Your dog’s liver performs many different functions. Your dog will experience many different health problems if it isn’t working correctly. Many, many dogs die from liver disease each year. This condition affects older dogs in most cases. This disease can also developing younger puppies however.
Liver disease usually develops because your dog has some other underlying health condition. Pancreatitis, anemia, and hepatitis are some of the most common conditions to blame. Disease of the liver can also be brought about because parasites. Another common reason is ingestion of toxins or chemicals.
Liver disease can also be caused by various medications. If your dog has a diet that consists of fatty foods, then the liver may not be able to break them down properly. Diabetes and cancer can also lead to this disease.
Dogs usually don’t show many symptoms of the disease until it progresses. Once diseases do appear, they include lethargy, weight loss, and loss of appetite. Your dog’s abdominal region may also swell. He may appear to be in pain if you touch this area.
As you should have already learned, the liver is responsible for various functions. The liver produces pigments that give urine and feces their color. Liver disease, your dogs and urine will be orange and his feces gray. Many dogs develop jaundice too.
This disease isn’t usually diagnosed in its early stages due to the fact that it doesn’t cause many noticeable symptoms around this time. This is one of the main reasons why the condition is very deadly in dogs. Vets will need to take a medical history and perform a physical exam in order to start diagnosing the disease.
It is also common for a urinalysis to be performed. Your dog will likely need to undergo several other tests including an ultrasound of the liver and a radiograph of the abdomen. A liver biopsy may also be performed.
The underlying condition will need to be dealt with in order to treat this condition in dogs. If your dog has suffered some type of trauma, he will need to be hospitalized so he can recover. Dogs that have a bacterial infection will need to take antibiotics. Other medical conditions will also need to be treated in order for the liver to heal.
A special diet will also benefit dogs that have liver disease. You will need to pay attention to the amount of vitamins, carbohydrates, minerals, and fat that he consumes in his food. Feeding him a proper diet will minimize the liver’s workload.
Pets can be affected by all sorts of animal diseases, a fact that many owners just don’t pay attention to. In case the worst happens, you, as the owner, should be able to recognize that your dog is affected by something. The best thing that you can do is seek help as soon as you possibly can from a qualified vet.
Author: Darrin Swain