Elevated AST Dog Liver Enzymes
(New York, NY, USA)
I have a 9lbs Maltese who turned 2 yrs last week. When I was getting Dior neutered last year (at 11 mths) his vet ran blood work & found out that he has elevated AST levels (340).
The surgery was not performed until a week later when the vet re-ran the tests & found his AST level has gone down to approx 200. Dior was tested again after 3 weeks- his AST was normal (app 60).
Now, he had his annual checkup on 10/30/2010; his AST is 550. His doc says it's 5 times the normal count. His other reports have been normal (including ALT). I'm very concerned now for he has always been healthy. However, I think I have been giving him a high protein diet.
There are no symptoms associated with liver injury/damage- no diarrhea or vomiting. The only change I can see is that he doesn’t enjoy his walks as much as he used to.
His vet will run additional tests and ultrasound. How bad is 550 AST?
-SonyaEditor Suggestions, Dog Liver Enzymes with Elevated AST
The normal range for AST varies from lab to lab, but 550 is pretty high and I think worthy of being followed up on.
AST primarily comes from either damage to the liver or muscles. If all of Dior’s other liver values (ALT and ALP) are normal, look at another lab value called creatinine kinase (CK). If it is elevated I would think muscular problems are more likely than liver problems.
If your veterinarian has narrowed it down to the liver (maltese are prone to abnormal development of veins in and around the liver), running a bile acid test to check for liver function, an abdominal ultrasound and maybe an abdominal x-ray to look for a small liver is a perfectly reasonable place to start.
Jennifer Coates, DVM