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Thread: Prednisone and Elevated Liver Enzymes?

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    Dog Park Attendant Mom of Tucker's Avatar
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    Default Prednisone and Elevated Liver Enzymes?

    I am so frustrated! Last Friday, Tucker's dose of prednisone was cut in half. He seemed to be doing okay until Tuesday night when he seemed to be really weak and had trouble getting up and walking. I took him to the vet for lab work on Wednesday morning. His liver enzymes were elevated, especially the ALP and ALT. The vet prescribed a liver supplement but is saying the lab results are not symptoms of the IMHA he is being treated for.

    I feel like the prednisone has been so harsh on his system, causing weight loss, lethargy and diarrhea. Could the prednisone be causing the elevated liver enzymes?

    Tucker is due for repeat blood work in another week, so I just hope it looks better. He is eating and drinking well, so that gives me hope that he will pull through all of this. I hope he is not miserable and that I am not being selfish by prolonging his illness. Thoughts?


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    Default Re: Prednisone and Elevated Liver Enzymes?

    Liver enzymes elevation is listed among side effects of prednisone therapy. It is not very good but on its own it is not very dangerous, people and animals can tolerate enzymes elevation 10 times and more comparing to normal range (it happens usually when you have viral hepatitis). Donít panic about enzymes, he has to take prednisone as there is no other way to suppress autoimmune diseases. Donít give up on him yet. In general survival rates are up to 80 per cent and prognosis is fair. Sometimes I saw dogs (and people!) lying flat like a piece of rag so sick we feared them to die and still they pulled through! Unless dog is in big pain, they donít really suffer, they donít compare like we do - before I was healthy and therefore happy, today Iím sick and I donít feel happy- dogs just take every day with gratitude and so happy to see their humans. I wish you and Tucker luck and send prayers and hugs!

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    Default Re: Prednisone and Elevated Liver Enzymes?

    Soooo not good for a liver!!! What’s his diet? To boost enzymes you need to add sour foods like sauerkraut probiotics. Or add leafy greens, berries, coconut oil n acv... just a thought.

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    Default Re: Prednisone and Elevated Liver Enzymes?

    Quote Originally Posted by helsonwheels View Post
    Soooo not good for a liver!!! What’s his diet? To boost enzymes you need to add sour foods like sauerkraut probiotics. Or add leafy greens, berries, coconut oil n acv... just a thought.
    I was wondering what I could add to his diet that would be appetizing as well as beneficial for him. Currently he is on Merrick Texas beef. In the mornings, I have been mixing pumpkin with the kibble because he has had very loose stools. In the evenings, I mix beef broth with beef into his food. I do have coconut oil but was worried it might add t the runny stools.

    Before I recently started mixing in the pumpkin, I had been mixing in organic plain yogurt. However, the pumpkin is firming up his stools. I'm not familiar with feeding a dog sauerkraut, even though I've seen other posts where you have recommended it. Do they really eat the cabbage?
    Last edited by Mom of Tucker; 04-14-2018 at 02:51 AM. Reason: Typos


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    Default Re: Prednisone and Elevated Liver Enzymes?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mom of Tucker View Post
    I was wondering what I could add to his diet that would be appetizing as well as beneficial for him. Currently he is on Merrick Texas beef. In the mornings, I have been mixing pumpkin with the kibble because he has had very loose stools. In the evenings, I mix beef broth with beef into his food. I do have coconut oil but was worried it might add t the runny stools.

    Before I recently started mixing in the pumpkin, I had been mixing in organic plain yogurt. However, the pumpkin is firming up his stools. I'm not familiar with feeding a dog sauerkraut, even though I've seen other posts where you have recommended it. Do they really eat the cabbage?
    Yes they really eat the cabbage. Make sure you get the one that’s in the fridge. The fermented one. One tablespoon per day. Beats any yogurt or Greek yogurt. Your beef broth, it’s homemade? You can make like a stew for him with beef, greens etc. to get him back on track... that will boost his liver.

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    Default Re: Prednisone and Elevated Liver Enzymes?

    Poor Tucker (and you), autoimmune disease is truly from the pit of hell.
    I have battled it for years and age has worsened the symptoms. Does
    Vet have good knowledge & experience in treating it? Usually steroids
    need to be weaned down slowly.

    Praying Tucker has remission and for hope & direction for what to do.
    I chose to put Cami to sleep as her Cushings progressed so understand
    difficulty making best choice.. She was 11 yrs old and had also developed
    a golf sized tumor.

    May God comfort your hurting heart and direct your decision clearly & bring
    peace with it. Loving hugs, XOXO


    My 1st bully, Brutus
    RIP beloved boy.

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    Default Re: Prednisone and Elevated Liver Enzymes?

    @Texas Carol, I've been going to the local vet who is consulting the internal medicine team at Texas A&M. They intially diagnosed Tucker, and I will probably go back to them soon to make sure we are on the right track.

    Thank you for your words of encouragement. My heart breaks daily for my Tucker love. I just can't imagine having to let go.

    How long did your Cami live with her illness?


    Mom of Tucker AND Sophie

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    Default Re: Prednisone and Elevated Liver Enzymes?

    Poor Tucker... yes pred is tough on liver as others have stated. Give the kraut a go, they do eat it


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    Dog Park Attendant Mom of Tucker's Avatar
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    Default Re: Prednisone and Elevated Liver Enzymes?

    Quote Originally Posted by 2BullyMama View Post
    Poor Tucker... yes pred is tough on liver as others have stated. Give the kraut a go, they do eat it


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    The vet is acting like he doesn't know what is causing the elevated levels, so I don't know why that is. I do plan to get some sauerkraut tomorrow and give it a try.

    I'm also going to start feeding him 3 smaller meals a day instead of 2 meals. He just ate supper at 6, and he is totally wiped out. I'm thinking his body is working way too hard to digest so much, so maybe smaller portions will help.


    Mom of Tucker AND Sophie

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    Default Re: Prednisone and Elevated Liver Enzymes?

    Unfortunately in this case sauerkraut won’t help.
    Doctor cannot know for sure what is causing it. Elevated Liver enzymes can be caused by many processes that are now happening in Tuckers body - autoimmune disease attacking his liver cells, decomposed erythrocytes which are breaking because of his IMHA most probably cause increased level of iron in his blood which in turn causes liver enzyme elevation etc etc. Basically in Tuckers case enzymes indicate that his liver is working under big duress, but he has quite a serious condition and it’s not a separate illness, it’s just a symptom of big strain on his whole system. His body cells are breaking under attack of his own immune system and liver which is body recycling plant and has to conjugate all broken pieces, neutralise all toxins and excrete them from the body.
    You can try and propose him some sauerkraut but don’t put too much hope that it will drastically help.
    I would actually not concentrate on liver enzymes elevation and just ignore it for now. If he pulls through they will come back to normal. But if you want to give him something, There are are specific antioxidants used to facilitate liver function, Silymarin which comes from Milk Thistle. It’s OTC.

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    Default Re: Prednisone and Elevated Liver Enzymes?

    Cushings, like AD (Autoimmune Disease) is difficult to diagnose because of diverse and
    seemingly unrelated symptoms. Both are incurable and progressively worsen over time.
    Neither disease has much to offer for treatment and meds are often hard on the body,
    have their own side effects to endure & can be toxic. Also, expensive, involving regular
    office visits to monitor patient & constant lab work. I know YOU know all of this, Ginger,
    wanting others to know SOME of what you & Tucker deal with every day.

    About 1 1/2 yrs ago, Cami had what was dx'ed as a bad UTI, out of the blue. She'd never
    had one. We'd get it cleared up, have 3-4 mo's well then start all over again. After the 2nd
    really bad one where she was so sick & just miserable, I had lots of tests & labs & got
    the dx of Cushings. In the 6 months after, she was happy again but developed a tumor in
    her groin and a polp on her anus that would bleed. In Feb, she started the severe UTI symptoms,
    was up all night, panting in spite of pain meds and I just knew I had to let her go now. It was all
    going to get worse, much worse and I couldn't bear that thought because I knew Cami would
    never give up, never give in-it just was not in her to do and that I would have to surrender FOR her.
    I had been praying, had almost put her at rest once before. She had gotten a certain look in her eye
    and lay like lifeless, I called my Vet to talk about it when she fought back fiercely and recovered.
    I NEVER wanted to see her like that ever again so when she started her flareup in the 3rd week of Feb,
    I said goodbye to my everything. The day was beautiful and Cami was calm & happy.
    She waits for me in green, lush meadows as she plays with EBN's beloved bullies & other fur babies
    wait for their beloved humans. Just as Tucker, restored to perfect health & joy, will wait for you!

    Don't be afraid to let him go, Ginger, you are NOT giving up on him.

    PM'ing my PH #, feel free to call me anytime! Sending big love-Carol


    My 1st bully, Brutus
    RIP beloved boy.

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    Default Re: Prednisone and Elevated Liver Enzymes?

    I strongly disagree! Tucker doesn’t have Cushing as far as I know, his disease can resolve even though he can come through a very rough patch now, but dogs have a tremendous potential to survive and I’m always for the struggle until it’s absolutely clear there is no hope. His disease can be caused by a temporary problem, it’s not 100 percent that he has IMHA idiopathic type, and that means that he can recover!

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