Suggestions for feeding an active dog with a liver problem (high AST)

I am looking for suggestions for a dried food for a dog with a liver problem. He is a 10.5-year-old border collie and is very active (he does agility). His current weight is 20kg (ideal weight range 20.5kg - 21.5kg). He also has a grain intolerance (all grains including rice).

At the moment (since the beginning of July) he has the following:

Applaws Chicken small/medium: 130g breakfast, 50g lunch, 50g 5pm, 130g dinner
low fat cottage cheese: 50g lunch, 50g 5pm
courgettes: 40g lunch, 40g 5pm
The following supplements with breakfast and dinner: 1x Yumove tablet, 2x milk thistle tablets

He used to eat Wainwright’s Grain Free, mainly the White Fish variety. What happened was that in early October last year he became ill after starting a new bag - excessive drinking, lethargy, panting.
A blood test showed a liver problem: AST 154 (ref 16-55), ALT 128 (ref 18-121), high urea. My vet advised feeding him a liver food for 3 weeks: I fed him Royal Canin Hepatic and Dene’s Milk Thistle powder. His symptoms disappeared within a few days. After this I put him back on the Wainwright’s (same bag) and his symptoms returned.
On 27.10.18 he had another blood test that showed: AST 128, ALT 108. The vet advised feeding the liver food for 6 months. His symptoms disappeared again when on the liver food.
On 13.12.18 his blood test results were: AST 99, ALT normal, urea levels reduced, protein levels normal.
In March I switched his food to Hill’s l/d and took him off the milk thistle powder.
In late May I took him off the liver diet and started feeding him Canine Choice Senior 4x daily. As he seemed lethargic, I took him off this and put him on Acana Adult.
A blood test on 13.6.19 showed: AST 128, ALT 35 (normal), everything else normal. He is asymptomatic.

I am looking for the following:

  • grain-free including rice
  • must have mainly meat protein source
  • no lamb, pork, duck or salmon (salmon oil in food OK)
  • would like a food that I don’t have to feed such large amounts - the recommended daily amount of Applaws for a dog of his weight is 260g per day

Both liver foods made him hyperactive so I don’t really want to put him back on a liver diet.

Hello and welcome to the forum. Using the filters on the Dog Food Directory I returned 10 pages of suitable products but they excluded fish because we don’t have a separate filter for salmon. I used the ‘no red ingredients’ filter and excluded cereals and the protein sources you mentioned. Didn’t include raw. Changing the ratings filter to 60%-100% narrows it down to a more manageable three pages. I cannot reproduce the search so you will need to do that yourself. The following products may be of interest:
Butternut Box
Natures Menu Country Hunter single protein and Adult cans
Pure chicken and Pure turkey (air dried)

There are more and if you look for the higher protein ones you may be able to feed less. However, they tend to have higher fat levels too. Check with your vet before making changes.

There are a few threads on the forum about liver disease in dogs, one being here.