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What is High Levels of Plasma Protein in the Blood?

Your dog’s protein level indicates many things such as kidney and liver functions. The proteins in the blood are actually very important to your dog’s health because they bring essential nutrients, hormones, vitamins to the cells and help fight disease. When the level of proteins in your dog’s blood is elevated, that is a sign that there is something wrong. It could be diarrhea, fever, vomiting, chronic inflammation, and tumors. If your dog’s veterinarian notices an elevation in proteins in the blood, he will run more tests to determine the problem so it can be treated before it gets any worse.

A high level of plasma proteins in the blood is caused by hyperproteinemia, which can be a sign of many illnesses, both mild and serious, such as infection, dehydration, and lymphocytic leukemia. A high level of protein is usually a signal for more tests and examination to determine the underlying illness or disease.

High Levels of Plasma Protein in the Blood Average Cost

From 367 quotes ranging from $3,000 - $12,000

Average Cost

$4,500

Symptoms of High Levels of Plasma Protein in the Blood in Dogs

  • Extreme thirst
  • Increased urination
  • Bleeding
  • Seizures
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Shakiness
  • Excessive sleepiness
  • Exhaustion
  • Unhappiness
  • Coughing
  • Lack of appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Deteriorating vision due to retinal hemorrhages and inflamed blood vessels in the retina
  • Nose bleeding for no obvious reason
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Causes of High Levels of Plasma Protein in the Blood in Dogs

  • Lymphocytic hyperproteinemia is caused by a problem in your dog’s lymphocytic system, which are usually lymphoma or leukemia
  • Cancerous hyperproteinemia indicates multiple myeloma or a tumor
  • Chronic Autoimmune Disease is caused by rheumatoid arthritis or lupus
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Diagnosis of High Levels of Plasma Protein in the Blood in Dogs

The first thing your dog’s veterinarian will do is examine your dog carefully from head to tail, looking for any signs of infection, swelling, skin discoloration, tumors, lesions, and other abnormalities. After the examination, he will do some tests to determine what should be done next. These tests include:

  • Serum electrophoresis (SPEP) to find individual blood proteins in the blood
  • Complete blood count (CBC) to check the amount of each type of cell in the bloodstream, hemoglobin level, and amount of oxygen
  • Blood urea nitrogen (BUN) to find the amount of nitrogen in the bloodstream
  • Blood gas levels
  • Chemical panel for albumin, alkaline phosphatase, amylase, bilirubin, calcium, cholesterol, creatinine, phosphorous, potassium, and sodium levels
  • Urinalysis to check the color, clarity, and concentration
  • Digital radiographs (x-ray) to find any abnormalities or tumors

The veterinarian may also decide to do an ultrasound, CT scan, and MRI to determine the amount of damage or placement of tumors. If your veterinarian suspects multiple myeloma or leukemia, they will need to extract some bone marrow for further testing.

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Treatment of High Levels of Plasma Protein in the Blood in Dogs

The first part of treatment for high levels of protein in the blood is to lower those proteins with IV fluid therapy. This will usually be done in the hospital where your dog can be monitored. The veterinarian will also treat the underlying cause of the hyperproteinemia when it is determined.

If it is lymphocytic or cancerous, the goal will be to shrink the tumor and prevent any more from forming. This can be done with chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy. Chemotherapy has its risks, of course, but the benefits are that it will keep your dog alive, reduce pain, increases healing, and reduces serum immunoglobulins. Some of the side effects are vomiting, diarrhea, and blood clotting problems. Radiation therapy has been known to have great results with dogs that have isolated tumors. It reduces pain and helps in stopping new tumor growth. Side effects are similar to chemotherapy, but can be controlled with medication.

Hospitalization is necessary for your dog if the vet suspects lupus. They will need to sedate your dog while they treat him with antibiotics, IV fluids, and immunosuppressive drugs. Once your dog is stable enough to go home, you will have to continue with the antibiotic and immunosuppressive medications and enforce a resting period daily in a cage if necessary. A special diet may also be prescribed that you will have to follow. Corticosteroids are commonly used as well to reduce the inflammation in your dog’s lymph nodes. Constant monitoring and frequent veterinarian trips will be necessary for the rest of your dog’s life.

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a lifetime disease with no cure so your dog will have to be treated with medication and therapy for the rest of his life. Anti-inflammatories, pain relievers, and corticosteroids are the medications commonly used by veterinarians to alieve the pain and swelling. Other medications known to benefit dogs with RA are salicylates and gold, which are treatments, used in humans.

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Recovery of High Levels of Plasma Protein in the Blood in Dogs

If your dog is diagnosed with any of these illnesses, he will need a follow-up appointment with your veterinarian to check protein levels in the blood as well as other tests, depending on the nature of the illness. Chronic illnesses, such as cancer, lupus, and RA will have to be monitored carefully for the remainder of your dog’s life and frequent trips to see the veterinarian are essential.

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High Levels of Plasma Protein in the Blood Average Cost

From 367 quotes ranging from $3,000 - $12,000

Average Cost

$4,500

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High Levels of Plasma Protein in the Blood Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

Need pet health advice? Ask a vet

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Ask a Vet

dog-name-icon

Sadie

dog-breed-icon

Shih Tzu

dog-age-icon

13 Years

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Moderate severity

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1 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Moderate severity

Has Symptoms

Nausea
Nausea, Sensitive To Light
Nausea, Depression
Nausea, Depression, Stiff
Nausea, Depression, Stiff,
Nausea, Depression, Stiff, Gas

I had a senior wellness panel done because my girl seems not right. Nauseous, licking lips and yawning while nodding her head and just not happy. Her globulin is elevated at 4.2. She had an elevated platelet count and her SDMA was 13 which is high normal. Everything else was really good though. She may have inflammation but no clue where. Can anal sac disease cause high globulin? If she had an infection would she also have elevated wbc? Can sebaceous adenomas elevate globulin? And is 4.2 really that high ? Does it go higher as they age? Maybe her breed is higher in general. She’s a 9 lb 13 yr old girl. Please help because she is my life and I just need to help her. Just had her checked for glaucoma and that’s a no. She may need dental cleaning but I can’t proceed until I know she’s ok. Thank you so much.

Aug. 16, 2018

Sadie's Owner

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3320 Recommendations

A SDMA (symmetric dimethylarginine) reading of 13ug/dL (should be <15ug/dL)isn’t really clinically significant unless there were some symptoms or other values which would indicate an issue; the reference range for globulins is 2.7–4.4g/dL so 4.2g/dL would be high normal, however remember that reference ranges may slightly vary depending on equipment and calibration. Infections can cause an increase in white blood cells or a decrease (increased use) in white blood cells. From your question, it seems like Sadie may have some acid reflux based on symptoms, but I cannot say for certain without examining her. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM www.idexx.eu/globalassets/documents/reference-laboratory/test/sdma/1609029-0916-eu-sdma-imm-sheet-algorithm3.pdf www.merckvetmanual.com/special-subjects/reference-guides/serum-biochemical-reference-ranges

Aug. 16, 2018

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Callie Ann

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German Shepherd

dog-age-icon

7 Years

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Fair severity

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Fair severity

Has Symptoms

None

Our 7 year old female German Shepherd had a recent annual vet appointment. Her blood test results showed high protein. We then provided a urine specimen. That came back normal. She is now scheduled for ultrasound. What do you think could be wrong with her? She has no symptoms of anything.

Jan. 10, 2018

Callie Ann's Owner


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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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1611 Recommendations

Thank you for your email. High protein can be a sign of many things, including dehydration. Without seeing the rest of her lab results, I can't comment on what might be wrong with her, but if you are not sure why your veterinarian scheduled an ultrasound, it would be a good idea to ask more questions. That isn't a typical test with no indication for it, so it would seem that there may have been more going on that just elevated protein. I hope that she is okay.

Jan. 10, 2018

My 5 year old dog had blood work done so he could get fixed and they found out that his total protein level was high and his giobulin was high and his a/g ratio was low and his eosinophil was high so what does this mean

Feb. 5, 2018

Jessica S.

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Gracie

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Labrador Retriever

dog-age-icon

8 Years

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Moderate severity

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1 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Moderate severity

Has Symptoms

Gracie, my 8+ yr. old lab has developed seizures and a distended stomach...a full panel blood test was done and it showed her APL was 515 and protein level was 7.7.....she has been prescribed phenobarbital (1 grain) morning and night.... her seizures have slowed to once weekly and she has a good appetite and all other bodily functions are normal...in the past three years she has been treated for heartworms ( thanks to neglect from a previous owner) and has had a large tumor removed from her side. She appears to be ok but somewhat lethargic...I am on the 3rd vet now looking for answers without having to spend thousands of dollars...I love my girl very much and am hoping to find out what is going on...any suggestions would be greatly appreciated....thank you, Mary

Oct. 19, 2017

Gracie's Owner

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3320 Recommendations

Whilst I understand that you are trying to get to the bottom of Gracie’s condition without breaking the bank, I would be tempted to recommend an ultrasound of the liver to look for any anomalies since there is an elevation in protein and ALP; during the ultrasound other organs will be checked as well and would give valuable insight into Gracie’s body which can then be correlated with the blood test results. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

Oct. 19, 2017

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Peanut

dog-breed-icon

Shitzu

dog-age-icon

14 1/2 yrs

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Mild severity

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Mild severity

Has Symptoms

If my 14 year old male Shih Tzus blood panel indicates ALT at 248 U/L.... ALKP at 328 U/L...and GGT at 16 U/L... does that necessarily mean that he has cancer?

Sept. 26, 2017

Peanut's Owner

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recommendation-ribbon

3320 Recommendations

ALT: 248U/L (reference: 10-125U/L); ALKP: 328U/L (reference: 23-212U/L); GGT: 16U/L (reference: 0-11U/L). An increase in liver enzymes may indicate liver disease, cancer, infection, inflammation and toxins; at this stage I would be looking at any symptoms that Peanut may have and possibly start thinking about performing an ultrasound of the liver. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM Reference ranges based on information from Idexx machines

Sept. 26, 2017

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vader

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Staffordshire Bull Terrier

dog-age-icon

6 Years

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Critical severity

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Critical severity

Has Symptoms

Rear Legs Numb

My 6.5 year old staffordshire bull terrier one day back leg went numb..after 24 hours both legs went numb...after every single scan and test all they could see that there was swelling in his spinal chord but every test came out negative...he had high red blood cells, white blood cells and white blood cells and increased protein count to 3.4. After two weeks he developed bacterial infection throughout his whole body and I had no choice but to put him down. He went from healthy to dead in two weeks.

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Lucky

dog-breed-icon

Labrador Retriever

dog-age-icon

2 Years

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Fair severity

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Fair severity

Has Symptoms

Leg Injury
Lathargic, Lack Of Appeitite

My 2 year old rescue mid size dog has had a bad front leg for a couple weeks now and we have taken her into the vet many times . The first time she had 104 temp which she dpg treated for first and her temp went back to normal. Her leg continued to bother her though . The doctor got blood work done and stated her golobin protein level was high and treated her with anti inflammatorys. Which she completed that in 10 days . Her legs seems to be improving, no limp but still bothering her. She now doesnt have the appetite anymore and shes sleeps all the time. Any suggestions?

High Levels of Plasma Protein in the Blood Average Cost

From 367 quotes ranging from $3,000 - $12,000

Average Cost

$4,500

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