Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Senior Wellness Exams-Ping and her Liver

Last week Ping and Tubby had their senior wellness exams.  We do them every six months and they get their blood work checked and get looked at for lumps and bumps and any problems.  Once a year we also get their thyroid checked.   

Thankfully Tubby

is looking good and his blood work is perfect.  He even withstood the indignities of a prostate exam since the vet said it was an important for an "old man." (I still cant think of Tubby as an old man even though he will be 11 in March.)


did less stellar.   Unfortunately her blood work showed slightly elevated liver enzymes.  It was only a slight elevalation of about 2 points above normal, but I am a worry wort.  Ping's vet recommended we just try some supplements for now (Marin and Denosyl).  The supplements are a bit pricey, coming to about seventy dollars a month!  (Imagine what it would cost for a large dog, Ping only weights 14 lbs!).   The worst part though is that Ping needs to take the Denosyl an hour before eating and on an empty stomach!  So now she has to wait an hour for breakfast, as do the other hounds since we have to be fair.   This is definitely taking some getting used to and the collective opionions seems to be that by 6:30 am starvation is setting in.  As a slight plus, Ping does get to take her Denosyl in peanut butter and she loves her PB.

Ping gets her blood work checked again in 6 months and if nothing has worsened we will just continue with the supplements.  If anything gets worse we may do an ultrasound of the liver but I am hoping that wont be necessary.  Ping is 8, will be 9 in May, which I don't consider too old.  John and I see her as about middle aged.  If anyone in blog ville has any tips about a healthy diet for the liver I would love to hear them.   Ping eats honest kitchen grain free and grain free kibbles and our vet seems to think that is fine, but Im a nervous nelly!


  1. We sure hopes dat Ping's new supplement helps her. Boxer puppy prayers is on da way. Grain free food is what we eat and our mom is picky 'bout so maybe it is ok to stick with it if you trust your vet then no worries. :)

    Woofs and Licks,
    Maggie Mae and Max

  2. Sure hope those supplements work. We are keeping our paws crossed. Otherwise you two look great. Kudos to momma for getting you all the check ups
    Benny & Lily

  3. Grain-free, dehydrated raw is one of the best diets you can offer. Sure, you could home-cook or switch to raw, but that is a HUGE undertaking. Honest Kitchen is a great product. I honestly wouldn't change a thing!

    Now, if you wanted to try and support the liver, you could supplement with a water soluble vitamin E supplement and milk thistle. Vitamin E is a good all-around antioxidant which can help to keep liver damage at bay. Milk Thistle helps to control & round up free radicals in the body and it helps to detox the liver of any icky stuff. I'd definitely consider using it if one of my own dogs were facing liver or kidney issues, or if they were taking drugs for other conditions. Feel better Ping!

  4. Our vet recommended milk thistle for liver issues, too. And she's much more Western medicine. I found this old newsletter about liver issues in dogs. Maybe you can get more information from it.

    Good luck and hope no one faints from starvation in the mornings!

  5. Glad to hear Tubby's tests went well. I haven't had a prostate exam yet but I had to get a catheder a couple months ago which was probably equally as humiliating! My dad joked that pretty soon I'll have to go on "FLO MAX" like his dad. Oy!

    Sorry to hear Ping's test weren't as positive. I've had many different issues but nothing with the liver so I'm sorry I don't have any recommendations. Might I suggest more treats? Can't hurt, right? :)

    And what is this about your parents delaying breakfast?! I would not stand for that! I think you guys need to stage a coup.


  6. Good for you Tubby. Sorry about the prostrate exam. doesn't sound fun.

    We also hear that Milk Thistle is good for liver and kidneys. WE used it with sweet Tristy when she showed some similar signs.

    She is doing better now and is off all meds.

    She is about 14 but bigger than Ping. Much Much Bigger.


  7. A pretty good report card I say. I am sure that the new pill taking routine will become easier once you get into the swing of it. Winston just had his Geriatric Exam at the beginning of Dec. He will be 10 in a few weeks. It frightens me to hear the number 10! He had the full blood panel work etc. and came out with nothing except a little weight loss needed. Because we have been relatively healthy I can't offer any advice on liver concerns or any other "senior" issues. But I am always willing to read other's feed back because one day you may find yourself needing help and advice on such matters.

    Crossing fingers that the check up in 6 months will be stable with no changes.

  8. I only wish I had known all of the poochie blogs out there when our Annie was alive. Such support and such helpful advice. I could have asked so many questions of skin issues that she had for so many years..ah well.

    It is always a relief to have reports like the blood workup to help make the decisions of medications. I loved the last photo of Ping in the sweet checkered basket...

  9. I hope Ping gets used to eating a bit later and that all of her levels even out! We will be thinking of her. And we love that picture of her in the basket!

  10. Thanks for all the advice. The supplement Ping is on has vitamin E but I am going to start giving her milk thistle

  11. I think diet-wise you are in great shape. As you know, the pups and kitties here are on prey model raw but we do use Honest Kitchen when we travel, and it's one of the few commercial products I feel really comfortable and secure about. I would second the milk thistle advice - but other than that I can't think of anything off the top of my head. We will be crossing paws that Ping's next checkup shows improvement!

  12. I love that picture of Ping in the basket. Hopefully everything will turn out fine at her next appointment. Obviously you are stellar parents and take such good care of your fur babies!

  13. I just love that picture of Ping in the basket. Momma oohs and awwws every time you post it. She thinks you should enter it in a contest. I swear - I am going to end up in a basket one day. Hopefully, I will look as cute as Ping.

    I can't offer up any advice about the liver issues but I think everyone here has provided great guidance. Kiss Ping for me and tell Tubby congrats on the great bill of health.


  14. My friend's pug had a liver shunt, and I learned a bit about her diet. She did fresh apples, peeled and cored for snacks or organic plain low-fat yogurt. Very low protein diet with steamed broccoli, carrots, sweet potato and gluten free rice. Sorry we can't help more. Hopefully the supplements will really help Ping.


  15. Tubman! That is a AWESOME cap.

    Me? I like my John Deere cap.