Sunday, July 22, 2012

Liver problems in dogs

Liver problems in dogs

Liver Disease In Dogs - Symptoms And Treatments of Dog Liver Disease

Author: Cindy Rhyes

The liver is an important part of the body that helps in getting rid of toxins to keep help you stay healthy, and the body of the dog is no different. Liver disease in dogs is a very wide topic, especially because there are so many different ways that a dog can contract this disease. While in humans the leading cause of liver disease is abuse of drugs and/or alcohol, in dogs it is mostly due to viral or bacterial infections, which makes it all the more difficult to prevent and all the more tragic. Other sources of liver disease in canines can also be poisonous materials that may have been ingested by your dog, a heart disease that has altered the blood flow to the liver and even congenital diseases. There are also breeds that have a difficulty in excreting copper, such as Bedlingtons and Highland Terriers, and this makes them more susceptible to liver disease in dogs.

What you need to do then is to take note of the many liver disease in dogs symptoms and always watch out for them. Many symptoms are indications of liver disease in dogs, especially when you observe these symptoms together. Loss of appetite, sudden and dramatic weight loss, lack of energy and seeming depression, and jaundice, or what is the yellowing of gums, whites of the eyes and even the skin are some of the most common symptoms. Other symptoms that are not as common, but ones that you must still look out for, are things like dark colored urine or pale gums. In addition, if you notice that your dog seems to have gained weight but it is all in the stomach area, then it is possible that it is not weight gain at all but is actually fluid build up in the stomach area.

Unless there is a specific type of poison that can be specified as the reason for the liver disease in dogs, there is no specific treatment that can be given. However, a type of therapy is used for this kind of sickness in canines. Conventional therapy consists of a kind of supportive care. This includes introduction of fluids intravenously as well as force feeding through a gastronomy tube. The aim of this treatment of liver disease in dogs is somewhat for cleansing of the liver.

Of course, supplementary treatment is also done through the kind of diet that is given to the dog following the conventional therapy. The best kinds of food that must be included are those that are high in quality and highly digestible carbohydrates. This is so that the dogs energy supply will be renewed. It is of utmost importance that you use high quality carbohydrates, as low quality carbs can definitely make liver disease in dogs much worse by making the digestion of ammonia more difficult. Make sure to have frequent feedings of simple carbs, such as plain white rice and boiled potatoes. Fiber, such as leafy green vegetables, is also an important part of the diet because it promotes healthy bowel movement.

There is no need to despair when it comes to liver disease in dogs, because you can always try to fight it. Because there is no exact treatment, there is no guarantee that it can be healed. All you can do is give your best and keep hoping that your pet will get better.

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Learn more about liver disease in dogs and other common dog health problems, visit

Natural dog food is best to avoid liver problems in dogs. View natural dog food recipes here

Preventing Liver Diseases in Dogs

Author: Amber Constantine

Dogs are susceptible to liver problems just like people. Like us, waste products, certain chemicals and toxins can harm their livers.

The liver is vital to both humans and dogs, and as a dog owner, you need to protect your pet against liver diseases by learning as much as you can about its prevention and diagnosis. Any dog can get liver disease, size, age and breed are not factors.

Frequent culprits for liver problems in dogs

Liver problems are very often linked to heart or circulatory problems, when blood flow is affected liver problems can occur. Other times they are linked to metabolic diseases like Cushing's disease, diabetes, pancreatitis, or even hyperthyroidism. Many commercial foods contain chemicals and even toxins that cause liver damage in the long run. Some less common causes are trauma, malnutrition and stress.

What to look out for

Liver disease has many possible symptoms, but many are shared with other diseases, here are the symptoms most typical of liver disease:

  • Loss of appetite and weight
  • Vomiting and constipation or diarrhea
  • Gray feces
  • Distended abdomen
  • Lethargy or depression
  • Unusually high water intake
  • Behavioral changes
  • Bloody urine or stool


Once diagnosed, the primary treatment for liver disease in dogs, is dietary modification. A dog with liver disease needs a diet that is high in vitamins, proteins, minerals, digestible carbohydrates and a lot of healthy things that do not stress the liver cells. Vitamin K and also vitamin E are very important.

There are some herbal remedies that stimulate good liver function, such as Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) and Milk Thistle Seeds (Silybum marianum/Carduus marianusare), both of which clean away toxins.


As liver disease is no small matter, aggressive measure are often taken early. Corticosteroids improve a dog's appetite and reduce inflammation. Colchicine, is given when dogshave fibrosis (cirrhosis) in the liver. Glucocorticoids (prednisone) and azathioprine are also used on occaision. Your vet will be in the best position to prescribe what is best for your dog.

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About the Author

Amber Contant is a featured adviser and author discussing the issues that all pet owning families will experience. Amber works with Pet-Super-Store. Visit her site for a great selection of pet beds.

Natural dog food is healthiest for your dog. View natural recipes here

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