Last Updated on December 25, 2020
The liver is one of the most important organs in our body and, of course, your dog’s body as well.
It’s the liver that helps with blood clotting and digestion while removing toxins from our system.
A lousy liver equals a sick dog, and if not treated immediately, it may lead to dangerous complications and even death.
But what causes liver disease? It can be a result of aging, genetics, or infection. Some medications, plants, or fatty foods can also be the underlying issue and untreated heartworms or diabetes.
Some dog breeds prone to liver disease are Labrador Retrievers, Chihuahuas, Maltese,
Cocker Spaniels, West Highland White Terriers, and Springer Spaniels. But at the end of the day, it’s a disease that can affect every dog.
Here, we will keep you informed about dog liver disease, not only the warning signs you should be looking out for but also what to do about them.
1. Warning sign: Loss of appetite and weight loss
If you’ve been noticing your dog losing a large amount of weight and losing his appetite, it could be a sign that something is wrong with his body. Since the Loss of appetite is one of the most common symptoms, this behavior can be related to liver disease or any other medical problem. Try to give your dog his favorite meal, grab some meat that you know he loves, and see if he eats it or not. If the response to his favorite food is anything but excitement, then you should take him to the vet as soon as possible.
2. Prevention: A healthy balanced diet
One of the main requirements when preventing or fighting liver disease is to make some diet changes. Removing fatty foods and cheap dog food, especially processed ones, and betting on high-protein intake as well as vitamins and foods rich in minerals is key to any diet. Amino acids come from proteins, which help to build and repair tissues. Plus, if you’ve been giving processed food to your dog, you’re giving him toxins, so it’s important to change into a raw, fresh, and cooked diet with healthy food like fruits and vegetables. So what to feed a dog with liver problems? Sprouts, broccoli, spinach, celery, apple cider vinegar, lemons, and asparagus are a safe bet; remember these should be steamed first.
3. Warning sign: Vomiting or diarrhea
Diarrhea and vomiting are a clear sign that something’s not right. Our body makes us expel things when they don’t belong there or when something’s wrong with our system. Liver disease can cause problems within the digestive tract. A bad liver can lead to your dog feeling very nauseous, and consequently, puking. Check their stuff, like toys, bed, or corners around the house to see if your dog has been vomiting. Even if in little quantities, it’s still a bad sign!
4. Prevention of Antibiotics
You may know how to cure liver disease in dogs naturally through healthy food and exercise. But sometimes, your dog requires more than that, and that’s why antibiotics may be needed. If your dog has a liver infection, an antibiotic is a requirement. It may have a lot of undesirable secondary effects, but there’s no arguing that antibiotics are the fastest way to get rid of infections that live in your dog’s body and stop it from spreading or become worse. Of course that this antibiotic should be prescribed by the veterinarian and purchased at a pharmacy. Don’t order anything online without talking to a professional first!
5. Warning sign: Increased need to pee
When a dog is suffering from liver dysfunction, his need to drink water and pee will grow tremendously. Check your dog’s peeing schedule, and if you don’t have one, create it! Take notes of how many times your dog is peeing and how many times he’s drinking water. Then, you’ll be able to notice if he’s drinking or peeing more than usual or not, which will serve as an indication that his liver might be suffering.
6. Prevention: Surgery
Sometimes, medication and diet are not enough to battle liver disease. Surgery may be necessary when dealing with a full duct obstruction. Even though it may sound scary, surgeries of this kind have high success rates, ending up fixing the problem from the root. Medication can still be necessary for as long as your dog lives, as well as exercise and a healthy diet.
7. Warning sign: Signs of weakness
From having an unstable walk, being confused all the time, or even not getting up without stumbling. Whenever a dog is suffering from a serious disease, like liver malfunction, his body will become weaker. This occurs due to neurotransmission changes in the brain. Personality can also shift whenever a dog is sick. So if you feel that your dog is behaving differently or being mean to you, don’t lash at him; understand that maybe there’s an underlying condition.
8. Prevention: Exercising
As you know, diseases like diabetes can lead to liver malfunction, and what helps with diabetes and every single other health issue your dog may be going through? That’s right! Exercise! Maintaining healthy body weight is important to avoid diseases. Besides, exercising is helpful when you want to lose weight but also gain weight and muscle! For dogs, it’s the same. If your dog is overweight, go for a 10-minute run every day and go up from there. If you want your dog to become stronger and heavier, insist on activities like swimming, climbing, or simple games like tug of war! Ultimately, as a dog owner, you should look out for your dog’s health and make it your priority. That includes, of course, regular checkups with the vet, vaccination, and so on. Getting health insurance can help you if your dog needs any expensive procedure like surgery, for example. It’s always best to plan! Choose to be a responsible, loving owner; your dog will thank you for it.