Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Pete’s Little Liver Pills


Pete, our 5-year-old Australian shepherd, has a liver problem.

It was diagnosed when he was a pup by our vet in Thorntown, Ind. Since moving to Jonesboro, Ark., we’ve had him on medication, but according to tests our local vet performed over the weekend, we have to increase the dosage.

Our Jonesboro vet explained that we’re all born with about 1/3 more liver capacity than we need. As we age, liver cells die and are replaced and the rate of replacement is supposed to be equal to the rate of loss, or at least close to it. Pete’s problem, which is not uncommon in dogs, is that his rate of replacement is lagging behind the rate of cell loss, resulting in diminishing liver capacity.

We’ve increased the dosage of his medication and will take him in for a blood test in a month.

We certainly hope we can get on top of this situation. We all want our children to outlive us and I feel the same way about our dogs.

But that doesn’t mean I’m in a hurry to check out.

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