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Elevated liver level?

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
Hi Everyone,
I have a 1.5 year old cat (he is a purebred Exotic Shorthair) and he recently had some routine blood work done and it turned out he has slightly higher then normal ALT, which is a liver enzyme. It isn't off the charts or anything, but it is about 10 points higher then "normal" range.

Our vet did a round of antibiotics to make sure that it wasn't an infection causing the problem but the follow up blood work proved that the levels hadn't changed. Now the vet is recommending a 6 month round of Denamarin to see if that helps lower the level...my only trepidation with this is there a more holistic way of treating this? This cat is very young and I would hate to start pilling him every day for the rest of his life. Also, I'm wondering (for anyone who has an Exotic or a persian) if this is perhaps a known health issue with the breed and slightly higher ALT is "normal" for them?

Thanks for any help.
post #2 of 10
When you read here
http://www.vetinfo.com/cblood.html

you'll find the following:

Quote:
........but there are also lots of times when the ALT rises for no apparent reason and then is normal on testing after a week to a month or so.
Quote:
Some pets have persistently elevated ALT values with no evidence of liver disease by symptoms, physical exam, X-rays or ultrasound exam and no decrease in liver function on bile acid response testing. It is reasonable in these pets to monitor ALT (and a serum chemistry panel) on some reasonable schedule, like every 3 to 6 months, just to be sure that a disease process doesn't become evident over time.
I'd just like to ask you, are you absolutely sure, positive, your kitty is feeling perfectly well? Appetite, digestion, drinking, urination, all completely normal?
No sign of increased thirst at all?
post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 
Thank you so much for the link, this was exactly the type of thing I was looking for!

As far as his appetite and behavior goes, absolutely nothing has changed...he has just as much energy as he ever has and the amount he drinks and eats hasn't changed either.

I think I'll speak to my vet about perhaps waiting 3 months and then doing another blood test then to see how the levels are then. I would just hate to overmedicate him...

Thanks again.
post #4 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by SlovakSalony View Post
Now the vet is recommending a 6 month round of Denamarin to see if that helps lower the level...my only trepidation with this is there a more holistic way of treating this?

...I'll speak to my vet about perhaps waiting 3 months and then doing another blood test then to see how the levels are then. I would just hate to overmedicate him...
You seem to be equating Denamarin with a traditional "medication"....in reality, you'd be hard-pressed to find anything more holistic!

Denamarin is SAMe and silybin.

Were he my cat, I'd not be idly waiting three months.

I'll send you a link from "elsewhere" where the in-house Vet speaks about these supplements.
post #5 of 10
I have to agree with Blaise ... I have a dog with liver issues and I am doing the holistic thing with her 2 plus yrs now.. I have had a bad experience with one part of that drug with my dog.Prior to using ANY supplement please consult another vet.. 10pts is worth another vet takeing a look as that can = stress just prior to the test ( had a YOUNG cat test that way consulted three vets after mine said stress , all the other 3 also said stress
post #6 of 10
Stress might be one possibility, so I would also take a look at the blood glucose level they got at the time they did that test. I would also double check on the results of that blood work by either asking the vet to send a blood sample to another lab, or taking kitty to another vet who is using a different lab. Labs can and do make mistakes, so it's important to double check on the results they come up with when the results show (possible) health problems. (I'm saying this from experience with my own cats.)

And, just as a precaution, I would like to ask SlovakSalony, has kitty been on any medication or nutritional supplement? Is kitty eating a commercial diet or some other kind of diet? ALT can become elevated on certain diets (homemade or commercial) so ruling out the possibility of medication, supplement or diet causing a health problem would also be important in this situation.
post #7 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Violet View Post
Stress might be one possibility, so I would also take a look at the blood glucose level they got at the time they did that test. I would also double check on the results of that blood work by either asking the vet to send a blood sample to another lab, or taking kitty to another vet who is using a different lab. Labs can and do make mistakes, so it's important to double check on the results they come up with when the results show (possible) health problems. (I'm saying this from experience with my own cats.)

And, just as a precaution, I would like to ask SlovakSalony, has kitty been on any medication or nutritional supplement? Is kitty eating a commercial diet or some other kind of diet? ALT can become elevated on certain diets (homemade or commercial) so ruling out the possibility of medication, supplement or diet causing a health problem would also be important in this situation.
Very true ... My homemade/ raw animals do have differing results due to diet ( the "stress" cat only ate two homemade or raw meals a week at that pt but it was enough to knock a few numbers out of range ).... Very IMPORTANT reminder on labs not being perfect I recently had to do a blood test three times cause once lab lost :rollseyes: , second came back crazy ( ie not the right Species) and the last one came back finally correct
post #8 of 10
I'm sure this has been said already but I don't have time to read the replies right now.
You Denamarin is baisically Milk Thistle extract. You can use people pills of milk thistle in the same dosage as the Denamarin and it will have the same effect. It's also much less expensive. I just went through hepatic lipidosis with two of my cats so I'm very familiar with this and my vet was aware that I was using MT instead of the Denamarin and said it was fine. Also since milk thistle is holistic it is not going to cause harm to your cat, for example, if his liver is fine and there was an error with the bloodwork, it wont hurt him even if he doesnt need it.
post #9 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by MonaxLisa View Post
I'm sure this has been said already but I don't have time to read the replies right now.
You Denamarin is baisically Milk Thistle extract. You can use people pills of milk thistle in the same dosage as the Denamarin and it will have the same effect. It's also much less expensive. I just went through hepatic lipidosis with two of my cats so I'm very familiar with this and my vet was aware that I was using MT instead of the Denamarin and said it was fine. Also since milk thistle is holistic it is not going to cause harm to your cat, for example, if his liver is fine and there was an error with the bloodwork, it wont hurt him even if he doesnt need it.
I will argue the no harm thing... Holistic is less likely but allergies and other reactions can and DO happen... It can HURT, so double check
post #10 of 10
Thread Starter 
Wow, I was not able to follow up on this thread this weekend so I'm surprised just how many replies I got! I want to thank everyone for the information!

My cat eats Hills Z/D hypoallergenic prescription food...my tortie has really bad allergies so both cats get the same food since they tend to eat out of each others dishes.

It's interesting that stress was brought up; I've had my exotic for just over a year and since day 1 he has been very skittish. We introduced him over the course of a couple weeks to our resident cat when we got him, and while they aren't best friends she tolerates him although she is certainly the dominant one so that may be a cause of some stress. Also, he is very very skittish about my roommate...he is pretty good with me (I put down the food) but he also isn't what I would call a "lap cat" either. Any pointers on how to perhaps destress him a bit?

I've got a lot of data through, but I'm happy to hear that it looks like I can give him milk thistle/SAMe and get the same results.

Thanks again!
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