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Where The Bitches Rule
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10 1/2 year old female seemingly healthy Golden went in in April for a senior checkup. Did senior blood panel, urinalysis and fecal. Fecal and urinalysis came back fine as did her CBC values. On her superchem analysis some of her liver values were elevated and her T4 was "low" -(.8). Xrays did not show anything unusual. Her ALT was around 145 (normal 12-118), Alk Phospfatase (5-131) was around 900. We did an MSU Thyroid panel and put her on milk thistle and SAMe. MSU report came back normal.
Redid blood work in late June, she still acting absolutely normal. ALT climbed to 161, Alk Phos to 2055. Had an ultrasound done and there was a mass detected in/by the liver. It's location would not allow needle biopsy and the surgeon felt it was likely not in a location that she could even do a surgical biopsy. So we continued with the milk thistle and SAMe and I added burdock root and red clover extract on my own after some research.
Earlier this week we again reran the blood work. Her numbers are even higher. ALT 173, Alk Phos 2920 and a couple of others are now also up. GGTP is 33 (normal 1-12) BUN/Creatinine Ratio 33 (normal 4-27), Triglycerides 451 (29-291). Her blood platelet count is also now elevated at 561 (normal 170-400). Again this dog is acting and behaving like a healthy 5 year old not an 11 year old. She also developed a lump on top of her her that we are awaiting the cytology report on.
We suspect it is a type of cancer but the blood work is thankfully quite normal.
Anyone have any other ideas?
 

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I agree that it is likely some form of cancer. FWIW, a family who had a 12.5 year old dog from us recently passed away. His bloodwork was normal and he acted normal right up until the very end. They suspect it was hemangio. The only thing they had noticed at all out of the ordinary was some panting. He had been swimming in the ocean down in Fla the day before they lost him.
 

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Kate
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I'm worried about the tumor on her liver... does the vet think it's causing the elevated numbers?

I'm so sorry you are going through this. I hope this can be managed medically and the tumor is benign.
 

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I don't have any ideas, just good wishes and prayers for you and her.
 

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It does sound like some kind of cancerous mass on the liver, but not necessarily hemangio and not necessarily quick in progression. The changes in liver values are a bit scary. The lump on top may prove diagnostic. If it's cutaneous hemangiosarcoma, you have your answer. If it isn't, you may have something slower in progression.

The blood numbers aren't encouraging, since they're moving quickly and moving in the wrong direction, but they don't necessarily tell the whole tale. Spoil the holy heck out of of her and hope for the best.
 

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In dogs, we usually find if alt is two and one half times normal then it is significant. Alk phos can come from other sources other than the liver: bone and adrenal glands for example. Cushing's disease can cause elevated alk phos and alt. We don't treat Cushing's unless the dog is symptomatic ... I had a similar case with a ten year old schnauzer this Spring. He came in for a routine dental and alt and alk phos were elevated. Put him on denamarin (basically milk thistle and SAM e). Subsequent blood tests show no change... But he doesn't act sick. His owner did not have an ultrasound done as he is not acting sick. If they saw an enlargement on her liver, it could be a tumor. Tumors sometimes are associated with increased alk phos.
 

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It does sound like some kind of cancerous mass on the liver, but not necessarily hemangio and not necessarily quick in progression. The changes in liver values are a bit scary. The lump on top may prove diagnostic. If it's cutaneous hemangiosarcoma, you have your answer. If it isn't, you may have something slower in progression.

The blood numbers aren't encouraging, since they're moving quickly and moving in the wrong direction, but they don't necessarily tell the whole tale. Spoil the holy heck out of of her and hope for the best.

I wanted to clarify that I wasn't saying that your dog had hemangio. That happened to be the case in the dog that I was talking about. My point was that many times, blood levels are normal with RBC, WBC, etc.

Our Bailey who will be 15 next month has a brother who has some kind of a tumor growing near his liver and spleen. However, they found it via u/s almost 9 months ago and he is still acting normally, so sometimes they are very slow growing.
 

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New Mommy
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Isn't Alk phos usually high with bone tumors? Because the cancer is basically dissolving the bone?
 

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Alk phos can be high in many situations.
 

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Several years ago our Golden (about 11) was getting his hips x-rayed, the vet (or nurse) accidentally shot one of his abdomen. The vet read it anyway, saw an enlarged spleen and sent us to an oncologist for the ultrasound after a blood test showed elevated ALT and ALK off the charts. Everyone assumed hemangio, but the US was normal. The dog acted normal, nothing off. As we were preparing to leave the oncologist suggested a Tick Borne Panel, which we did. It came back positive for exposure to RMSF. A round of antibiotics caused the elevations to decrease to just slightly out of normal range. He lived another 2 years, with his death due to hemangiosarcoma.

Just wondering if you've done a TBP to rule out a blood parasite of some sort.

I hope you get answers. Sorry you are dealing with this.
 

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So, so, sorry to hear about this. I had a 9 year old female initially dxed with hepatic nodular hyperplasia when there was a mass on her liver but good CBC. (Later, she turned out to have hemangiosarcoma though. )
 

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Im so sorry to say this..and your situation could be different, but that sounds so much like what happened with my heart girl, Sandy. She was almost 12..Sr bloodwork was fine in Dec. Had 2 seizures in Jan .... had an Xray beginning of Feb and had a large mass on her liver. Our vet thought she had cancer of the livier that moved on to her brain. Fast growing So sad..she started showing signs of pain Feb 14, went on pain meds and we had to say good bye to her Feb 16. I didnt go into alot of detail here but yours sounds so similar I had to post.
I hope it is not cancer.....you and your pup are in my prayers. xxoo
 

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Where The Bitches Rule
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Discussion Starter #14
Thanks for the replies and I do appreciate the suggestions and experiences others have gone thru. I know it is not easy to rehash it.
Guess I did not give all the details. We did run a TBD panel and a Cortisol Serial 2 (ATCH stimulation) Test (for Addison's) back in June also. Both came back normal results.
One of the Doctors at the lab the samples did note that "ALT L not 2x normal don't worry" (at least that is what it looks like it says) so this would jive with what Sally's mom said.
The first needle biopsy we did on the head lump did not get enough cells. We went back and they used a larger needle. We hope to hear back on Tuesday what it shows. We did do an xray of the lump and at this time does not look like it is involving any bone at this time so a good chance to get it all with clean margins if it proves to be a concern. If it is not a high risk growth I may just leave it and not risk "opening" her up or putting her under at this time.
 

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I'm so sorry - I have no insight - but just wanted to say I'm sorry you're going through this - and I hope you get some answers soon.
 
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