Yesterday…today… it’s all starting to look the same to me!

I am currently waiting for more news on Daisy and also waiting for text and photos to come in for some the dogs of the frequent posters on the Dog Liver Shunt and Disease (DLD) Group. In the meantime, you really have to see this picture of Shaili.

Kelly, the mom of Shaili (pronouced “shay-lee”) also sent me some info on her little athlete to go with the action photo of her below. Apparently she is at the top of her breed in agility which is pretty cool.

Shaili goes for it!

Shaili goes for it!

Kelly and Shaili are new members on the DLD group since Shaili’s recent blood work came back with some high Blie Acid Test (BAT) numbers and high ALT (Alanine aminotransferase).

“But what does this mean”, you ask. Well, I’m going to have to explain in another post. I did the research to find explanations in plain english, but then the post ended up being way too long, so just know for now that the results indicate that the liver isn’t fully functioning properly due to damage or dimished capacity.

I promise to post more info using Shaili’s stats, but I don’t have it in me right now.

Kelly wrote in her email to me that they rescued Shaili from “a less than ideal situation” and shares with us Shaili’s other health conditions as well as the agility work and play they have, and still do, enjoy together:

“[Shaili] is my “heart” dog and incredibly special to me. She has had her share of medical issues including luxating patella surgery, tooth extractions, Mast Cell tumor removals and severe hip dysplasia. However, she has always been a busy little thing, so I decided to try agility with her back in 2000, and she has since earned 100 agility titles (including several Championship Titles) in multiple agility organizations.

I tell her I love her every day and we will still play agility as long as she feels good. So far she has just been diagnosed with high ALT and elevated Biles Acid, so we are taking it day by day …we are cautiously optimistic that she will be OK and with us for many more years!!”

Kelly is understandably confused, because even after receiving the results from the Bile Acid Test (BAT), she doesn’t know exactly what is wrong with Shaili’s liver. From what I can tell from the reading I have done, the test does indicate liver disease but is not enough to show how severe it is, exactly what kind of liver disease it is, and what the prognosis is. Shaili is getting an ultrasound next week. If another step is needed after that it is often a liver biopsy.

Although Kelly reports that Shaili “is acting completely normal, great appetite, very active, doing all her normal stuff,” the symptoms may not express themselves until the condition worsens. The good news is that Kelly may have caught the disease in a relatively early stage and can manage the condition with the help of the DLD group so that it doesn’t get worse, and may even improve her liver functioning by putting less of a load on it with proper diet and supplements.

The reason the BAT was done was probably because her bilirubin count was normal. Mike Richards, DVM, states on his web site that “When there is reason to be suspicious of liver disease but bilirubin levels are normal or close to normal, then bile acid testing can be very useful since it is a more sensitive indicator of diminished liver capacity.” Will have to define “bilirubin” later too! ( Tests for Liver Disease in Dogs)

I hope everyone enjoyed meeting Shaili and learned a little bit more about liver disease in dogs.