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Thread: Liver problems

  1. #1
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    Default Liver problems

    Ok, one of Zoe's puppies who had previously been a health happy bullie all of the sudden got sick in November having problems with her liver. After about a week in the hospital and $5000 she pulled through and was as good as new, that is until last week. I got an email from her owners saying that she had gotten sick again mid last week having the same issues with her liver as before but this time she not only didn't start improving she quickly went down hill and her owners had to let her go. I was hoping that someone on here might be able to help us figure out what happened, not only for her owners but also for me because she was not only one of my babies but I'm also worried for her brother and sister that I still have. Anyway, here are parts of the email I received from her owner.

    Molly became ill again last week and we took her back to the same 24 hour specialty hospital that she was at last November. We took her as soon as we knew something was wrong last Wednesday morning. The same internal medicine specialist treated her. She quickly verified what we already knew, that Molly was suffering from another liver attack.
    She began constant I.V. fluid therapy and started her on specialized liver meds. By Thursday her ALT and ALKP values had dropped signifigantly but the bilirubin had risen. She was not concerned, however, because that number typically lags a day or so behind (as was the case last time). Plans were made to do a surgical liver biopsy Friday morning so we could determine what was happening once and for all and develop a long-term treatment plan.

    Friday morning Dr. Rader tested her blood coagulation factor before doing surgery, expecting it to be fine. Instead it was not good. In addition, Molly had begun throwing up so the decision was made to wait to do the surgery at the beginning of next week.

    I am in Toledo, OH training at a new job so I could not make it down to see her until Friday night. I left straight from work and by the time I arrived at 8:45 she had really taken a downward turn. She was lethargic and very jaundiced. She was struggling to keep her balance and her breathing seemed labored to me. I began to cry immediately. I asked for another total blood count to see what her values were. The ALT and ALKP had fallen more but the bili had shot through the roof. We discussed fears of liver failure and that they might have to take more drastic measures like a medicated enema if Molly started to exhibit neurological symptoms (bili affects brain function at such elevated levels.) What I see now is that Molly's staggering was not due to extreme fatigue as the doctor thought. She was already experiencing neurological side-effects. I stayed a long while comforting her as much as I could and left in tears with instructions for the doctor to do whatever was necessary and to call me immediately if anything changed.

    I went home to get sleep so I could get up early in the morning to go back with my wife. At 4:45 the hospital called me and thought we both needed to come immediately. Molly had lost the ability to stand or even sit up when she vomited. They were fearful she had aspirated some of her vomit before they could get to her. She also seemed disoriented and her breathing was extremely labored.

    The following two hours were two of the hardest hours of my life. We sobbed as we drove. We arrived to find our little girl struggling for every breath, barely able to move. They had given her the enema around 2:00 with little effect. We died inside as we held and loved on her for the last time. We had spent our every moment with her trying to protect her and in the end the best way to do that was not to let her suffer anymore. I held her in my lap and arms as my wife stroked her face and whispered in her ear. We lost our first child at 6:30 a.m. Saturday, April 16th.

    Any input as to what may have caused this would be greatly appreciated by both her owners and me. Thanks.

  2. #2
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    Real Name
    Karen
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    Maggie (My Angel Baby 5/31/2012). Daddy (2 years). Linus (1year). Bella (4 years)
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    Default Re: Liver problems

    That is such sad and awful news!!! Could the vets not do a biopsy to see if they can discover what happened? Has Zoe or the father bulldog ever shown any health problems that could be related to liver disease? If not, then maybe what happened to little Molly was just a birth defect or something she picked up and not something that necessarily is going to happen to your two babies.

    I'm so sorry that I can't shed any more light on this.

    If you would like to PM me their address then I can arrange for them to be sent a copy of "Bill at Rainbow Bridge" by Don Carrison. It won't bring Molly back to them but it may help to relieve some of their pain.

  3. #3
    Wrinkle Wiper bjsfarm's Avatar
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    Default Re: Liver problems

    How old was she? I have heard that puppies younger then a year old can get liver problems and die if not kept warm enough. That was news to me... I always figured by the time a pup was 8 weeks old they can handle cold as good as we can. But they say that a lot of deaths happen in puppies for this reason, especially in small breeds. They need to be kept at 70 degrees or above. houses that are drafty, or kept cool to save on heating bills etc.
    Whoever said you can't buy happiness forgot about Bulldog puppies!!
    BJ's Farm

  4. #4
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    Becky
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    Default Re: Liver problems

    I am so sorry. Their message is heartbreaking. I would also have requested at the least, a liver biopsy. Since it was a specialty hospital, I would expect they would be very interested in finding more information. Maybe you could do a blood test on your siblings to have liver levels and proteins tested. Might give you peace of mind..if nothing else.

  5. #5
    Bulldog Vet in Training Become a 4 Paw Member
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    Default Re: Liver problems

    I think it will be a good idea to have them tested like Jakeisgreat sugested. But also this could have been something that she was born with. I am so sorry I cant be of more help to you
    LisaMarie

  6. #6
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    GatorRay's Avatar
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    Default Re: Liver problems

    What devastating news for both you and her "parents". Personally, I would ask if they would consent to an autopsy if she is still at the vet's. That was they can check for some sort of abnormality that may be a birth defect. For your peace of mind, it couldn't hurt to get a blood panel on the siblings just to make sure everything looks normal. It would probably make you feel better.

    Take care and pass on our condolences. So sad

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Liver problems

    She turned 3 years old in December and no, Zoe nor Brutus either one have shown any signs of liver problems. In fact neither one of them have ever (knock on wood) had to visit the vet for any health problems. Her parnets did say that they were going to have the liver biopsy done and they would let me know what they find out. I know back in November when she was sick and the doctors couldn't figure out what caused it they figured she either go ahold of something she shouldn't have or she had got an infection of some sort and it attacked her liver but I don't know. Hopefully the biopsy will shed some light on what happened to Molly. I may talk with my vet also and see what she thinks about testing Jack and Lucy also. Hopefully if they have problems we can get them treated so the same thing doesn't happen to them. Thanks for all of your replies.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Liver problems

    Liver Disease in Dogs: Symptoms and Causes

    Liver disease can be caused by diet, ingesting poisonous plants, untreated heartworm, or genetically passed on. You need a biopsy to know for sure. It's a sad that she passed, but maybe she had been eating or chewing on some lilies in their landscape or other poisonous plants that are commonly used in landscapes.

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