Dog liver disease is among the top five leading causes of non-accidental death in dogs and as such should be taken very seriously. The liver is responsible for a number of essential bodily functions, and if it is compromised in any way your dog’s overall health is in jeopardy.
Among the liver’s many responsibilities are blood detoxification, waste removal and bile production to aid digestion. This large gland is involved in just about every process in the body. As such, it is very resilient, with the ability to work even during the onset of liver disease in dogs.
Dog liver disease can be caused by bacterial infections, ingested materials, genetics or existing health conditions. Some of the more common symptoms of liver problems in dogs include weight loss, lethargy, jaundice, loss of appetite, pale gums and abdominal fluid build-up.
How can Dog┬áLiver disease┬ábe treated?
If you notice any of the above symptoms, make sure you consult your veterinarian as soon as possible. Because the liver is able to function effectively even at 70 to 80% capacity, the disease may be in its advanced stages by the time the condition manifests itself.
Your vet can perform blood tests to check liver enzyme levels among other indicators. He or she can also look and feel for liver enlargement, jaundice or other signs of canine liver disease.
Treatment will depend on the cause of the problem and the severity of damage to the gland. Unlike other organs in the body, it can regenerate itself so if the problem is isolated there is a good chance of recovery. Dietary adjustments can be extremely effective in treating dog liver disease.
Providing the right vitamins, minerals, fats and other nutrients can help restore liver function. Reducing chemical additives and preservatives from your dog’s diet can lighten the liver’s workload.
Please note you should always consult with your veterinarian before deciding on a treatment to relieve liver disease in dogs. He or she will help you decide on what is the best solution for your pet.