated ALTs, but for the last 18 months stuart's ALTs have been in the normal range. i am not afraid of an MVD dog and i don't make any assumptions based on the bile acid numbers.
sooooo, when i think about BATs being recommended at 16 weeks by Dr. Center, and so many maltese having high BATs, why wouldn't it be more prudent (and less invasive) if breeders just did Protein C tests??? new owners can get the BAT at 16 weeks or older for a baseline, but at least the breeder has pretty much ruled out a liver shunt before placing the puppy.
Protein C Test
Dr. Karen Tobias
Question: How good is the Protein C test?
Answer: We're re-evaluating the Protein C test here at UT. In the original Cornell paper, normal dogs had Protein C activity between about 70% and 130%; 95% of dogs with MVD/CPH (microvascular dysplasia secondary to congenital portal hypoplasia) had protein C's in that range; and 88% of dogs with shunts dogs had Protein C's below 70%. Most dogs with liver failure had low numbers. Dogs with other liver diseases fell in the normal or abnormal range. So, the test is not completely accurate and should be coupled with other tests to be sure there's a shunt. Currently our dogs with MVD/CPH have very low Protein Cs and we don't know if it is the way we are running our test or whether we are seeing dogs with MVD/CPH that are much more severely affected.