Hi everyone I have been checking out this forum for a couple months and have 2 labs and am looking for any support or advice. We have a chocolate Bailey he is 6, Jake is black (he is lab/pit) and nearly 10.
Jake has been on thyroid and seizure meds for over 6 years now however in the past 30 days his physical health is on steady decline. So I am just looking for other owners with any thoughts or experiences as we go through this process.
Here is the background; we took Jake in about 6 mo ago as he had slowed some, the vet mentioned some of his levels were off and thought it had potential to be cushings but not sure because the blood work was not what expected and not enough for another diagnosis and we were put on a watch closely plan.
Fast forward Jake begins having a very hard time getting up and staying up and it is getting worse. Jake is taken to vet, he wants to run a full panel again as discussed prior if he got worse and then possibly the full cushings test. Results come back and I do not have the full details because I was in meetings and couldn't document the entire conversation today as I would have liked. However, he rules out cushings as being likely and the liver levels are getting worse. All the A something something levels are way off and has him concerned; he was very vague on what the liver problems could be. We are going back in the am for more tests and I will get all the details to fill you all in.
So what am I looking for, not sure really...hope I guess that someone has had liver problems in an older dog that were not lethal? Also any ideas on assisting my old boy in getting up. I have tried a towel which I think just annoys him cause he lays down and lifting his hind which helps but I cannot lift his 70 pounds easily to say the least. Everyday he can get up for a while then he just cannot, which I then pull his bed from where he is to the door to get him outside so he has to walk as short of distance as possible.
I know I am new to this forum but you all seem so helpful and I would love any thoughts and/or advice.
There is a number of diseases, illnesses and problems that are associated with elevated liver values. Has there been an ultrasound, a CT, xrays or other diagnostic tests? Many dogs can live years with liver disease but is certainly depends on what disease/illness you may be dealing with.
There are several products that can be used to help lift a large dog that are sling types. We use them at my clinic and they are very easy on the human as well as the dog. Could be that the liver issues are causing his weakness and difficulty getting up.
We lost my DH heart dog to liver cancer at 12, happened very quickly but had another family dog that had long time liver disease and survived 3 years past diagnosis with allopathic meds as well as homeopathic meds.
Good luck to and Jake.
Thank you for the reply. We are still in the blood work stages, he is fasting tonight for more testing tomorrow. I asked the vet assistant about anything to use, she is the one who mentioned a towel so I will ask the vet tomorrow. My husband and I are so upset and at the same time just want to make the right decision for Jake. I will respond tomorrow with the findings, the waiting is always the worst part but it is hard to see your boy not even willing to go potty, that isn't good for him
The internet is almost a curse right now so I am going to spend more time with him and hit the hay so we can get ourselves to see the vet in the am.
Stacey and Jake
I don't have any experience/knowledge about liver problems, but I wanted to say I'm sorry that Jake is not well. Sending good thoughts your way.
By the way, this is the sort of thing that you should use for helping Jake stand.
ComfortLift Carrier: Sling-style dog carrier supports and assists older or arthritic dogs
Last edited by rottnlab dad; 09-08-2011 at 12:05 AM.
I am sorry you and Jake are having such a hard time. Good healling thoughts coming.
Jeanne....(RangerMom) used a sling for Reggie when he had trouble getting up. Hoping she will see this and tell you the what type she used. Was brilliant.
I'm sorry Jake is not feeling well. I have no experience of liver problems, but I'm sure some other have. Sending lots of good healing thoughts his way. Welcome to the forum. Please post pics of your babies .
~Veronica and Nikki~
Sweet Emma, 16th of February 1996~26th of November 2010
Always in my heart and soul. Together forever, my love....
Nikki 6 months
Our Bailey boy 11 yrs is on liver meds right now, I took him to the vet the first of August because he didn't want anything to do with water. They did blood work and found his liver enzymes were elevated, we had to take him off his pain meds as they were not sure if it was becaues of his meds or if something else was going on. He had to fast and they did blood work 3 weeks later because he was limping and needed something more then muscle relaxers. The second test they did showed the liver was functioning but his enzymes were still elevated into the 200's down from 300's.
We are waiting again too check blood work, not sure what our next step is going to be depends on the bloodwork. Bailey is still up and moving around eating, drinking and wanting to play. They did put him on a different pain meds to get him over the limping but very low dose because they are still not sure what is going on with his liver.
Have they checked to make sure his thyroid meds are correct or need to be adjusted? I hope you find answers for Jake.
Coleman - CGC blk lab 6/02/97-2/25/08 adopted
Tootsie - choc lab 10/19/99-8/03/13 adopted
Bailey - CGC newf/fc 7/12/00-07/15/14 rescued
Ginger - BT 11/16/05 rescued
Sarah - blk lab 6/22/06 rescued
rescued felines - AJ - 8/00 - 1/11, Merlin - 5/20/05, Tucker - 8/3/10, Penny - 7/7/13
Hi, I'm sorry to hear about Jake. I do have a harness recommendation for you if Jake is having problems getting up. My dog Reggie developed Degenerative Myelopathy and he could no longer feel his back legs so I'd have to help him get up from a sit and help him up stairs. I got a RuffWear WebMaster Harness for him. It was a godsend. He wore it 24-7 except when I threw it in the washer. He never had one rubmark or sore. It has a handle right on the top which I used to help him up or help him walk up stairs. It is so sturdy, I could actually pick him up in the air with it. If you look on Reggie's picture in my signature, Reggie's on the right picture and he is wearing his red harness.
Here's the link,
Blackie and Ranger ...............................Reggie: 1996-2010 "Fly Reggie Fly"
A quick, easy sling can be made from those reusable grocery bags, just cut out the sides and viola, a sling. It might help for the short term.
This is exactly why I posted here, already some nice words and advice.
I am so concerned about the real hind end weakness and on the overall lack of information. We actually changed to this vet last year b/c our other was basically not able to figure any of my dogs or cats health concerns out to my satisfaction, whether it was a skin allergy or Jake's thyroid. I am giving that disclaimer because I am not holding this against my vet I know he has a lot to look at with a dog who's bloodwork is already a little wacky
with phenobarbital, potassium bromide and thyrozine! It is scary though as my perception of their lack of answers b/c of more digging needed is that the outlook is not positive. I am hoping to have an answer from the bile acid test tomorrow but when I asked the tech today (as the vet was in surgery when I picked Jake up) if there was anything I could be told to support any direction of an outlook. On that note has anyone who's pup had liver problems had a ultrasound to figure out what the liver problem is coming from--cancer vs some other kind of disease? Apparently that is the likely next step.
It is so hard b/c it seems that every day he isn't feeling better he is losing a little more of his livliness and desire for life.
In any case I will look for the recommended harness and to answer the thyroid med question and yes his levels are in good shape for thyroid.
Lastly, I have tried posting pics but it always gives me an error..I am sure I am not the only one with a mac so any help for the obviously challanged pc person I am would be great!