Pet Liver Conditions

What is liver disease?

The liver is an important organ with many functions, including the digestion and conversion of nutrients, the removal of toxic substances from the blood and the storage of vitamins and minerals.  Liver disease results in inflammation, known as hepatitis.  If untreated, this can lead to to loss of function as healthy liver cells are replaced by scar tissue.  Disease elsewhere in the body can also affect the liver’s function.

Fortunately, liver disease can be effectively managed and progression limited.  Many pets go on to live happily years after their diagnosis.  Proper nutrition and continuous dialog with our office is the key to managing your pet’s disorder.

What causes liver disease?

Factors  that increase your pet’s likelihood of developing liver disease include”

Age Several diseases, including liver dysfunction, are common in geriatric pets.
Breed Certain breeds, such as Dobermans, Rottweilers, Yorkshire Terriers, Cocker Spaniels and Siamese cats, are more likely to be born with or are prone to develop particular liver problems.
Obesity Cats that are severly overweight may be more likely to develop liver disease.
Medications and chemicals Medications containing acetaminophen can damage the liver in cats and dogs.

Does my pet have liver disease?

The signs of liver disease can be very similar to those of other conditions.  If you notice any of the following signs in your pet, contact our office for a comple examination.

  • Poor appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Jaundice (yellowing of the skin and whites of eyes)
  • Increased thirst
  • Vomitting or diarrhea
  • Changes in behavior
  • Excessive drooling.

Important Note: The signs of liver disease are not very specific, making it difficult to recognize.  If your pet is not eating, consult our office immediately.  If obese cats stop eating their could be fatal complications.

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