Low Liver Enzymes in Dogs

One of the most important and easily recognizable symptoms of liver failure and other types of liver disease in dogs is low liver enzymes. These enzymes are responsible for many crucial parts of the liver function.

The liver is an organ that works constantly to detoxify certain chemicals and other toxic ingredients that float through your pet's blood stream for one reason or another. If the levels of these helpful liver enzymes are too low, your dog's liver will not be able to accomplish the various tasks that it is designed to do, and you'll run into major problems for your pet's health.

Types of Liver Enzymes that Can Be Low

There are four primary liver enzymes that operate in your dog's body. These are abbreviated from longer scientific names to be ALT, AST, ALP and GGT. Each of these four enzymes serves a different function, and they can cause different problems to your pet's liver function if they are out of balance with one another and relative to the amount of toxic material that passes through your pet's liver.

It's possible, based on certain conditions, that one or some of these enzymes may be out of alignment and out of balance, while others might be properly balanced instead. The disturbance of the levels of any of these four enzymes will require that you adjust your pet's liver enzyme levels through other methods, or else his liver function will be dramatically impaired.

How to Determine If Your Dog Has Low Liver Enzyme Levels

There are a few different tests that can be done in order to determine if your pet has low liver enzyme levels. The most common of these tests is a blood test. In a standard blood test, your vet will take a small sample of blood from your dog and will send it to the lab for analysis.

At the lab, scientists will examine the blood and run tests on it in order to determine the levels of those four liver enzymes. Comparing the levels against healthy levels for your pet based on his age, breed, gender and other health conditions, you'll be able to tell if he has low liver enzymes and potential liver problems.

Treating Low Liver Enzyme Levels

It's possible to help remedy your pet's liver enzyme levels in certain ways. First, you can help to give him a different diet in order to keep his liver enzymes working properly. Liver healthy diets typically have low levels of phosphorous and may have different types of fiber and protein from normal diets.

You can also give him supplements that can help to stimulate liver enzyme production as well. A variety of other treatment methods may be available, depending upon the exact cause of your pet's low liver enzyme levels, so it's important to continue to work with your vet in order to find the best way to manage your dog's condition.