Jack Russell liver function trouble

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My 9 1/2 year old Jack Russell’s albumin level has been dropping slightly for a few years but last month it dropped to 2.1 per blood test. I had a bile function done last December and it was good. The vet recommended an ultrasound a few weeks ago, which showed a smaller liver light gray in color. The bile test was also given again and this time it showed a decreased function but no active liver damage. She had IBS issues years ago but was doing well on ZD dry food and 1/8 teaspoon tylan powder given once a day. She eats well, runs around, and doesn’t look sick but I am worried because the vet said they thought it could be cirrhosis of the liver. He mentioned I could try giving her Denmarin or have a laparoscopic biopsy done of the liver and intestines. I want to try to help her but I don’t know if making her go through the biopsy is a good idea. He also said if it is cirrhosis that nothing can be done to help her. What do you think? Do you think it would be worth trying Denamarin.

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Asked on November 1, 2015 10:22 pm


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I would agree that with the lack of clinical symptoms a biopsy seems like an aggressive step at this time. Denamarin is a proprietary formulae of S-Adenosylmethionine (SAMe) and silybin. Silybin is an extract of milk thistle. At the Sanctuary we use SAM-e and milk thistle as liver support. In addition we also use hemp oil as a supplement to support liver function. The use of medications to support liver function would be prudent for your dog at this time. If clinical signs progress a liver biopsy may provide additional clinical information. unfortunately this information does not necessarily lead to additional treatment options!

Best wishes for you and your beloved dog,
Dr. Brown

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Posted by Dr. Gaylord Brown
Answered on November 4, 2015 5:11 pm