Old dog with Liver damage

Discussion in 'Working and Companion Animals' started by VA Susan, Jan 5, 2017.

  1. VA Susan

    VA Susan Well-Known Member Supporter

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    My old 13 year old dog has been very active and healthy until the past six months or so. She was treated for two severe UTIs and was put on Proin for incontinence briefly but had to be taken off it because of a seizure. The antibiotic would make her stagger sometimes but it did finally get rid of the UTI. Since then, I'd have to coax her to eat and she kept getting thinner.
    I got her some homeopathic drops and some herbal meds for another UTI and for incontinence and they worked pretty well. I am afraid that the meds damaged her liver. I also wonder if the herbal and homeopathic meds could also have damaged her liver .

    We discontinued the incontinence medicine on Christmas. IT was working well but she would not take because of nausea. She vomited three times. She was so sick and would not eat so I took her to the vet. The bloodwork showed that she has liver damage. She is still not eating and now has to be fed by a syringe to get enough water and broth down. We are also giving vitamin B complex from the Vet. She's still hanging on.

    Anyway I was wondering if anyone else here has dealt with this kind of thing in a pet. She would eat deermeat whenever she could find it. A neighbor told me about someone whose dog almost died from food poisoning from eating old rotten deer meat. She's always found deermeat in the woods and would bring back bones and never had problems with it before. I wonder if the liver damage would make her unable to get over the food poisoning (if that's what she had)? I keep trying to get down enough liquid to keep her hydrated and hopefully to keep her flushed out. She won't eat or drink water now and had been drinking lots of water before. Thanks for any help you could offer.
     
  2. fireweed farm

    fireweed farm Well-Known Member

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    Sorry you are dealing with this.
    My vet once prescribed my dog Milk Thistle for a liver ailment which worked for her- but I'm not exactly sure what her problem was and it was no where near as serious with what your pup is dealing with.
    Personally I'd be rushing in to see a vet, and asap, ask them what can be done. Let them know exactly what you've tried, and discontinued and why, it's all part of the puzzle.
    Your dog is likely feeling horrible and needs you to make the call. Your pup's unlikely to respond to any herbs at this point, and from my research homeopathic meds are placebo so I wouldn't waste money on them at this point.
    There's a good chance your dog didn't actually barf from the pills you discontinued. You need to discuss that with the vet.
    Good luck with your dog!
     

  3. Pyrpup2016

    Pyrpup2016 Well-Known Member

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    You might want to try Sam-e, a supplement that can help. My daughter had a GS with liver problems due to other meds. She put her on the Sam-e and in a short time the dog was back to normal - lived several more years. It's not inexpensive, but worth a try. Daughter was working as a vet tech, and the vet was very impressed. They used it on a cat that was close to death from various problem, including liver damage. Cat recovered.

    It's available at most stores in the vitamin section, green box says right on label that it promotes healthy liver function. We went with the people dosage for the GS.
     
  4. VA Susan

    VA Susan Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Fireweed Farm,
    We have already been to the vet and are following his orders now. She hadn't had any herbal meds for a day when she got sick. The vet didn't think her sickness had anything to do with the meds because it had been a week since she'd had any and she still had no appetite. I've thought the meds prescribed by the Vet for her UTI may have caused the liver damage she has, but we'll never know. It's more likely that the nausea was caused by something bad that she ate. I thought it might be coyote poison so I called our closest neighbor but she did not know of anyone baiting coyotes in our area. She told me about her friend's dog that got food poisoning from eating old deer meat from a dead deer. I took the herbal and homeopathic medicine to the vets and told him what we had given her. He examined the labels. She has had no more bladder problems since the last dose the day before she got sick and he was surprised that it worked that well.
    I blended up some chicken and dumpling soup and mixed it with beef broth and got a bit down along with squirts of water. She seems to be feeling a little better tonight and acts more alert than she has been. She can still get up to go outside and comes back up a few steps so its not like she is an invalid at this point. I'll keep at what I'm doing. Just wanted to know if anyone else has dealt with liver damage. The vet said the liver damage may just be due to her age. Anyway that's what we're dealing with.
     
  5. VA Susan

    VA Susan Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Thanks so much. Might be worth a try!
     
  6. VA Susan

    VA Susan Well-Known Member Supporter

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    All the progress she made in eating food was undone because she vomited up all she had eaten last night. She's weak again today. I'm back to giving chicken broth. We got some of the Sam-e at Walmart. It was not very expensive there unlike prices at the drug stores. I tried to give her half a pill but she spit it out, so I crushed it up and mixed it with some broth and got it down.
    Praying it will help her feel better.
     
  7. thekibblegoddes

    thekibblegoddes Well-Known Member

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    This is JUST my opinion, but i think you need to look for the cause of the vomiting. If she can't eat, she can't get better. Has the vet ruled out an obstruction? Pancreatic issues?
     
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  8. Pyrpup2016

    Pyrpup2016 Well-Known Member

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    kibblegoddess is correct - is there anything going through? What did the vet think/advise for the vomiting? The Sam-e won't help overnight, but long term will help for the liver damage, but that isn't the only problem you're dealing with.
     
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  9. VA Susan

    VA Susan Well-Known Member Supporter

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    The vet told me to keep her hydrated so the toxins would be flushed out of her liver. He also said to give her broth for the nausea. He didn't say anything about the nausea except that it could possibly be caused by her liver problem.

    She has had small bowel movements but not much since she's hardly eating so I don't think there would be an obstruction. I called the vet's office today and told them she vomited last night and still is not eating much. I asked about giving her an anti nausea medicine we have some from when my husband had dysentery but the vet was not familiar with the medicine we had so couldn't advise me about giving it to her. I think she's feeling bad today due to dehydration so I keep giving her broth and water. She got up twice today to go out which is not as much as usual. It's an hours drive to our vet and she gets so freaked out riding in a car, so I don't really want to put her through that ordeal in her condition.

    Our puppy also got sick a few days ago and threw up all over after he had been running free outside so we think he might have found something bad to eat like she did. I gave him some charcoal thinking it might be poison and he was fine the next day. I think that since she has liver problems she was not able to handle what she normally could get over easily. Just my guess.
     
  10. Maura

    Maura Well-Known Member Supporter

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    One of my foster dogs threw up everything. The owners tried everything they could, switching foods, meds, nothing worked. I put him on raw and that fixed the problem. I’m not saying it would fix your dog’s, but may help in the short term. Raw meat naturally has enzymes in it that break down the food, which is why it rots so quickly. Depending on your dog’s size, use chicken wings, chicken legs, chicken backs, whatever seems to work. Also, a bit of raw liver, treat size.

    For the above dog, since a raw fed dog is basically not adoptable, I had to switch him to kibble. Not until after he was doing real well. I put probiotics in his food and that did wonders. Shakely has probiotics, but I used kefir, which I think is better. Several of us on the forum have kefir if you have none locally.
     
  11. Pyrpup2016

    Pyrpup2016 Well-Known Member

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    I agree with Maura on the raw food - at this point with this dog, even some hamburger might stay down - little bits at a time. Abrupt change to the raw might be stressful, but you do need to find something to nourish her. Most grocery stores now carry kefir - over with the yogurts. It would also help rehydrate her, if she can keep it down. I make my own now, but that takes some time.
     
  12. Maura

    Maura Well-Known Member Supporter

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    With foster dogs, you rarely know what brand of food they have been eating, you just dive in. I just start them right out with raw, never had a problem. Raw is the most basic, no grains or other additives, so mixing is not really necessary. It is easy for their digestive system to go to raw. It is much harder for them to go from one brand of kibble to another.

    I hadn’t thought of just bits, but bits of hamburger might be tolerable. I would also put the dog on a vitamin C supplement. Thompson’s Buffered Crystalized C is what I use. I give it to the sick as well as the healthy. 1/8 teaspoon is not too much. My 38 pound dog has gone from 1/8 teaspoon twice a week to every day, and I now give him 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon every day. It really helps with his arthritis. C helps with killing viruses and bacteria, reduces inflammation, helps to rebuild bone and cartilege. You can’t go wrong adding a little, especially with a sick animal. Raw meat has trace amounts of C, but commercial canned or kibble has none.
     
  13. fireweed farm

    fireweed farm Well-Known Member

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    Or possibly cooked rabbit or cooked poultry meat. Just to get nutrients in.
     
  14. Pyrenees

    Pyrenees Well-Known Member

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    Your vet made an educated guess based on symptoms and lab work and apparently it didn't work. You need a diagnosis.

    Liver damage isn't a diagnosis. Urinary tract infections that don't respond to antibiotics, nausea and inappetence, and liver problems on blood work point to some underlying illness especially in a 13 year old dog.

    Getting a diagnosis will likely require more testing ... and unfortunately more $$$ spent.
     
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  15. VA Susan

    VA Susan Well-Known Member Supporter

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    The UTIs did respond well to the stronger antibiotic and cleared up the blood in the urine as well. The herbal meds for bladder and incontinence stopped the leakage and she's not taking any more since she's been sick. I'm calling the vet tomorrow. I've been giving broth which is all she can tolerate now. She vomited again today. Not good. I have some anti nausea meds and gave her 1/4 of a pill held in her cheek. I made some homemade chicken broth but maybe overdid how much I gave her.
     
  16. Maura

    Maura Well-Known Member Supporter

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    A bone broth will help to heal the gut. I save bones from pork and beef and put them all together when I cook a chicken. If you do this, do not skim off the fat.
     
  17. GrannyCarol

    GrannyCarol Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Broth and especially bone broth are good. One emergency trick I've used over the years is to give a dehydrated dog a sports drink. I typically use a turkey baster for a large dog and dribble it in the pouch in the cheek. I've used Gatoraide to good affect. Do it every couple of hours while you are up during the day and once or twice during the night.

    I don't know how you feel about it, but do ask her if this is something she (the dog) wants to go forward with and what she wants too. I find that most people can tell when their pet is done or if it wants to continue. That, to me, is a big part of my choices in treatment for an elderly pet.
     
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  18. CountryMom22

    CountryMom22 Well-Known Member

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    It's been a few days now and I was wondering how your dog is doing?

    I have to admit that it doesn't sound good. I'm sure the dog is severely dehydrated and although I'm sure that made her not feel good, I don't know that the vomiting caused that.

    I'm praying that you pulled her through and have some concrete answers by now.
     
  19. VA Susan

    VA Susan Well-Known Member Supporter

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    We saw the vet but he gave us no hope that she can pull through this. She was a walking skeleton and was so weak today she had trouble standing up. She has not been able to keep down her broth and kept vomiting. I knew she was tired of fighting. Her fight is over now. Thanks to everyone who contributed advice. Feeling sad and missing her.
     
  20. GrannyCarol

    GrannyCarol Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I am so sorry to hear that, but I am glad that you knew when the time came and let her go. It's always hard and I know she was a valued member of your family.
     
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