How accurate are liver levels tests for my dog?

my 5yr old lab had low thyroid discovered. The vet checked her liver levels, which were fine and put her on thyroid meds. 6 weeks later he rechecked her liver levels and said all was fine. The next day she vomited. It spiraled out of control and after tons of emergency vet work & surgery, she was gone 6 days laterliver disease, they said hepatitus. Liver was "a little small" and firm. Did not show striations.

  • Vetinfo

    By: Erika Raines El Segundo, CA

    Replied on 04/19/2011

    It is difficult for me to provide a satisfactory answer to this question as I am not sure exactly what tests your veterinarian was running in the beginning. Liver tests that measure above normal can be a good measure of liver damage in a dog with early liver disease. As liver disease progresses over months or years, the liver will decrease in size and the amount of enzymes that the liver produces will decrease as well. If the size decreases enough, an abnormal liver can produce the same amount of enzymes as a normal liver. It is very likely that this is what was happening since there was a drastic enough change in liver size that it was able to be noted that it was small. If you want to be more sure, and it is still an option, you can request that your dog be sent to an outside lab for a necropsy to investigate the cause of death.


    -Erika, DVM

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