Dog Liver Disease Symptoms

Dog liver disease symptoms

Canine liver disease is referred as the liver disease in dogs. When the liver of the dog is affected, it can be easily identified by many pet owners. Liver is the main organ in dogs helps in maintenance of clean blood. When it fails, the dogs accumulate the toxins in the blood stream and also in the body. Further, liver helps in digesting the food, where the liver failure or liver disease in dogs results towards malnutrition.

Causes of Dog Liver Disease

Liver disease in dogs is not actually a fatal disease, but sometimes it might turn fatal when there are no apparent symptoms or even warning signs. This fact has moved many pet owner to go for a general check-up and diagnosis with a veterinarian periodically. When the symptoms are identified on an advanced stage, the condition would be too late to treat as there would be no proper functioning of liver. However, the fact is not applicable for all dogs, where some of the dogs start to show up the symptoms quickly in the initial stages of liver damage and associated disease.

Gastrointestinal problems

Very common symptoms of canine liver disease are loss of appetite and anorexia. Loss of appetite is closely associated with other gastrointestinal complaints, digestive and abdominal problems like constipation or diarrhoea, vomiting, etc. There would be lack of metabolism with respect to carbohydrates, proteins and fats when the liver function is affected, which lead towards weight loss.


Loss of appetite and loss of weight and malnutrition combined with disruption of common physiological functioning eventually result in anaemic. Anaemia leads towards depression, change of mind, confusion and sluggishness. Anaemic condition makes the dogs intolerant in walking and exercise and they deny going even for walk outs, which they had done earlier before developing symptoms of liver disease in dogs.

Colour variation in stools

Liver is associated with bile. It is made of cholesterol, globulins, bile acids and bilirubin. Bile is channelled by the liver and is responsible for elimination of toxin, absorption of nutrition, circulation of red blood cells, etc. Bilirubin, which is found to be toxic, should be detoxified by the liver. In the process of detoxification, it breakup and excretes into intestines and into urobilinogen. Urobilinogen makes the discharge of stool in the colour of dark brown, usual colour of stool. Any disease in the liver obstructs the bile and detoxification process, resulting to stool discharge in the grey colour.

Bleeding disorder

Proteins are synthesized by liver to maintain the clotting, being a complex biochemical process in dogs. Any damages in the liver eventually impair the normal clotting, leading towards bleeding.

Dog Liver Disease Symptoms when associated with medical conditions:

In many cases the liver disease is associated with several medical ailments like heart problems, diabetes, cancer, and jaundice in dogs. Symptoms of these diseases are also likely to be the symptoms of dog liver disease. Obesity and excessive weight than the normal weight of the dogs are found to be the warning signs of liver disease.

When the early signs are not apparent, pet owners are able to identify the symptoms only after it is developed into severe stage. Symptoms in severe or advanced stage of canine liver disease include the following.

Dog Liver Disease Symptoms

• Weight loss

• Loss of appetite

• Loss of energy

• Swollen abdomen due to inflammation in the pancreas and liver

• Dogs groaning / mourning in pain when we touch the abdominal region

• Loss of activity or improper regular activity

• Vomiting and Diarrhoea

• Increased urination and thirst

• Seizure

• Bad breadth

• LethargyAscites

• Orange urine

• Grey or pale coloured stool

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