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Hello everyone,

I'm wondering if anyone has any experience with chronic hepatitis in your dogs? I searched for related posts but most are at least a few years old.

Sperry, age 3 1/2, has not yet been diagnosed, but at this point it is likely. Here is his history:

Thanksgiving 2018, poor appetite and occasional vomiting of bile. We tried the bedtime snack trick, which had worked in the past, but not this time. We tried a bland diet, weaned back onto kibble (hydrolyzed because of constant ear issues), and everything went pretty much back to normal. Vet didn't recommend bloodwork or other treatments. Sperry does have a history of going on a picky-dog hunger strike when he gets a taste of something he loves, so we were usually not worried if he didn't eat for a couple of days. He would always get hungry enough to go back to his dry food.

Around New Year's, he began vomiting multiple times a day, not bile, but undigested food and water. Vet gave fluids, cerenia, switched to bland home cooked diet. This is the first time bloodwork was done. ALT read high at 686. Our vet felt the elevated liver enzymes could have been a symptom of gastric distress and we rechecked a few weeks later when he was feeling better. ALT went down to 178, which in my understanding is high end of normal.

He had been acting normal since then, with the exception of his appetite being a little lackluster. Drinking, playing, just not eating much breakfast. He would usually finish all his food by bedtime and our vet felt that this wasn't cause for too much concern. Fast forward to about three weeks ago, when Sperry began refusing all kibble. We offered rice and lean ground beef (we stay away from chicken because of his chronic ear issues) and he ate it for a few days. Then he refused it. We resorted to canned food, which we hardly ever do and which he has never refused, and no luck. He wouldn't even taste it. We did more bloodwork last week and ALT was way up at 1500! ALP was 394. The vet sent him home with another hydrolyzed food from a different brand and he is somehow, magically, eating it enthusiastically. Hasn't missed a meal in almost a week. I am thrilled with this part.

On Monday we had a consult with a specialist and they elected to do an abdominal ultrasound. They found a small liver, but no other abnormalities. We will do a liver biopsy, hopefully next week, after his blood tests (clotting test) come back. From there, we will work with the specialist to manage treatment for this issue. For now, Sperry is taking Metronidazole, Ursodiol, and Denamarin. He seems to be feeling fine physically, acting like his normal self.

So, does anyone have any experience with this or know someone who does? I have been communicating with Sperry's breeder and she says she has never heard of this in one of her dogs. She has been reaching out to other breeders and the vets she works with and we have gotten a few positive stories and a few sad, scary ones. I adore our regular vet and had a very good meeting with the specialist, but I'm trying to gather as much information as I can. Sperry is only 3 and we have insurance for him, so we are trying to do everything we can to help him live a long, happy life. Thanks for anything you can pass along!
 

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Hello everyone,

I'm wondering if anyone has any experience with chronic hepatitis in your dogs? I searched for related posts but most are at least a few years old.

Sperry, age 3 1/2, has not yet been diagnosed, but at this point it is likely. Here is his history:

Thanksgiving 2018, poor appetite and occasional vomiting of bile. We tried the bedtime snack trick, which had worked in the past, but not this time. We tried a bland diet, weaned back onto kibble (hydrolyzed because of constant ear issues), and everything went pretty much back to normal. Vet didn't recommend bloodwork or other treatments. Sperry does have a history of going on a picky-dog hunger strike when he gets a taste of something he loves, so we were usually not worried if he didn't eat for a couple of days. He would always get hungry enough to go back to his dry food.

Around New Year's, he began vomiting multiple times a day, not bile, but undigested food and water. Vet gave fluids, cerenia, switched to bland home cooked diet. This is the first time bloodwork was done. ALT read high at 686. Our vet felt the elevated liver enzymes could have been a symptom of gastric distress and we rechecked a few weeks later when he was feeling better. ALT went down to 178, which in my understanding is high end of normal.

He had been acting normal since then, with the exception of his appetite being a little lackluster. Drinking, playing, just not eating much breakfast. He would usually finish all his food by bedtime and our vet felt that this wasn't cause for too much concern. Fast forward to about three weeks ago, when Sperry began refusing all kibble. We offered rice and lean ground beef (we stay away from chicken because of his chronic ear issues) and he ate it for a few days. Then he refused it. We resorted to canned food, which we hardly ever do and which he has never refused, and no luck. He wouldn't even taste it. We did more bloodwork last week and ALT was way up at 1500! ALP was 394. The vet sent him home with another hydrolyzed food from a different brand and he is somehow, magically, eating it enthusiastically. Hasn't missed a meal in almost a week. I am thrilled with this part.

On Monday we had a consult with a specialist and they elected to do an abdominal ultrasound. They found a small liver, but no other abnormalities. We will do a liver biopsy, hopefully next week, after his blood tests (clotting test) come back. From there, we will work with the specialist to manage treatment for this issue. For now, Sperry is taking Metronidazole, Ursodiol, and Denamarin. He seems to be feeling fine physically, acting like his normal self.

So, does anyone have any experience with this or know someone who does? I have been communicating with Sperry's breeder and she says she has never heard of this in one of her dogs. She has been reaching out to other breeders and the vets she works with and we have gotten a few positive stories and a few sad, scary ones. I adore our regular vet and had a very good meeting with the specialist, but I'm trying to gather as much information as I can. Sperry is only 3 and we have insurance for him, so we are trying to do everything we can to help him live a long, happy life. Thanks for anything you can pass along!
Hi, I realize this post is over a year old. But we have a young, male, standard poodle we suspect may also have chronic hepatitis. Would love to hear how Sperry is doing, and compare notes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hi, I realize this post is over a year old. But we have a young, male, standard poodle we suspect may also have chronic hepatitis. Would love to hear how Sperry is doing, and compare notes.
Hi there! I am so sorry your boy may be going through this. It can be really scary! Sperry is actually doing really well. The liver biopsy did confirm CAH, the idiopathic type that we think is probably autoimmune. So he will be on meds and a strict diet for the rest of his life. The good news is that he has continued to do really well on his medications. We haven't changed them since last year and he has been really stable. He takes Ursodiol which we get from the human pharmacy. It helps flush the liver and mediate the GI and bile systems. Basically keeps the liver functioning normally. He also takes Denamarin which is an antioxidant supplement. My understanding is that it helps the healthy liver tissues with regeneration and helps keep liver cells from dying so quickly. I guess when they find a small liver, that usually means that there has been too much cell death and not enough regrowth, so it shrinks. This combo has kept him very stable for over a year now!
Sperry also had existing issues with chronic ear infections, breakouts of patches of staph infections, and bouts of upset stomach. We now think this all may be autoimmune related, but there still may be a possibility of allergies (our original thought, before the liver was an issue). Because of this, he eats hypoallergenic food that is also really easy on his stomach. He gets treats from the same formula but zero other treats or snacks. Seems extreme but he doesn't seem to know what he's missing and it has kept his whole system happier, healthier, and more predictable.
I sure hope you are able to find some answers for your poodle. It's so hard to see them struggle. Don't hesitate to ask if you have any more questions, and I'd be happy to connect you and your vet with our vet if you'd like.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I forgot to add that we will monitor bloodwork forever, but we are down in frequency now from every month, then we went to every three, now we're at every six months. His ALT levels continue to be very stable and within totally normal range. Sperry acts like a totally normal dog, active and happy. I am SO grateful that we figured this out and that he's responded as well as he has.
 

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I forgot to add that we will monitor bloodwork forever, but we are down in frequency now from every month, then we went to every three, now we're at every six months. His ALT levels continue to be very stable and within totally normal range. Sperry acts like a totally normal dog, active and happy. I am SO grateful that we figured this out and that he's responded as well as he has.
Thanks very much for your reply. Our puppy, Bambi, is fighting for his life right now. Long story short, he contracted Giardia and was put on medication for that. 10 days into the medication he went into liver failure. The meds should not have done that to him, this is why I’m speculating he has a pre existing liver condition. It’s very frustrating because the emergency vet believes he ingested some kind of toxin from the environment, but since he came down with Giardia 2 weeks ago he hasn’t been anywhere he could pick something like that up. If he pulls through, I’ll be looking at chronic hepatitis and pursuing diagnosis. But, he has to pull through this assault on his liver he’s experiencing right now first. He’s on liver support supplements, vitamin k and has had one plasma transfusion (he may get another tonight). Positive thoughts and prayers would be so appreciated.
 

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My thoughts are with you. Poppy was desperately ill with acute liver failure earlier in the year. She came through, but has permanent liver damage. With special diet, supplements, steroids and other drugs she is doing well. Perhaps if you start a new thread about Bambi more people will see it, and be able to offer support.
 
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Echoing FJM. A new thread may get more traction. I am so very sorry to hear what you and Bambi are going through.
 

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Thanks very much for your reply. Our puppy, Bambi, is fighting for his life right now. Long story short, he contracted Giardia and was put on medication for that. 10 days into the medication he went into liver failure. The meds should not have done that to him, this is why I’m speculating he has a pre existing liver condition. It’s very frustrating because the emergency vet believes he ingested some kind of toxin from the environment, but since he came down with Giardia 2 weeks ago he hasn’t been anywhere he could pick something like that up. If he pulls through, I’ll be looking at chronic hepatitis and pursuing diagnosis. But, he has to pull through this assault on his liver he’s experiencing right now first. He’s on liver support supplements, vitamin k and has had one plasma transfusion (he may get another tonight). Positive thoughts and prayers would be so appreciated.
I am so, so sorry for what you're going through with Bambi. What a heartbreaking and complicated situation. I'll be thinking of him and you, and really hope he pulls through. This is a different scenario to what we went through with Sperry, but please let me know if you think I might be able to help. Hugs to you and sweet Bambi (I loooove his name).
 
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