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Discussion Starter #1
It's not really a health question. More a vent than anything, although I'd appreciate advice from anyone who's dealt with similar situations.

My Cassius (he's the nose in my avatar pic, almost 13 year-old Giant Schnauzer/Great Pyrenees) had been off his food for a few days, and then was throwing up everything he did try to eat, so I took him to the vet. I was expecting some kind of GI issue and worried about a blockage. X-ray came back clean, no sign of anything amiss, but his bloodwork showed very elevated liver enzymes. Nothing else weird in the bloodwork. (I could go look on the paperwork exactly which ones, but honestly, I'm trying not to drive myself nuts with Dr. Google right now.) Vet said it suggested he'd gotten into something toxic - although I can't for the life of me think of what that could be - or possibly an issue like Cushing's. I was ready to do ALL THE TESTS but they said we need to get him eating enough calories and hydrated first, then re-check and go from there. So they sent us home with Cerenia (for the eating trouble), Denamarin (to support liver function), and some i/d canned food. So far so good with that - with the Cerenia he's keeping down water and small servings of the stinky i/d food.

He's still jazzed about the things he usually gets excited about (going outside, car rides, things that smell terrible, attention), but he's definitely more sluggish than usual - although not eating would also contribute to that.

Basically the good news is, the clean x-ray and the fact that his bowels are moving normally rules out a lot of the immediately scary explanations, which is good, but it's hard not knowing what's going on. I'm trying to be honest with myself about his age and everything, but I just want my boy to feel good and be happy. (And also to live forever.) It's especially hard because he's really a once-in-a-lifetime kind of dog. Also, my Queenie passed away about a year and a half ago, and I don't know that I'm ready for all this again already.

 

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Molly, my 12-year-old lab/weim mix, has had elevated liver enzymes for some time. She's on Marin Plus, a prescription chewable with Vitamin E, Silbin-phosphatidylcholine complex, zinc and circuma longa extract. She eats the Pro-plan senior blend and gets her labs checked every few months to see if she needs a more aggressive treatment. (So far she has not.)

I can't really tell if it has affected her activity level. Her appetite is very good, but she is arthritic and not terribly active (especially for a girl who lived to run.)
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks, that's reassuring. I could live with maintenance, especially at his age, and it's good to hear it's possible.

We really don't even know for sure whether the liver issue and the digestive issue are directly linked - it could be that liver problems are making him feel barfy, but he could also just be having a barfy episode for other reasons and also have a liver problem. Also, he's just old. The x-ray did show that his arthritis is probably more serious than he's been letting on, so once we get this sorted we're going to look at pain management for that - doc just didn't want to add extra meds to the mix until we know more. Ugh, dogs need longer lifespans.
 

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For the arthritis, Molly (about 62 pounds) gets 100 mg of Gabapentin twice-a-day. It's cheap and has no known side effects.
 

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Aww, Cassius is such a gentleman and I hope it is something minor and manageable. I agree... it would be best if he lived forever!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
So, on the optimistic side, he's drinking normally, hasn't thrown up since starting the Cerenia, his bowels have been moving normally (albeit very little), he's interested in things like car rides, he's lost maybe a pound since this all started, and I took him back to the vet yesterday for an ultrasound and it came back totally clean - no masses, organs all their normal sizes, no fluid accumulation. On the negative side...he basically stopped eating on Wednesday and hasn't taken more than a few bites of food since. The vet yesterday added two appetite stimulants (mirtazapine and Entyce) to the regimen but they apparently haven't kicked in yet, because he doesn't even want peanut butter. He's normally a complete gobbler, so this is not normal at all for him, but we can't figure out what's causing it. I'm supposed to take him back to the vet first thing Monday if he doesn't start eating this weekend. They'll do another liver enzyme check next week one way or the other, too.

I'm trying hard to not to freak out.
 

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Oh my gosh. I read your last two posts back to back and this is shocking. I know that condolences are never enough, but I am still so sorry that this happened. Sending my best thoughts to you.
 
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