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What Are the Alkaline Phosphatase Levels in Dogs?

Up to 83-100% of dogs with Cushing’s disease have high C-ALP levels, but chronic endogenous stress (due to any underlying disease) may increase C-ALP and total serum ALP (up to 2-3 x normal). Therefore, C-ALP activity is sensitive, but not specific, test for hyperadrenocorticism in dogs.

Alkaline phosphatase levels in dogs, often abbreviated as ALKP, consist of important liver enzymes that are detected when running blood work. High levels of ALKP may be indicative of several disorders in dogs requiring appropriate treatments.

Definition
Alkaline phosphatase originates from a variety of tissues found in the dog’s body. It consists of enzymes mostly secreted from the liver and bones.

Method
The alkaline phosphatase values are determined by a blood test known as a biochemical profile. This blood test assesses the functionality of internal organs, measures electrolytes, and determines the number of circulating enzymes.

Values
Normal alkaline phosphatase values in dogs should range from 23 to 212 U/L (units per liter), according to Dogcancer.net. However, such values may vary from one lab and another and therefore should not be considered to be standard.

Significance
High levels of ALKP may be suggestive of Cushing’s disease, hepatic nodular hyperplasia, bile duct obstruction, bone disease, cancer, or maybe due to the administration of steroid drugs or phenobarbital. Low levels may be indicative of malnutrition and starvation.

Considerations
Even though elevated levels of ALKP may sound alarming, at times such high levels may not cause any clinical signs. In such cases, after having ruled out systemic diseases, the dog is often monitored until clinical signs appear (if any), so that appropriate treatment can be initiated.

What causes alkaline phosphatase to be high in dogs?
Common conditions that are associated with only an increase in serum ALP activity include hyperadrenocorticism, idiopathic vacuolar hepatopathy, hepatic neoplasia, hepatic nodular hyperplasia, drug induction, and breed-related disorders. … Benign nodular hyperplasia is a common finding in asymptomatic older dogs.