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A Look at Canine Liver Disease

By D Swain Subscribe to RSS | December 22nd 2011 | Views:

The liver is responsible for performing various functions. Dogs that don't have a properly functioning liver will experience various health problems. Many, many dogs die from liver disease each year. Usually, older dogs are affected. But younger puppies can develop this disease too.

Other health conditions are usually the reason why dogs develop liver disease. Some of these include hepatitis, pancreatitis, and anemia. Parasites such as heartworms can also cause liver disease in dogs. Dogs that ingest toxins or chemicals like antifreeze will significantly increase their risk also.

Liver disease can also be caused by various medications. Dogs also can't break down fat properly. Therefore, liver disease can develop if dogs eat a lot of fatty foods. Dogs that have cancer or diabetes may also have problems with the liver.

Liver disease usually doesn't cause many noticeable symptoms in its early stages. After symptoms start showing up, they include weight loss, loss of appetite, and lethargy. Your dog's abdominal region may also swell. If you touch this area, he may show signs that he's in pain.

As mentioned earlier, the liver is responsible for many different functions. It produces bile pigments that give feces and urine its color. If your dog has liver disease, kissing and will be very orange and his feces may turn gray. Jaundice can also occur.

It is hard to diagnose liver disease in its early stages. This is one of the main reasons why the condition is very deadly in dogs. In order to diagnose it, the vet will need to take a medical history and perform a physical exam.

It is also common for a urinalysis to be performed. If the vet suspects liver disease, he may radiograph the abdomen or take an ultrasound of the liver. Your dog may also have to submit a biopsy of the liver.

In order to treat liver disease in dogs, the underlying condition will need to be dealt with. Dogs that have suffered trauma, will need to be hospitalized while they recuperate. Dogs that have a bacterial infection will need to take antibiotics. In order for the liver to heal properly, any other medical conditions will also need to be treated.

A special diet will also benefit dogs that have liver disease. It is important that you pay attention to exactly what your dog is eating. Feeding him a proper diet will minimize the liver's workload.

D Swain - About Author:
Canines can be affected by many different diseases like dog distemper. Learning about these conditions will help you get your dog treated quickly in case he does fall ill. Right now, you should head over to common-dog-diseases so you can start learning about some common dog diseases.

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