One Way to Fix Dachshund High Liver Values
How we fixed our miniature Dachshund's high liver values with nothing but diet
Three years ago, we found out that our senior miniature Dachshund, Hallie, had off-the-charts high liver values, and we were understandably freaked out. We tried a fairly conservative route of changing her diet, and her liver values remained well within the normal range for her last three years with us! Here's how you may be able to help your dog become healthy without a bunch of medication or any drastic steps.
Hallie's elegant profile
A crisis of liver values...
It’s important to note before going much further that Hallie was a senior miniature Dachshund. My girlfriend rescued her four years ago when she was already estimated to be at 10 years old, and Hallie came from grim circumstances. Her former owner passed away suddenly and unexpectedly, leaving Hallie and her siblings behind to fend for themselves for several days before being found. She was near the brink of death at one point, and one of her siblings actually died due to malnutrition.
Over time and through the excellent Dachshund Rescue of North America network, through the kindness of fosters and the hard work of the rescue organization, Hallie was brought back to health, and my girlfriend eventually met and fell in love with her.
A couple of years later, we brought Hallie in to the vet to have her blood work done, and got some pretty bad news: the liver and kidney values that came back weren’t just high- they were off the charts.
Hallie barking in her sleep
...But a fix presents itself
My girlfriend did some reading online and found that dietary changes could, in fact, have a positive impact on elevated liver and kidney values, so we decided to take this more conservative approach before pumping Hallie full of more and more antibiotics. We gradually switched her food over from her dry food to raw frozen food (and it’s really important to do this slowly – be sure to research that before undertaking it).
We eventually settled on a blend of Primal and Stella and Chewy’s. Both of these are solid brands with great reputations within the “crazy dog lady” community (which means they get my hearty thumbs up as well)! We added in some raw goat milk, and then gave her a few weeks to acclimate the new diet. Hallie’s energy levels seemed great for an 11 or 12 year old dog, and we went back. In addition to the Primal and Stella's, we gave her a tablespoon of raw goat's milk every day along with one teaspoon of fish oil and one teaspoon of coconut oil. Yes, she ate better than we did.
Not only had the liver and kidney values dropped considerably, but they were actually all within the normal range. Suffice it to say, this was an incredible transformation. Thing is, this strategy has worked for other pet owners as well, but most will simply conclude they need medicine or another more drastic option (sometimes even surgery) in order to fix what’s wrong with their pet. Turns out that a large portion of the ailments can be fixed with a simple diet tweak, and although Hallie’s diet was now considerably more expensive (we frequently would only half-joke that she ate better than we did), it was far, far less expensive than the alternative, and she remained healthy for three great senior years.
Great foods for when you're on the road
What if I'm on the road?
The good news is that nowadays there are some very healthy, all natural alternatives to the low-quality dry foods that used to be the only options available if you’re traveling. We are on the road a fair bit because of the businesses I run and because both of our families live a fair distance away (my folks are actually 2 states away), so we would bring Hallie with us on many of these trips (and we'd pretty much never both leave town without her).
One good option that’s available from Amazon is Primal Pet Foods Freeze-Dried Canine Chicken Formula. We really like Primal, and so does Hallie- it’s delicious (granted, she will eat just about anything with calories, but she seems to go nuts for Primal).
Another food that may work better for you is Stella & Chewy’s Duck Duck Goose Freeze Dried Dog Food Dinner, 16 oz. Stella’s is another great natural option, and a super reputable company. Read the reviews if you’re not sure about them!