Caring for a Dog With Liver Disease
The liver rids your dog’s body of many different substances, and is susceptible to damage from a wide variety of sources. An abnormally functioning liver has far-reaching, accelerated effects. Hepatitis is the result of liver disease and if left untreated, can lead to loss of function as scar tissue replaces healthy liver cells. Diseases in other places in your dog's body can similarly impair the proper functioning of the liver. Fortunately, liver disease can be managed effectively, limiting the disease’s progression, and enabling many dogs to live years after their diagnosis.
Causes liver disease in dogs
Factors that increase the chances of your dog developing liver disease include:
- Chemicals and medications
- Bacterial and viral infections
- Poisonous substances ingested
- Heart disease or other congenital abnormalities
Does my dog have liver disease
Liver disease can mimic other conditions. If you notice any of the following symptoms in your dog, contact your vet for a thorough evaluation. Symptoms to watch for include:
- Weight loss
- Poor appetite
- Lack of energy
- Increased thirst
- Excessive drooling
- Changes in behavior
Other potential indications of canine liver disease include pale gums, dark-colored urine, or a buildup of abdominal fluid that might be dismissed as sudden weight gain. Your vet can run tests to accurately diagnose liver disease.
How is liver disease treated
If your dog is diagnosed with liver disease, you may be wondering what treatment alternatives are available for taking care of him. Treatment of any liver disease is directed at resting the liver and reducing its functions that have to do with the metabolism of carbohydrates, proteins, drugs, and fats. Managing nutritional copper consumption may serve dog breeds predisposed to store deadly amounts of copper in their livers. Also, it’s even more essential to feed your dog the right dog food when he has been diagnosed with liver disease.
Disclaimer: We are NOT licensed vets. DO NOT try to diagnose or treat animals based off this or any other information you find on the internet. This page is just basic information to help bring awareness to different health issues that are common in pets. If you pet is having any kind of medical issues, please seek professional treatment from a licensed vet who is trained and set up to handle such matters.