Author Topic: Vlad's Blood Tests  (Read 1985 times)

Offline DeeDee

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Vlad's Blood Tests
« on: April 19, 2017, 12:43:34 PM »
So, Vlad's blood tests were perfect except for his cholesterol. It was BAD, BAD, BAD. Though dogs don't have the same plaque and other issues as humans, I still don't like it this high.

Of course "I think it's just his diet" was mentioned on the voice message (I missed it b/c of mom's appt), however, I don't get anything for him that's over 12% fat (that pancreatitis issue during his Addisonian crisis scared me), and I've only been able to add back 1 teaspoon of coconut or olive oil a day without giving him indigestion.

Guess what else causes high cholesterol outside of high-fat diets. Use of prednisone. http://www.livestrong.com/article/408743-prednisone-ldl-cholesterol/ Except in his case, stopping it isn't an option at all.

I quit the turmeric a while back (decided I'd save it for if he ever gets joint pain), so I'm adding that back. I'm also going to do a 6-week cleanse with Milk Thistle (one a week maintenance after that), and start giving him Dandelion daily along with the turmeric.

I'm also going to start giving probiotics every evening instead of just 3x a week.

If anyone else knows of any other dietary changes I can make, outside of Red Yeast Rice (that's a statin), then please tell me.


"In order to really enjoy a dog, one doesn't merely try to train him to be semihuman. The point of it is to open oneself to the possibility of becoming partly a dog." Edward Hoagland
"Thorns may hurt you, men desert you, sunlight turn to fog; but you're never friendless ever, if you have a dog."

Offline Pookie

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Re: Vlad's Blood Tests
« Reply #1 on: April 20, 2017, 10:41:58 AM »
I confess, I don't really know anything about cholesterol in dogs.  I do know that in humans, high cholesterol is not necessarily the big deal that doctors and pharma would have us think.  It actually protects the brain:

http://www.drperlmutter.com/war-on-cholesterol/

Note that Dr. Perlmutter (a neurologist) also points out that cholesterol is the precursor of steroid hormones including androgens.

http://www.drperlmutter.com/cholesterol-important-brain-health/

And (same video, but different text beneath the video)
http://www.drperlmutter.com/cholesterol-setting-the-record-straight/

So if you're thinking in terms of what doctors have told humans for years about how terrible cholesterol is, and thinking that applies to dogs, I'm not sure it does since doctors may have been following science provided by pharmaceuticals who wanted to sell statins.  That said, I know you research A LOT, so you may have found information about high cholesterol being a problem in dogs.  In which case, ignore everything I posted above.   :)

As far as reducing the cholesterol, I don't have suggestions for dogs (or cats).  Like you said, red yeast rice is a statin, and I don't know if it can be used in pets.  I would always recommend that anyone taking a statin, natural or pharmaceutical, also take CoQ10, since statins block the body's ability to produce CoQ10, and that nutrient is VITAL for our cells to function. 

Dr. Perlmutter states a low carb diet helps reduce inflammation but I know you feed raw so that’s not a cause for concern with Vlad.

I don't know if any of this helps, but I hope it does, at least a little.   :-* :-*
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Offline DeeDee

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Re: Vlad's Blood Tests
« Reply #2 on: April 20, 2017, 03:48:12 PM »
Cholesterol in dogs isn't the same worry as humans, but still this is a bit off the charts:

(That 443 is from 6/18/15 because the lab holds a comparison if the dog has been tested with them before. A LOT of things have straightened out since that date except his cholesterol has gotten worse. I have to blame the rise on the continued use of prednisone, but he can't go off of it.)

The "b" beside the 633 means it was run again to make sure.

"In order to really enjoy a dog, one doesn't merely try to train him to be semihuman. The point of it is to open oneself to the possibility of becoming partly a dog." Edward Hoagland
"Thorns may hurt you, men desert you, sunlight turn to fog; but you're never friendless ever, if you have a dog."

Offline DeeDee

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Re: Vlad's Blood Tests
« Reply #3 on: April 20, 2017, 04:04:24 PM »
Just another note, when those blood tests were done in June '15, he'd already been given more than one shot of Dex--a steroid. Plus, he also had pancreatitis, so both of those could have contributed to it being high then.

But when I can only give him a teaspoon of any kind of oil a day, and his meat is 12% or less fat, the only thing I can come up with as raising it THIS high is the continued use of prednisone.
"In order to really enjoy a dog, one doesn't merely try to train him to be semihuman. The point of it is to open oneself to the possibility of becoming partly a dog." Edward Hoagland
"Thorns may hurt you, men desert you, sunlight turn to fog; but you're never friendless ever, if you have a dog."

Offline Lola

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Re: Vlad's Blood Tests
« Reply #4 on: April 20, 2017, 05:01:52 PM »
Nothing to add.  Just listening/reading... 
Everything you NEED to know about caring for your feline. www.catinfo.org

Offline Pookie

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Re: Vlad's Blood Tests
« Reply #5 on: April 20, 2017, 10:25:05 PM »
Honestly, there may not be much you can do about it.  The supplements you mentioned are great, but beyond that I'm not sure what else you can do.  You are giving him the best quality of life you can, and IMO that's the most important thing.

I was looking in my "Prescription for Nutritional Healing" book about stress for a different reason, but found the following and thought you might find it interesting:

Quote
Stress is often viewed as a psychological problem, but it has very real physical effects.  The body responds to stress with a series of physiological changes that include increased secretion of adrenaline, elevation of blood pressure, acceleration of the heartbeat, and greater tension in the muscles.  Digestion slows or stops, fats and sugars are released from stores in the body, cholesterol levels rise . . .

Vlad's body is under stress because of the Hashi's, and that in and of itself may also be contributing to the higher cholesterol.  (I guess that's also why he needs the prednisone?)  Then adding the prednisone is also increasing it, but as you said, he needs it and it's not something you can cut back on.

Maybe this is his "normal" considering the Hashi's.  You're doing the best you can.  That's all he or anyone can ask.   dogrun   Hug1 Hug1
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Offline Middle Child

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Re: Vlad's Blood Tests
« Reply #6 on: April 21, 2017, 04:52:23 AM »
For what it's worth, my cats' blood work always comes back with high cholesterol.  All of them.  Every time.  Hug1

Offline DeeDee

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Re: Vlad's Blood Tests
« Reply #7 on: April 21, 2017, 08:53:59 AM »
Not Hashi--Addison's. His Thyroid came back fine in the blood tests. When I saw the cholesterol, my first thought was maybe his thyroid his gone south too, but it was okay. Pancreas, kidneys and his liver were fine--except for the cholesterol that involves the liver--so I was really happy with that since all those things were messed up when he was in Addisonian crisis.

I've been reading, and I think I'll also add some chia and hemp seeds and a little psyllium powder to his dinner after I finish his cleanse. Right now isn't a good time b/c there's a chance it will soak up all the milk thistle, and I can't add it in the mornings b/c there's a chance it will soak up his prednisone.

The only other thing the vet could do is change his prednisone to hydrocortisone pills so that his liver wouldn't have to process it so much, and they'd have to be taken 2x a day. In general, vets don't change to that though (because the half-life is so much shorter) unless kidney and liver issues begin.

I know Dr. Plechner prefers hydrocortisone, but there's a chance of me forgetting that for the evening meal if I come home stressed. I've forgotten all their dinner supplements at times before when I've had a bad day with mom.

I also remembered yesterday when I was reading in the office at Vandy, I had to bump his prednisone Sunday b/c I was grooming him--nails, paw hair, bathing and deep-conditioning his beard. It took about 3 hours for him and 40 minutes for Barkly. Then I always have to bump him to take him to the vet's office. Those 2 bumps and stress could have caused a release of Cholesterol that was still roaming around inside.

He loves getting bathed and brushed up and prances around like a pony after it's done, but it's still a stress factor. There's good/happy stress, and then there's bad/unhappy stress. Nevertheless, they're both stress.

For what it's worth, my cats' blood work always comes back with high cholesterol.  All of them.  Every time.  Hug1

Are they always THAT high though?
"In order to really enjoy a dog, one doesn't merely try to train him to be semihuman. The point of it is to open oneself to the possibility of becoming partly a dog." Edward Hoagland
"Thorns may hurt you, men desert you, sunlight turn to fog; but you're never friendless ever, if you have a dog."

Offline Pookie

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Re: Vlad's Blood Tests
« Reply #8 on: April 21, 2017, 06:06:13 PM »
My apologies about the confusion -- I don't know why I was thinking Hashi's.  My original thought is the same, though, that his body is under stress due to the Addison's, and that alone may contribute to the high cholesterol.  Then add in the steriods and you have another factor.

Quote
I also remembered yesterday when I was reading in the office at Vandy, I had to bump his prednisone Sunday b/c I was grooming him--nails, paw hair, bathing and deep-conditioning his beard. It took about 3 hours for him and 40 minutes for Barkly. Then I always have to bump him to take him to the vet's office. Those 2 bumps and stress could have caused a release of Cholesterol that was still roaming around inside.

VERY good point!  That may very well have been the reason, or at least a part of it.

I looked in the same book under "high cholesterol" and it recommends certain things.  I'm only going to list what might be safe for a dog:

apple pectin (which I think is for the fiber)
fiber (which you're already going to add via the psyllium and the seeds)
l-carnitine (amino acid)
lecithin (a fat emulsifier.  You can get egg yolk lecithin rather than soy -- I used to give it to Pookie, and I know MC gives it to Mazy Cat)
vitamin C

You'd have to research if these are safe for dogs:

chromium picolinate
shiitake extract or reishi extract

grouphug
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Offline DeeDee

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Re: Vlad's Blood Tests
« Reply #9 on: April 21, 2017, 07:44:24 PM »
Thank you!!! I'll definitely look at some of these, especially the lecithin, when he's finished with his cleanse. Or maybe I should just suck it up and give him an egg every day instead of 3 times a week? It's just such a pain with his beard.
"In order to really enjoy a dog, one doesn't merely try to train him to be semihuman. The point of it is to open oneself to the possibility of becoming partly a dog." Edward Hoagland
"Thorns may hurt you, men desert you, sunlight turn to fog; but you're never friendless ever, if you have a dog."

Offline Pookie

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Re: Vlad's Blood Tests
« Reply #10 on: April 22, 2017, 10:10:42 PM »
Thank you!!! I'll definitely look at some of these, especially the lecithin, when he's finished with his cleanse. Or maybe I should just suck it up and give him an egg every day instead of 3 times a week? It's just such a pain with his beard.

I don't know if it would make a difference, but how about hard-boiling the egg?  I just don't know what impact cooking has on the lecithin.

Pookie was getting Nature's Plus egg lecithin that I got from my health food store.  It's the only one I'm aware of that makes lecithin using egg instead of soy.  They come in capsules, so I just pulled the capsule apart and mixed the lecithin in his food.

P.S.  Something else you might want to add (if you don't already):  digestive enzymes.  I don't think it would hurt, and it might help.  My nutrition teacher told us that even if you're not digesting food, the enzymes will go to wherever there's inflammation in the body and "eat" the inflammation.  How accurate that is, I don't know, but I don't think it would hurt to add them.  If nothing else, he'd get more out of his food.

Does Vlad get trace minerals?
« Last Edit: April 22, 2017, 10:18:17 PM by Pookie »
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Offline Pookie

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Re: Vlad's Blood Tests
« Reply #11 on: April 22, 2017, 11:00:48 PM »
You may have read this already, but I'm posting it in case you find at least some of the information useful.

http://www.2ndchance.info/dxme-Cholesterol.htm

You said his thyroid labs came back fine.  Were they mid-range normal or low normal?  My other question:  do you have a baseline to compare the cholesterol level to?  Specifically, do you have a lab that shows his cholesterol before he had the Addison's crash?
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Offline DeeDee

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Re: Vlad's Blood Tests
« Reply #12 on: April 22, 2017, 11:30:48 PM »
I don't know if it would make a difference, but how about hard-boiling the egg?  I just don't know what impact cooking has on the lecithin.


I think I might like getting crumbly stuff out of his beard even less than somewhat slimy stuff.


Pookie was getting Nature's Plus egg lecithin that I got from my health food store.  It's the only one I'm aware of that makes lecithin using egg instead of soy.  They come in capsules, so I just pulled the capsule apart and mixed the lecithin in his food.



I found several egg lecithin products online last night, so I'll order one of them when it's time to try it. As long as I stick it down in meat, he takes capsules just fine. I have to tear things apart and sprinkle for Barkly though, otherwise he eats around it.



P.S.  Something else you might want to add (if you don't already):  digestive enzymes.  I don't think it would hurt, and it might help.  My nutrition teacher told us that even if you're not digesting food, the enzymes will go to wherever there's inflammation in the body and "eat" the inflammation.  How accurate that is, I don't know, but I don't think it would hurt to add them.  If nothing else, he'd get more out of his food.


He's gotten digestive enzymes added with each meal once I found out he had pancratitis during crisis. Supposedly giving them helps the pancreas from being signaled quite so much or replaces what the pancreas can't provide if pancreatic insufficiency is going on with the animal/human. Between them, the ACV, probiotics and time, he no longer gets indigestion unless he gets over-stressed and needs more prednisone. A big part of digestion is the cortisol he's missing, so if his prednisone runs out, his digestion ability runs out too no matter what.


Does Vlad get trace minerals?

They've gotten Canine Plus vitamins from Vetriscience since they were puppies. For the past year (following what someone from the food-co-op we belong to said to do) I've been giving those one day and organic spirulina+alfalfa powder the next day. When the last of these Canine Plus's that I've got run out, they'll just get the spirulina and alfalfa every other day.

I've been told those 2 things (or kelp instead of spirulina) will provide everything they need naturally instead of man-made. Half-replacement of the Canine Plus seems to not have done anything to his blood tests anyway according to the results from 2015, and Barkly loves the alfalfa powder.

So, a total rundown of Vlad's present supplements: 

For both meals: Saw Palmetto for his prostate; Calcium since he can't seem to digest bone or eggshells well anymore; Glucosamine Sulfate; Digestive Enzymes; ACV

Mornings only: a teaspoon of olive or coconut oil

Evenings only: Probiotics; and presently Milk Thistle (to be replaced with Turmeric in 6 weeks); Dandelion; vitamins

In 6 weeks, will also include a half-tablespoon of each hemp and chia seeds and a sprinkle of Psyllium powder.

Barkly gets 1x a day: glucosamine sulfate; vitamins; olive or coconut oil; banana for extra potassium that Vlad's low-potassium diet isn't' providing; and probiotics 3x a week; he gets calcium only when they're eating chicken breast or gizzards for their meat sometimes.

When I'm going down the line of bottles each meal, I really miss the days when Vlad didn't have so many problems.  funny2
"In order to really enjoy a dog, one doesn't merely try to train him to be semihuman. The point of it is to open oneself to the possibility of becoming partly a dog." Edward Hoagland
"Thorns may hurt you, men desert you, sunlight turn to fog; but you're never friendless ever, if you have a dog."

Offline DeeDee

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Re: Vlad's Blood Tests
« Reply #13 on: April 22, 2017, 11:42:10 PM »
You may have read this already, but I'm posting it in case you find at least some of the information useful.

http://www.2ndchance.info/dxme-Cholesterol.htm



Thank you, I think I've seen that in the past, but I'm going to read it again.



You said his thyroid labs came back fine.  Were they mid-range normal or low normal? 

His vet said his thyroid was fine at 1.7 though that's below the middle of 1-4 reference value.

My other question:  do you have a baseline to compare the cholesterol level to?  Specifically, do you have a lab that shows his cholesterol before he had the Addison's crash?

No, he never had any hugely comprehensive blood tests before his Addisonian crisis--just basic things when they were trying to figure out what might be wrong with him.

The only times it's been done were 2015 right after the crash (433), when they already had him somewhat recovering that Monday while his vet kept him for half the day, and this week (633).

Edit: I'll keep on looking for them, but I can't find the comprehensive results from 2015--all I've got going are the past references out to the side of these recent tests--and for some reason, there isn't a number for the thyroid in the past.
« Last Edit: April 22, 2017, 11:43:51 PM by DeeDee »
"In order to really enjoy a dog, one doesn't merely try to train him to be semihuman. The point of it is to open oneself to the possibility of becoming partly a dog." Edward Hoagland
"Thorns may hurt you, men desert you, sunlight turn to fog; but you're never friendless ever, if you have a dog."

Offline Middle Child

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Re: Vlad's Blood Tests
« Reply #14 on: April 23, 2017, 07:20:28 AM »


Are they always THAT high though?

Usually around 100 points over the "high normal"

 I use two brands of egg yolk lecithin. Nature's Plus and Swanson. I get them both from Amazonsmile.

I also boil the eggs so Mazy cat can have egg yolk daily.  In the IBD group it was determined (by the ones who do research) that the nutritional values change very little by boiling the egg first.

 I give the 1/4 yolk daily for choline which is not affected at all by the boiling. But I still give the EYL daily for the lecithin.


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