Personally, I do feel the liver is overlooked by a lot of persons, and that’s why if you ask someone what are the vital organs of a dog, the liver isn’t usually mentioned.
Yes, the liver is overlooked and that’s why most times it has issues. Liver Disease in dogs is not as common but it’s very important that we take note of it why?
The liver plays a very important role in the body of a dog and us humans as well, as a result it is vulnerable to a wide range of issues or problems, so dog owners need to be very careful with how they treat their dogs and they need to be alert to some possible symptoms the dog may portray.
We will discuss these symptoms later in this post and stay till the end as we will discuss how to prevent liver Disease in dogs too.
What does the Liver do in the Body of a Dog?
Just as it is in humans and other Mammals, a liver is a multi-purpose organ in the body.
See why it’s very risky to lose it?
The liver can detoxify the blood, helps to metabolize or break down food to build energy, it breaks down drugs, stores glycogen, and vitamins, it produces a protein which AIDS in the clotting of blood, and also it produces a very important acid for digestion called the Bile Acid.
So it’s a very important organ of the body.
How to know if my Dog has Liver Disease (Symptoms of Liver Disease)
Liver disease is a health condition that is commonly found to be experienced by dogs. Liver diseases are caused by a number of reasons. Liver disease is a condition that negatively affects the overall health of your dog. However, let’s take a look at the major symptoms of liver disease.
The symptoms of liver Disease comes in many ways, this is because the liver has different functions as we have seen above.
The most common Symptoms of Liver disease is JAUNDICE.
This disease is seen mostly on the skin, as a yellow tinge, it can also be found in the eyes, gums, and ears too.
The liver is supposed to excrete something called Bilirubin.
If the liver does not function properly it can cause the Bilirubin to build up in the blood as it’s no longer excreted, and as a result leads to a yellowish appearance of the dog in the eyes, ear, skin or gums.
Another common Symptom is the Hepatic encephalopathy.
This isn’t just one symptom; it’s the collection of various Symptoms of the liver Disease in dogs.
Some of these symptoms could be:
- Head Pressing
- Disorientation Depression
- Personality Changes (Change in Character of the Dog)
Other symptoms could be:
- Gastrointestinal signs, such as the reduction in appetite, frequent vomiting and regular passing out of feces, weight loss, increase in drinking and urination by the Dog, and changes in stool color.
- Dogs may start to develop fluid retention in their abdomen
You should allow your Vet to carry out a diagnosis test, and see the exact cause of the Liver disease and spot the function of the liver that is malfunctioning.
Your Vet may perform a Blood, X-ray test for your dog. It’s best you comply with this
Major Liver Diseases in dogs that need High Medical Attention
Below are some of these liver Diseases in dogs that can cause a huge problem for your dog.
1. Vessel Abnormalities
This Disorder affects old and young Dogs. For young Dogs, the disease seen is called congenital portosystemic stunt. It’s a distraction that comes by at birth, and this means that the dog has a vein that bypasses the liver, this vein carries toxins that the liver would have handled, but couldn’t as it is bypassed.
Young dogs that have this disease are usually Stunt in growth, have a seizure and a bad orientation.
How is it treated?
Well, it depends, if it’s a one Large Blood vessel, and it’s outside the liver, an operation can be successful, but if the stunt is inside the liver, surgery is not recommended and it’s very risky to perform.
In this case, the dog is given a diet with low protein content so as to reduce the toxins that pass through the blood vessels.
The Liver isn’t been treated, but it reduces the effect of the defect.
2. Endocrine Disease
There are some diseases that affect the endocrine glands that affect the liver too.
Diabetes is one of the diseases can cause liver Disease, as it has an effect on the organ. In this case, it’s best to treat the Dog’s endocrine disease, so it can no longer have an effect on the liver.
3. Infection Disease
What happens when the blood is infected? The liver will also be infected as well.
This is another common dog liver Disease.
4. Liver Cancer
This is the worst that can ever happen to your Dog,
There are two forms of this defect, the primary liver cancer that causes a tumor on the liver and secondary cancer that occurs when the tumor which was lead by cancer spreads from another part of the body and extends to the liver.
We have lesser cases of Primary cancer but either of them is deadly to your dog.
Is the liver Disease dangerous for Dogs?
YES! It is, dangerous, but at the same time it depends on the type of disease the dog has contacted on its Liver, and if the Disease can be eradicated.
In all this disease should be prevented. How?
How to prevent Liver Diseases in Dogs
You can’t prevent all cases of Liver Disease in Dogs, but as a pet owner, you need to take precautions and make sure that the dog is vaccinated regularly.
Keep your dog away from toxins, and try to know the signs of a possible liver Disease in dogs and cooperate with your Vet to fix the issue, before it gets out of hand.
If you try to heed all these advice you will reduce the risk of your dog getting a liver Disease, as early treatment of a Disease is one of the key ways to reducing complications, especially when it comes to the dog liver Diseases.
Mike Steve is a Pet lover & passionate blogger and writer from the U.S. I’ve worked at the Alpha Dog Training Center, He loves to write about pet. He started this blog to provide advance materials for choosing the right products for your dog. Check out his Latest post here