Hello. My friend and I both have dogs that suffer from Liver Disease. My Wire Fox Terrier-Skye was diagnosis with Chronic Active Hepatitis in Sept. on 2010, and my friends Golden was diagnosed with Liver disease just a few weeks ago. My friend sent me the link to your foundation and I wanted to let you know it has some really amazing information for those of us who, know really nothing about the disease.
First of all, what a beautiful story about Reiley. It is nice to see that my husband and I are not the only ones who are completely and utterly gaga over their pets :0). I have never really had to deal with many pet health concerns until my husband and I adopted Skye from a Wire Fox terrier rescue so I thought I would share our story.
I new the minute I saw her picture on the adoption site she was “My Girl.” I live in a house with my son and husband and 2 male dogs so I thought it was time to have another girl in the house. So, In May of 2010 Skye was flown from Canada to the owner of the rescue, and then my husband and I drove over 500 miles to pick her up. I never really found out why the original owners were getting rid of her, but I am thankful they did! Like I said, Skye is a 5 year old Wire Fox Terrier. She was full of spunk and energy (like a typical terrier) and we instantly fell head over heels for her, espec She had a pretty bad yeast infection on her skin, but other than that, she seemed to be in great health. Skye fit right in with our other dogs Patch, a 10 year old Wire and a 7 year old Beagle named Barney.
In Sept 2010 after a camping trip, Skye was not acting herself, no appetite, no energy, very lethargic and we were very concerned. We thought that she had gotten into something while out camping. We had recently changed vets, (the old vet just kept pumping her full of antibiotics to solve the yeast infection that they couldn’t seem to get under control) thank goodness, otherwise I don’t know if she would be with us right now. Anyway, Skye continued to get worse, so our vet started with blood work. They ruled out Pancreatitis and some other obvious things.
When the labs came back, she had elevated liver levels particularly her Alt’s at almost 1500! At this point we figure, that they will fix her right up! After IV treatments, blood tests, Ultrasound and biopsy we finally found out that she had Chronic Active Hepatitis and we were told that she would ultimately die of Cirrhosis. Oh my goodness..I couldn’t believe it. We were told it could be managed, but that there were no guarantees. Skye was on an IV every day for about 5 days and they immediately started her on Denamarin (Liver),Ursidol(liver/billiruben), Pred(appetite), B-12 shots every week, Vitamin E and Fish oil capsules and an aggressive antibiotic to knock out the bacteria/infection that ultimately was the cause of her “spell.” It took her awhile to get back on her feet but she finally did.
She has had 2 spells since her diagnosis, and it’s like starting over, expect we know what is wrong and what the end result will ultimately be. We have flexed her medication, a little less of this, more of that, feed her this, or try that, just hoping that she will stabilize a bit. Unfortunately the meds she needs to keep her appetite up are not good for her liver! Her last attack was the day after Christmas, so the vet did more blood work and discovered she was extremely sick, White blood cell count thru the roof, Alt’s elevated again and every other level either too high or too low. They suggested one more ultrasound to see how bad her liver looked and we agreed. We scheduled it for a Monday and were told that she was extremely sick, she was starving and in pain and that we needed to be ready to make a really hard decision. We spent the weekend making her comfortable and really just saying goodbye. We were convinced that we were going to have to put her down. My husband and I both agree that keeping her alive, if she is in pain and suffering is selfish and we agreed we wouldn’t do that to her.
Well she had the ultrasound and they found 2 spots on her liver that had cirrhosis, but other than that she looked great. They did another blood test and everything looked great and her Alt’s were a little still high, 330, but nothing like they had been. So we put her on a liver prescription diet, which she loved (for about a 2 weeks) and then we had to find another food for her to eat. Our Vet agrees that at this point it is just quality of life and we want her eating and happy…so she eats fresh Steelhead (a recommendation from my friend) and Natural Balance, a grain-free sweet potato and fish blend.
Skye is doing good right now. She is eating and even playing! She has good days and ok days. We have no idea how long we have with her, but we just cherish every moment that we have with her. I never would have guessed that liver disease is such a big problem with the canine population. I know 2 people in just the last month that have had pets diagnosis with this disease. So I guess my purpose is to share my story and to say thank you for putting together a great website that is informative and touching. It made me feel like I was not alone. Thank you to you and to Reiley.
Michelle and Skye