Why Is My Cat or Dog’s Blood Amylase Level High?

Why Is My Cat or Dog’s Blood Amylase Level High?

Ron Hines DVM PhD

See What Normal Blood & Urine Values Are

The Causes Of Most Abnormal Blood  & Urine Tests

See How Tests Are Grouped

The Amylase Level In Your Dog Or Cat’s Blood

Amylase is an enzyme produced by your dog or cat ’s pancreas. Small amounts are also produced in the pet’s intestine and liver but most amylase that finds its way into your pet’s blood stream comes from its pancreas. The great majority of amylase enzyme normally passes into your pet’s intestine through the two pancreatic ducts in dogs and the common bile duct in cats to help in the digestion of complex carbohydrates (starches).

Health Problems That Can Cause Too Much Amylase To Be Present In Your Pet’s Blood:

Elevated blood amylase levels are of little significance in cats. In dogs the test is a bit more reliable indicator of acute pancreatitis. Your pet’s amylase blood level can also increase in pancreatic cancer, sudden severe trauma such as car accidents or moderately when chronic kidney disease is present -especially in cats.

Lipemic (fatty) blood samples or hemolized samples (= red blood cells damaged during collection) can result in a falsely-elevated amylase reading.

Medications that can increase amylase levels include metronidazole (Flagyl®) and the diuretic, furosemide (Lasix®).

The amylase levels in your pet’s blood can change rapidly (hour by hour) because the compound has as short lifespan. Because blood amylase level fluctuates so widely, the significance of the value your veterinarian obtains on a single test can be quite hard for him/her to interpret. Values less than twice the reported normals or a dog or cat may not be important (not significant for pancreatitis). When pancreatitis is suspected in a dog or cat. One with a tender or bloated abdomen. An abdominal fluid tap (withdrawal)  from the tummy is more likely to have a higher amylase reading than the reading obtained from the blood of the same pet.

Health Problems That Can Cause Too Little Amylase to be present in Your Pet’s Blood Stream:

I know of none.

However corticosteroid medications, given when your dog or cat arrives in critical condition as an emergency patient, has been known to lower amylase readings.

Complementary tests:

CBC and a blood chemistry panellipase level,  pancreatic lipase immunoreactivity test,  blood glucose levelblood calcium,  phosphorus, cholesterol , BUN,  creatinine, , ALT,  AP,  TLIurinalysis. Repeated amylase tests or better yet, ones that focuses more on the pancreas – tests such as the TLI or pancreatic-specific lipase tests (fPL/ cPL)


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