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Low albumin level

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9 replies to this topic

#1
willwork4shoes

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My 9-year-old female Chinese Crested (Hairy) Hairless, Lamb, has hypoalbuminemia (low albumin levels). I was wondering if anybody has any experience with this. We have done fecal testing and various lab work, and it is unlikely that GI disease is the cause of the low albumin. Urinalysis shows no protein present...we have ruled out liver or kidneys being the problem.Just wanted to see if anyone else has a dog with low albumin and perhaps if there have been any diagnoses relating to it. FYI, Lamb's levels are persistently around 1.5.Thanks!Dorothy

#2
Laura

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Yes, my dog Louie had low protein associated with intestinal lymphangiectasia. It can be very serious. What GI workups have you done? The only way to diagnose that particular disease (or distinguish it from other intestinal diseases that rob protein) is to do a biopsy via endoscopy. Unfortunately it's rather rare, and so many vets will not think of it during a diagnostic workup; it took us six months and several vets to finally get him diagnosed. It's important to know about this disease, however, because outcomes are better with early diagnosis and treatment. How long has Lamb had this problem? What diseases have been ruled out?

#3
willwork4shoes

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Yes, my dog Louie had low protein associated with intestinal lymphangiectasia. It can be very serious. What GI workups have you done? The only way to diagnose that particular disease (or distinguish it from other intestinal diseases that rob protein) is to do a biopsy via endoscopy. Unfortunately it's rather rare, and so many vets will not think of it during a diagnostic workup; it took us six months and several vets to finally get him diagnosed. It's important to know about this disease, however, because outcomes are better with early diagnosis and treatment. How long has Lamb had this problem? What diseases have been ruled out?

Laura, I don't know how I missed your response! An update on Lamb: we are still not 100% sure what's wrong with her. She has had persistent diarrhea and occasional vomiting along with weight loss. We ruled out atypical Addison's Disease. Her albumin and B12 are quite low, which the doctor says is consistent with primary GI disease. However, we are hesitant to do a biopsy due to her heart murmur. The doctor has suggested B12 supplementation (injectable), continuing with her hypoallergenic diet, and then the option of some type of steroid (Dexamethasone) to control her GI tract along with antibiotics, or antibiotics (Cyclosporine) alone, since I am hesitant to do steroids because of her heart. 



#4
Laura

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Please check out our website at http://www.louiethelovemuffin.com and you will learn more about lymphangiectasia.  Diet can be a key factor in treatment, but steroids are almost always indicated, as well.  Protein loss can be due to IBD or lymphangiectasia but it is not uncommon to find that they happen together and need to be treated together-- this was the case with Louie.  

 

I had to feed him an ultra low fat diet.  Even the smallest amounts of fat would make him sick.  I'd suggest, if you can't do the biopsy, that you try something like low-fat cottage cheese with white or sweet potatoes for a week, to see if that makes a difference.  If it is lymphangiectasia you need to almost eliminate fat entirely to see an improvement.  The commercial hypoallergenic diets have way too much fat in them to treat that disease.  If she improves on an ultra low fat diet then it's likely lymphangiectasia and you'll need to do more dietary tweaks.  I'd also strongly suggest accepting the steroid treatment as it's quite critical to get the intestinal inflammation down.  


If life hands you melons, you're probably dyslexic. http://www.facebook....ethelovemuffin/http://www.louiethelovemuffin.com/LaxPi.gif


#5
willwork4shoes

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Thanks, I will ask my doctor about the possibility of lymphangiectasia. Luckily I work for a specialty vet hospital, so I am working closely with an Internist. We will consider the steroids as a last resort, but with the high possibility of heart failure, I'd rather try the antibiotics alone first. I will look at the website. Thanks!

Dorothy

Please check out our website at http://www.louiethelovemuffin.com and you will learn more about lymphangiectasia.  Diet can be a key factor in treatment, but steroids are almost always indicated, as well.  Protein loss can be due to IBD or lymphangiectasia but it is not uncommon to find that they happen together and need to be treated together-- this was the case with Louie.  
 
I had to feed him an ultra low fat diet.  Even the smallest amounts of fat would make him sick.  I'd suggest, if you can't do the biopsy, that you try something like low-fat cottage cheese with white or sweet potatoes for a week, to see if that makes a difference.  If it is lymphangiectasia you need to almost eliminate fat entirely to see an improvement.  The commercial hypoallergenic diets have way too much fat in them to treat that disease.  If she improves on an ultra low fat diet then it's likely lymphangiectasia and you'll need to do more dietary tweaks.  I'd also strongly suggest accepting the steroid treatment as it's quite critical to get the intestinal inflammation down.



#6
willwork4shoes

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The hypoallergenic diet she is on is prescriptive Purina H/A. What low fat diets do you feed Louie?

#7
Laura

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I had to prepare a diet for him; none of the commercial or prescription diets would work.  Check out these posts:  

 

http://www.louiethel...re-and-feeding/

http://www.louiethel...d-hybrid-diets/

 

For info on what we fed and what other options there are.  The vegetarian diet that I put together for Louie was pretty balanced, but not all dogs would eat it.  He had Cushing's disease, which made him pretty much ready to eat anything I put in front of him.  


If life hands you melons, you're probably dyslexic. http://www.facebook....ethelovemuffin/http://www.louiethelovemuffin.com/LaxPi.gif


#8
willwork4shoes

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Lamb had her upper GI endoscopy with biopsies done last week and results are consistent with mild IBD. We were able to rule out lymphangiectasia and lymphoma. The doctor has suggested we continue with her hypoallergenic diet and B12 supplementation, try  Dexamethasone and Cyclosporine this week, and then recheck her albumin and weight in 1 week. Lamb is only about 7.87 lb. (down from 11 lb. when she was healthiest). We are hoping for the best! Thanks for your help! The doctor had definitely considered lymphangiectasia before but needed the biopsies to be sure. I'm glad we went ahead with it. Crossing our fingers with how she will react to the corticosteroids!

 

I had to prepare a diet for him; none of the commercial or prescription diets would work.  Check out these posts:  

 

http://www.louiethel...re-and-feeding/

http://www.louiethel...d-hybrid-diets/

 

For info on what we fed and what other options there are.  The vegetarian diet that I put together for Louie was pretty balanced, but not all dogs would eat it.  He had Cushing's disease, which made him pretty much ready to eat anything I put in front of him.  



#9
My Crestie

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Sending Lamb healing vibes!  Hang in there WW4S (((hugs)))


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#10
Laura

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This is good news; IBD is easier to get under control in most cases.  I really hope Lamb will have nothing but good days from here on out!  


If life hands you melons, you're probably dyslexic. http://www.facebook....ethelovemuffin/http://www.louiethelovemuffin.com/LaxPi.gif





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