A Look At Liver Disease In Dogs

The liver is vitally important. Almost every biochemical process in the body involves the liver in some way. Therefore, liver disease in dogs is a serious medical condition. Here is a brief introduction to liver disease in canines.

Causes

There are many different causes of liver disease in canines. A severe blow to the front of the abdomen can cause trauma to the liver. This is a common problem when dogs get hit by cars. Another cause is an infection from viruses, fungi, and bacteria. Liver disease can also result if heartworms block bloodflow to the liver. Dogs suffering from liver disease display a range of symptoms.

Symptoms

As mentioned earlier, the liver is involved in about every biochemical process. Liver disease can lead to problems with others areas of your dog’s body. This is why liver disease in canines causes such unspecific symptoms. The liver is a very durable organ. It can function with up to 80 percent damage. However, this also means that your dog won’t start showing symptoms until the disease is well-advanced.

Dogs with liver disease suffer abdominal pain recurrently. Various gastrointestinal signs are also common. They include vomiting, diarrhea, and loss of appetite. It’s also common for there to be dog constipation. If bile isn’t processed by the liver properly, your dog’s stool will be gray. Other dogs also suffer from weight loss, increased drinking and urination, and jaundice.

Diagnosis

Your dog will need to undergo a urinalysis, chemistry screen, and complete blood count. Your dog’s abdomen will also need to be x-rayed. The x-ray will allow the vet to detect any abnormalities in the liver. The vet may also elect to have an ultrasound done. For the most definitive diagnosis, a biopsy needs to be taken of the liver. A biopsy involves removing a piece of the liver using a special needle or via surgery. A biopsy won’t cause future problems since the liver can regenerate.

Treatment

The specific treatment for your dog depends on damage severity and underlying cause. Since toxic substances can cause damage to the organ, they will need to be removed. A special diet may also need to be given to your dog. The diet is designed to decrease the liver’s workload. Antibiotics may also need to be given to prevent secondary infections.

Dogs can be affected by many different diseases. Fortunately, dog-illnesses.com provides a wealth of information on a range of these conditions. So, stop by today to learn about a wide range of these conditions.

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