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Old 09-27-2008, 12:34 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: Elevated ALT enzymes in bloodwork

I know that your girl's ALT value is alarming since it's so high out of range, but it could just be a matter of mishandling of her blood sample. ALT value can be high if the blood sample is hemolyzed (blood cells ruptured by mishandling of the sample). Here is some additional info on ALT value:

From http://www.felinecrf.org/diagnosis.htm#ALT:
"ALT (Alanine Aminotransferase) or SGPT (serum glutamic-pyruvic transferase)
This is an enzyme which is largely found in muscle, the liver and the brain. It often leaks out of damaged liver cells, so is an indicator of liver disease, although it is sometimes elevated in hyperthyroidism. Cats on methimazole for hyperthyroidism may also have elevated liver enzymes and low white blood cells. ... If a sample is haemolysed, ALT may be elevated."

More info at: http://www.diaglab.vet.cornell.edu/clin ... em/alt.htm

In addition to a more comprehensive liver blood panel, I suggest you request a thyroid test to check for hyperthyroidism. HyperT is much more common in older cats, but it can occur in youngsters like your girl, and it does typically cause significant weight loss until medically controlled or cured.

Please keep us updated on the results of Saturday's tests.

All the best,

Laurie
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Old 09-27-2008, 07:03 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: Elevated ALT enzymes in bloodwork

Lily spent pretty much the whole day at the vet today, I dropped her off at 8:30 this morning and only just picked her up (it's almost 4pm).

They ran a liver panel, x-rays, urinalysis, and a bile panel or something like that to look at her liver function.

The test results should be in Monday/Tuesday, since they are closed on Sundays.

The vet told me that if the bile test came back normal then it would be very good news, because it is possible for ALT values to be elevated even in healthy cats. Supposedly the bile test is the most important when it comes to checking how her liver is doing.

I believe the x-ray was normal, because I don't recall the vet mentioning anything bad about it. I'm a little scatterbrained lately because of this. One of the receptionists told me "she's so sweet. We all love her here." haha

Thank you for keeping my little kitty in your thoughts.
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Old 09-27-2008, 08:46 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: Elevated ALT enzymes in bloodwork

Sending positive thoughts for your kitty.
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Old 09-29-2008, 12:54 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Default Re: Elevated ALT enzymes in bloodwork

I just got Lily's test results back. I'm not sure what to think about it :/

Her ALT levels are down to 1201 which is still super-high but it's almost half of what it was before, which is good I suppose...

One of her other liver enzymes is also slightly elevated - AST which was 121 (normal is up to 100, I think)

The bile acid test determined that her liver isn't functioning normally. I believe in this test they take a sample, then feed her, then take another sample again after she's been fed to see how her liver deals with food. I guess it doesn't deal with the food as well as it should. They also said the liver looks slightly small on the x-ray.

Because she is young, they suggested she could have a shunt which I personally think is unlikely because she has never vomited or had seizures which are 2 big symptoms of a shunt kitty... they gave me the option of referring me to a specialist to do further testing (ultrasounds, dye tests and a bunch of other ridiculous things), or waiting it out for a few weeks and re-testing her to see if she improves.

I'm a full-time student and I work part-time for minimum wage, and I'm trying to save up for my own apartment. I can't afford much more vet expenses right now (this has already cost me upwards of $500). I asked the vet if she thought Lily was in any immediate danger, and she said "no" based upon the way she eats normally, acts normal and hasn't been suffering seizures or vomiting. I have decided to take the conservative approach and start Lily on a special diet for pets with liver disease, and have her re-tested in a few weeks to see if the special diet helps lower her levels any.

If the special diet doesn't help, I guess I have to go to the specialist. I feel better hearing that she isn't in any immediate danger, though.
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Old 10-03-2008, 02:09 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Default Re: Elevated ALT enzymes in bloodwork

I'm curious how ithings are going with Lily?

One of our cats, Bella, also has elevated ALT. She has no symptoms, at least not yet. The ALT was checked in routine bloodwork before a dental cleaning. First it was 210, six weeks later it is now 369, so definitely going in the wrong direction. She was on antibiotics (for gingivitis) before the first test, and again after her teeth were cleaned. I suppose this could confuse things... I even wondered if the antibiotics could cause the problem, but she has been off of them for about 4 weeks.

How is the special diet going?
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Old 10-04-2008, 01:31 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Default Re: Elevated ALT enzymes in bloodwork

Hi! Well, I'm pleased to say that she eats the Hill's Prescription Diet l/d canned food and kibble.

At first she wasn't eating the canned food, but I microwaved it for about 40 seconds or until it was warm. Then I stayed next to her the entire time she was eating, and when she got distracted and walked away from the food bowl I'd remind her about it and coax her into eating more. She will also take food from my fingers very well and I can get her to eat that way sometimes.

I mixed the new l/d dry food in with her old kibble so it's about 50/50 and she munches on that when she's hungry enough :S

As for her levels I am not sure yet, but we are going to have her re-tested in a few weeks to see if the new diet helps. Besides the occasional lack of interest in food, she tends to drink a bit more water than normal (I think), but she hasn't shown any severe symptoms of liver disease / liver failure (vomiting, seizures, etc.) thank goodness. I also found out that one of the house plants my mom had downstairs was Devil's Ivy, which is poisonous if eaten. I highly doubt she ever tried to eat it, but it could explain the weird test results. In any case, the plant has been relocated for her safety.

I am so happy she has been eating lately. It's a huge relief. Unfortunately, I can't seem to get her to take the "Hepato support" supplement. It seems to really turn her off the canned food when I sprinkle it on there. I'm really just glad that she's been eating normally, though!
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Old 11-27-2008, 10:34 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Default Re: Elevated ALT enzymes in bloodwork

Just wanted to post an update for anyone who may be reading this and has the same problem

I have great news... I had suspicions that my vet was ripping me off, so I took Lilith to a new vet and her liver panel came back 100% normal. All of her values are within normal range. Yay!!

The new vet said it was probably a toxin that worked its way out of her system... I went back to the old vet and returned all of that crappy stuff they made me buy. Except they wouldn't take back the $30 bottle of Hepato Support supplements (only 2 are missing, comes with 90 capsules)... if anyone has a kitty with liver problems I would be happy to give it to them, as I don't want it to go to waste.
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Old 04-14-2009, 06:59 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Default Re: Elevated ALT enzymes in bloodwork

Hi,

Is there any more information on elevated liver enzymes available?

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Old 04-14-2009, 12:29 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Default Re: Elevated ALT enzymes in bloodwork

Has your home been tested for Radon?
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Old 04-14-2009, 02:37 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Default Re: Elevated ALT enzymes in bloodwork

Hello - the problem was resolved several months ago. Her liver function is now back to normal and the ALT value is within normal range.

Sorry but I don't know of any more information... the vet suggested that she may have consumed something toxic (such as a human pill), even prior to me adopting her in July, which could have taken months to get out of her system.

Thank you though
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