Dog liver disease is termed as canine liver disease, which is a quite common disorder found in older dogs. Even though it is more common in older dogs, younger dogs are exempted from getting affected by this disease. The liver disease in dog may arise due to several reasons as there are different causes attributed with development of the disease. Similar to liver functioning in humans, liver is one of the large organs in dogs playing a vital role in numerous physiological processes, which includes detoxifying the blood stream, glycogen storage, etc. Moreover, liver is responsible for digestion and supply of all essential nutrients for good health. When the liver is affected, the dogs suffer from severe consequences and ailments. The good thing is the pet owners can easily identify the development of symptoms and warning signs of dog liver disease. The shocking fact about the disease is that it is rated as one among the top five fatal diseases that affect dogs.
Causes of dog liver disease:
As mentioned above liver disease in dogs caused due to several reasons as follows:
- Trauma – Dogs that receive a harsh blow in the front part of abdomen obviously develop the liver disease quickly. It maximum cases, this disease in dogs are caused due to hit by a vehicle, in particular, cars. Hitting or hard blowing in the abdominal region result towards fracture in the liver lobe with bleeding. Sometimes, when the blow is too severe, the dogs die.
- Pancreatitis – It refers the process of inflammation affecting the enzymes assisting the digestion develop over the liver, leading towards severe liver disease. Since the pancreas is located closer to the liver, in some cases, any inflammation in the pancreas also leads towards hepatitis.
- Anaemia – Anaemic condition reduces the amount and supply of oxygen available and required by the cell and tissues of the liver leading towards death.
- Infection due to virus, fungi and bacteria also result towards liver disease in dogs. Bacterial infection also leads towards hepatitis.
Symptoms of dog liver disease:
Symptoms of liver disease in dogs are apparent and can vary according to the stage and severity. In many dogs with good immunity, symptoms are alleviated automatically. Common symptoms of the liver disease include loss of weight and appetite followed by increased thirst and urination.
Other signs of the disease include the distended abdomen caused due to enlargement or swollen liver and fluid retention. Dark urine, light or grey coloured stool, diarrhoea, confused state, etc. Advanced stage of the disease results with jaundice where you can notice the colour of the dog’s skin becoming yellow and eyes becoming white.
Treatment for dog liver disease:
Basic treatment for dog liver disease is provided based on the actual cause of the liver disease. For instance, if the condition caused due to any bacterial or fungal infection, antibiotics is sufficient to treat the condition, whereas when it is caused due to trauma, hospitalizing the dog is necessary. Similarly, when the condition is developed due to anaemic or swollen pancreas, a different type of medication will be provided. Additionally, herbal and homeopathic medications are quite effective in treating the liver disease in dogs. Natural substances and herbs act as anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-inflammatory agents towards eliminating the causes of the condition.
Diet for dog with liver disease:
In addition to treatments and drugs, tailor made diet plans for dogs with liver disease should be prepared, which is generally based on the functionality of the liver and severity of the condition. Diet for dog liver disease includes supplying required amount of nutrition with high level of protein, prevents the loss of nutrition, extends support in regeneration of cells and tissues of liver and proper functioning of liver, and excludes the foods with minerals and mineral supplements like potassium, sodium and copper.
With proper care and early diagnosis of the symptoms, the liver disease in dogs can be easily treated.