June 2017 Case of the Month

Liver aspirate from a dog


Case information

A 9-year-old male castrated Labrador Retriever presented to the Cornell University Hospital for Animals for a 3-day history of vomiting and anorexia and a 1-day history of diarrhea. The dog had been administered carprofen 3 weeks earlier for progressive right forelimb lameness. The dog was up to date on core vaccinations and received a booster for leptospirosis 3 weeks prior. The patient was bright, alert, and responsive with normal vital parameters. No major abnormalities were noted on physical examination. Blood was taken for a hemogram and biochemistry profile and a voided urine was collected and submitted for urinalysis. The hemogram results were within reference intervals. Relevant results for the biochemistry profile and urinalysis are shown below.

Table 1: Pertinent biochemistry results
Test Results Units Reference interval
ALT 1,469 H U/L  20-98
AST 299 H U/L  14-51
ALP 198 H U/L 17-111
GGT 3 U/Ll 0-6
Total bilirubin* 1.4 H mg/dL 0-0.2
Urea nitrogen 32 mg/dL 10-32
Creatinine 2.1 H mg/dL 0.6-1.4
Glucose 91 mg/dL 63-118
* Mixture of indirect and direct bilirubin


Table 2: Pertinent urinalysis results
Test Results Units
Urine specific gravity 1.020 units
Protein 100 (moderate) mg/dL
Glucose 1000 (large) mg/dL
Bilirubin Small  
Casts 1-2 granular /LPF


Abdominal ultrasonographic results did not reveal any abnormalities. Regardless, the liver was aspirated and smears were submitted for cytologic evaluation. Evaluate the representative photomicrographs of the direct smear of the liver aspirate and answer the questions posed below:

  1. How would you interpret the changes in the biochemical panel?
  2. Is a cause for these changes evident in the liver aspirate?
  3. What is going on in the kidney and how do you explain the renal-related results?

Figure 1: Liver aspirate (50x objective)

Figure 2: Liver aspirate (100x objective)

Figure 3: Liver aspirate (50x objective)

Answers on next page

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