How important a dog’s liver is? Is it as important as the kidneys, heart, lungs, brain? Yes, it is! Though it does not look big enough to be recognized easily and more significantly because of sitting motionless in the abdomen. But, in reality the liver is a very significant organ for your little canine friend. Liver helps in digestion and blood clotting and removes toxins from his system. It helps to break down drugs, stores vitamins and glycogen.
Symptoms of liver disease
- Loss of appetite
- Losing weight
- Diarrhea or vomiting
- Increasing thirst
- Frequent peeing
- Yellowish eyes, tongue or gums
- Poop or pee with blood
Causes of liver problems
Sometimes your dog may suffer from liver diseases due to aging. In some cases it is seen that liver diseases are genetic. But it can also occur due to infection or trauma in the liver. Some diseases and medications also are found responsible for liver diseases. However, there are certain other causes of liver disease which include issues with pancreas, diabetes, untreated heartworms and long term use of painkillers.
If your dog has any of the aforementioned symptoms, you should take him to the vet. The vet will ask you about what all he is having these days and also his medications. You may have to do blood tests or x-ray or even ultrasound to clearly understand what is happening with your dog’s liver.
The treatment for your dog is dependent on how soon you notice the problem and what caused it. The vet needs to see what damage has occurred to the liver.
- You may need to change the diet to ensure he gets all the nutrients and calories required to support his liver.
- Supplements such as Denosyl may help to recover the liver
- Medications help to control liver problems. On the recommendation of your vet you may have to change the other medications of your dog.
- For dogs with cyst and tumor, surgery may be an option.
How to Prevent
Liver diseases of dogs can be avoided if you are taking your dog to the vets for regular yearly check-up and vaccinations. Make sure you are telling your vet about all the drugs and supplements, your dog is taking. Avoid fatty food as much as you can and try to stop your dog from roaming in the areas where it may encounter with poisonous plants and insects.