Bad Liver

This is the place for general questions about drugs, long-term treatment concerns, possible influences of other drugs (such as antibiotics, heartworm preventatives, or anesthetics) for epileptic dogs, and other concerns. Please note that we cannot make specific recommendations for individual dogs - for this, please consult your veterinarian.

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High_Voltage_Head
Posts: 193
Joined: Thu Jan 25, 2007 10:00 pm
Location: Minnesota

Bad Liver

Post by High_Voltage_Head » Mon Dec 31, 2007 11:17 pm

Jackson's liver has gone bad, almost certainly from the phenobarb. I started reducing his Pb dose 4 days ago and he's probably going to need to get off it completely pretty fast, but we'll see how the bile acid tests look as we go along. Scary! But this is my chance to see if the Keppra will work better by itself (at an increased dose) than it did in combo with other drugs. I'm hoping anyway. I might be delusional but i still feel like i can get this thing under control and turn him into a healthy dog. I see '08 as being the year of his big turnaround.

Oh, and there's some really good news....his pneumonia and megaesophagus have both cleared up and disappeared from the xrays, so we're winning our battles with these little brush fires that pop up occasionally. Happy new year to all.
Me: Kurt
Dog: Jackson the 6 y.o. Standard Poodle 55lbs
died March '08

skrpio
Posts: 1143
Joined: Sun Sep 25, 2005 5:34 pm
Location: Auckland , New Zealand

Post by skrpio » Tue Jan 01, 2008 4:48 am

What rotten news. How long has Jackson been on PB? His dose seems rather high for his body weight though.
Yes - be positive for 2008 - it will be a better year for him.
Jane
In loving memory of my special KiKi Bean
Seizure free forever now
Nov 25th 2002 - Nov 1st 2006
Dogue De Bordeaux

MK's mom
Posts: 1708
Joined: Wed Mar 01, 2006 9:48 am
Location: Michigan

Post by MK's mom » Tue Jan 01, 2008 9:10 am

Kurt,

That sucks. I admire your positive attitude, many other people would never have hung on this long.

Do you think the MegaE is getting better because you cut out the KBr? I didn't know MegaE could go away, that's great to know. Maybe Jackson is one of those guys that is getting too much medication, you suspected this already, didn't you?

Here's hoping all our dogs will do better in 2008!!!!!

Vivian
Nathan
3.5 yo Irish Setter boy
First seizure 7/26/2013
Last seizure 3/24/2014
__________________________________
MK
5 yo Irish Setter boy
First seizure 1/25/06
Last seizure 9/4/2009

Aug 17, 2004- Sept. 22, 2009
May the shamrocks fall softly sweetpea

High_Voltage_Head
Posts: 193
Joined: Thu Jan 25, 2007 10:00 pm
Location: Minnesota

Post by High_Voltage_Head » Tue Jan 01, 2008 11:01 am

Jane, he's been on Pb about 2.5 years and yes, it's a much higher dose than most dogs get so this liver problem doesn't come as a big surprise to me. It does point out the importance of getting frequent blood tests (including bile acids) so that any liver issues can be caught as early as possible. His levels skyrocketed in the past month. The pre and post levels were elevated one month ago at 20 and 57 (should be less than 6 and 15). Last week they had both gone up to over 100! So things can get worse very fast.

Vivian, the megaE is a mystery to me. It has come and gone twice now but he really had a mild case of it compared to what i read on the megaE lists. I originally thought it was caused by the KBr, but we quit KBr in July and then the megaE came back in November so i don't know.

And yes, i think he might do better with fewer drugs. Taking him off KBr was no problem at all, in fact his seizures are a bit less frequent without it. So i'm hoping the same thing happens without Pb, but i'm nervous about it. There's just no choice. He will surely die of liver failure if i don't take him off the Pb, and the neuro thinks there's a decent chance for the liver to regenerate if we stop the Pb fast.

Anyone who knows me would choke if they ever heard me described as an optimist, but for some reason i still strongly believe this dog can be saved.
Me: Kurt
Dog: Jackson the 6 y.o. Standard Poodle 55lbs
died March '08

MK's mom
Posts: 1708
Joined: Wed Mar 01, 2006 9:48 am
Location: Michigan

Post by MK's mom » Tue Jan 01, 2008 11:41 am

Jackson is so lucky to have a Dad like you that won't give up on him.

V
Nathan
3.5 yo Irish Setter boy
First seizure 7/26/2013
Last seizure 3/24/2014
__________________________________
MK
5 yo Irish Setter boy
First seizure 1/25/06
Last seizure 9/4/2009

Aug 17, 2004- Sept. 22, 2009
May the shamrocks fall softly sweetpea

Bethelonia
Posts: 32
Joined: Sat Dec 01, 2007 9:11 pm
Location: Virginia

Post by Bethelonia » Tue Jan 01, 2008 2:16 pm

You and Jackson are in my prayers today, I'm so glad you found out about the liver damage early. Here's hoping for a great '08.

Beth
TJ: JRT born on 9-11-01. Genetic neuro disorders including seizures, first one at 5 mo., after that many clusters, may she Rest In Peace, PTS on 12/31/07.
KC: 8 mo. golden lab/terrier who is lost without her best buddy.

MK's mom
Posts: 1708
Joined: Wed Mar 01, 2006 9:48 am
Location: Michigan

Post by MK's mom » Tue Jan 01, 2008 3:54 pm

Kurt,

Is it too late to try the milk thistle? I don't know anything about it, but I know some of the folks on here use it, so maybe they know if it's beneficial at this point.

Vivian
Nathan
3.5 yo Irish Setter boy
First seizure 7/26/2013
Last seizure 3/24/2014
__________________________________
MK
5 yo Irish Setter boy
First seizure 1/25/06
Last seizure 9/4/2009

Aug 17, 2004- Sept. 22, 2009
May the shamrocks fall softly sweetpea

lovemypups
Posts: 438
Joined: Mon Aug 22, 2005 9:08 pm
Location: KY

Post by lovemypups » Tue Jan 01, 2008 7:27 pm

Kurt,
Sending many thougths and prayers for Jackson. I hope he will improve, to much sadness in 07, so come on Jackson, hang in there fellow and let's show them you can do this! I will be thinking of you both and please keep us posted.
Debbie
Angel Casey
05/03/04-10/24/07
and his non epi sister Callie

adajadesmom
Posts: 104
Joined: Wed Nov 21, 2007 12:28 pm

Post by adajadesmom » Wed Jan 02, 2008 10:31 am

Kurt,
My healthful wishes to you and Jackson. I hope his liver has a quick turn around and becomes healthy again. I also wish you the best with the Keppra.
Keep up the good work. You're a good dad.
Cathy~

Melissa and Raven
Posts: 68
Joined: Mon Oct 22, 2007 8:10 pm
Location: Barrie Ontario
Contact:

Post by Melissa and Raven » Fri Jan 04, 2008 9:25 am

Kurt and Jackson...
Raven and I are sending you good thoughts.
My then 11 year old cat (he's 13 now) had liver failure from his meds when he got blastimycosis (sp?) and we treated him with Milk Thistle...worked wonders. You can obtain it at any health food store and on-line without a prescription. Hopefully this will work for Jackson...it seems to work quickly.
Keep us posted please.

Nancy Antoniak
Posts: 19
Joined: Sat Dec 22, 2007 12:20 pm

Keppra

Post by Nancy Antoniak » Fri Jan 04, 2008 2:31 pm

We tried Keppra on Trucker. He could not handle it. It made him very lethargic, I mean to the point of falling over. It also cost me $300.00 for a months supply. Unfortunately, I could not return the unused medicine.
I hope you have better luck!

High_Voltage_Head
Posts: 193
Joined: Thu Jan 25, 2007 10:00 pm
Location: Minnesota

Post by High_Voltage_Head » Fri Jan 04, 2008 11:25 pm

Thanks all for the nice thoughts. He's on Denamarin, which is a combo of milk thistle and samE, or is it SAMe, i can never remember. Not sure if it's a complete waste of money or not. All i know is that his liver got a whole lot worse since he's been on it, not that that means anything.

Nancy, that's the first time i've ever heard of Keppra causing any side effects whatsoever. That's one of it's big selling points. He's been on it for a long time and it hasn't done much, but we're increasing the dose now.

(maybe keppra causes licking?)
Me: Kurt
Dog: Jackson the 6 y.o. Standard Poodle 55lbs
died March '08

Mandypop
Posts: 238
Joined: Wed Oct 25, 2006 9:29 am
Location: London, UK

Post by Mandypop » Mon Jan 07, 2008 6:26 am

Kurt

Just to say that hope all goes well with reducing Jackson's Pb, he's sure been through a lot.

Keeping everything crossed that 2008 will be a good year for you both.

Mandy & Poppy
Poppy - 9 year old whippet/greyhound (20 kg)

First seizure- 17th Oct 2006
Last seizure - 17th Nov 2009

90mg Pb twice daily
320mg KBr daily

High_Voltage_Head
Posts: 193
Joined: Thu Jan 25, 2007 10:00 pm
Location: Minnesota

Post by High_Voltage_Head » Tue Jan 15, 2008 9:18 pm

I have good news! This dog of mine apparently has nine lives. We retested his bile acids and the results now say his liver is almost normal. It's incredible how much better it got in a couple weeks on a lower dose of Pb. I got as far as cutting his Pb dose in half, and we're going to leave it there for a month and then retest again.

The Pb withdrawal has been scary but it's gone fairly well. He is having a few more seizures but it's better than dying from a bad liver. The weird thing is that the seizures themselves are the same as ever but the post-ictal is worse on the lower Pb dose. I have got to build this guy a rubber room.
Me: Kurt
Dog: Jackson the 6 y.o. Standard Poodle 55lbs
died March '08

MK's mom
Posts: 1708
Joined: Wed Mar 01, 2006 9:48 am
Location: Michigan

Post by MK's mom » Wed Jan 16, 2008 7:48 am

That's good news! do you think the liver cleansing potions have helped Jackson?

Those post ictals are the worse. I find them to be more stressful on MK and ME than the actual seizures.

Congrats on getting some good news for a change.

Vivian
Nathan
3.5 yo Irish Setter boy
First seizure 7/26/2013
Last seizure 3/24/2014
__________________________________
MK
5 yo Irish Setter boy
First seizure 1/25/06
Last seizure 9/4/2009

Aug 17, 2004- Sept. 22, 2009
May the shamrocks fall softly sweetpea

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