Pet Care 

The Pet Owner’s Guide to Liver Disease in Dogs

Many pet parents are well aware of common canine health issues like ear infections and dental disease. It can be difficult to identify internal health problems such as liver disease, which is not always obvious to the eye. Pet owners must recognize signs and symptoms of liver disease to ensure the health and well-being of their pets. We will discuss the causes and treatment of common liver diseases and financial strategies to prepare for expensive health problems such as liver disease.

Dogs with healthy liver function

Dogs have many of the same functions and functions as humans. The canine liver functions include the metabolism, storage, distribution, and detoxification of harmful compounds in the body. A dog’s health is dependent on a healthy liver. Early treatment is crucial for dogs with liver disorders.

Dogs with Liver Problems: These are the Warning Signs

Some signs and symptoms can be detected in dogs with liver disease. Pet owners can get the right treatment for their pets if they notice these warning signs.

The following symptoms of liver disease in dogs are:

  • A decreased appetite
  • Vomiting and diarrhea
  • Weight loss
  • Lethargy, or weakness
  • Increased thirst
  • Yellowing of the gums and the whites in the eyes
  • Fluid retention in the abdomen
  • Dark urine

The symptoms may vary depending upon the condition and pet. These symptoms may indicate liver disease, but they could also indicate other health problems in your pet. Increased thirst is a common clinical sign. You should immediately seek veterinary attention if you see these warning signs.

The Most Common Liver Diseases

Many disorders can affect the liver and the wide variety of functions it supports. While many of these conditions share the same symptoms, others have different symptoms. Pet owners must seek medical attention for their pets to ensure a correct diagnosis.

The most common liver problems in dogs are:

  • Cirrhosis is the liver
  • Liver cancer
  • Benign liver tumors
  • Hepatitis
  • Fatal liver disease
  • Leptospirosis

Canine Liver Problems: What Causes?

The liver, which is the largest organ in humans and dogs, is linked to various bodily functions. The liver can be affected in many ways, so if it is not working properly, it can significantly impact your pet’s overall health.

The most common causes of liver problems in dogs are:

  • Congenital liver disease

portosystemic shunt is one of the most common types of congenital liver disease. This is when a new pathway forms between a portal vein that delivers blood to the liver and another vein in the body. The blood bypasses or “shunts” around the liver. This can cause major problems as the liver cannot filter all the blood. Your pet’s blood may not be properly filtered, and toxins or other substances may not be removed from its bloodstream.

Shunts are more common in older dogs who may present the following symptoms 2

  • An excessive thirst
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Extra fluid in the pet’s abdomen
  • There are a variety of neurological symptoms that can appear and then disappear.
  1. Infectious Liver Disease

This is caused by parasitic, viral, bacterial and fungal infections in dogs. These infections can cause liver swelling, affecting its ability to perform its normal functions 2.

The most common diseases of the liver in dogs are:

  • Canine hepatitis
  • Leptospirosis
  • Histoplasmosis
  • Coccidioidomycosis
  • Canine herpesvirus
  • Tyzzer disease
  1. Toxin-Induced Liver disease

The liver’s main function is to remove toxins from pets’ systems and break down medications. Toxic substances and certain medications can interfere with this function and even cause liver damage. Numerous canine medications, such as acetaminophen and tetracycline, have affected liver enzymes. A veterinarian will prescribe medications and monitor your dog for side effects.

Two are other common toxins that can adversely impact liver function.

  • Rodent poisons
  • Insecticides
  • Fungicides
  • Herbicides that do not pose a risk to pets
  • Certain mushrooms
  • Sago palm
  • Blue-green algae

Your veterinarian should be contacted immediately if your dog is given a new medication, accidentally ingests medication, or comes in contact with any substances listed above.

Dogs and Liver Disease: The Dangers

Canine liver diseases can be classified as persistent or severe. Although chronic liver issues are still serious, they tend to develop over time and can be treated with consistent, appropriate care.

Acute conditions can quickly develop and cause serious health problems for your pet. An injury to the liver or liver disease symptoms can cause acute liver failure. Acute liver failure can quickly develop, making diagnosis and treatment essential for your dog’s long-term health.

These are the signs and symptoms of liver failure in dogs:

  • High levels of liver enzymes
  • Low blood sugar
  • Crystals of ammonium urate in the urine
  • Urine bilirubin
  • Blood coagulation and abnormalities in blood platelets
  • Aggression
  • Excessive drooling
  • Blindness
  • Seizures
  • Jaundice

Acute liver failure treatment requires immediate veterinary attention. This may include IV fluids and medications to control liver function. It can also involve antibiotics and changes in your pet’s diet. Lab tests or other medical procedures can only detect many symptoms of liver disease in dogs. You must consult a veterinarian if you believe your pet might be suffering from liver failure.

How to protect your pet

Being proactive about your pet’s health is the best way to prevent liver disease. Pets Best Pet Insurance will help you pay for routine care and optional routine care coverage that can be used to pay for annual wellness examinations. Dog insurance plans that can be customized with deductibles and reimbursements can help you get the best treatment for injuries and illnesses, including liver disease.

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