Dog With Liver Problems

Liver problems in dogs can be a serious concern for pet owners. Like humans, dogs can suffer from various liver diseases and conditions impacting their health and well-being. 

As a responsible dog owner, it is important to understand how you can help your furry friend if they are experiencing liver problems. And that is where we come in.  

We’ll be looking at various ways in which you can support your dog’s liver health and provide them with the necessary care and treatment. 

Spoiler alert… at Doggie Herbs, you can get natural liver healing supplements for dogs tested in the labs.

What Causes Liver Problems In Dogs

Various factors can cause liver problems in dogs, and it is important to accurately and extensively understand each potential cause.

Aging – As dogs age, their organs, including the liver, may not function as efficiently as they once did. This can lead to a decrease in liver function and liver problems.

Genetics – Some breeds have genetic predispositions to specific liver diseases. For instance, Bedlington Terriers are prone to copper storage disease, where excess copper accumulates in the liver over time. 

Now you know, before you shelter that puppy, make sure that you know its genetic background and any related disease it might be predisposed to.

Infections – Infections can also cause liver problems in dogs. Viral, bacterial, or parasitic infections can all affect the liver and lead to inflammation or damage. Common infections that can affect the liver include leptospirosis and canine hepatitis.

Obesity – Obesity can cause dogs’ fatty liver disease (hepatic lipidosis). When dogs are overweight or obese, their bodies may mobilize fat reserves from other areas and deposit them in the liver, affecting liver function.

Trauma – Traumatic injuries to the abdomen, such as being hit very hard by a car or falling from a height, can cause liver damage. 

The liver is a delicate organ, and severe trauma can lead to bleeding or bruising. In other words, this means that the liver won’t function properly.

Toxins – Dogs are vulnerable to toxins due to their exploratory nature. Ingesting or being exposed to toxic substances like poisonous plants (e.g., sago palm, oleander), pesticides, herbicides, rodenticides (rat poison), and household chemicals (e.g., antifreeze) can damage their liver.

How You Can Help Your Dog With Liver Problems

When it comes to helping your dog with liver problems, there are several strategies you can implement to improve their overall health; these include:

Dietary changes – A diet that is low in fat and high in quality protein is ideal for dogs with liver issues. This means avoiding foods high in cholesterol and saturated fats and limiting the intake of processed foods and treats. 

Instead, focus on providing your dog a balanced diet with lean meats, fish, vegetables, and grains. Additionally, feeding smaller, more frequent meals may help reduce the workload on the liver.

Medication – Besides dietary changes, medication may also be necessary to help manage your dog’s liver problems. 

Depending on your dog’s specific condition, your veterinarian may prescribe medications to help reduce inflammation, improve liver function, or manage symptoms such as vomiting or diarrhea.

Common medications used to manage liver problems in dogs include:

  • Ursodeoxycholic Acid (UDCA) – This medication can help improve bile flow and reduce the accumulation of toxins in the liver.
  • Antibiotics – If your dog’s liver issues are related to an infection, antibiotics may be prescribed to combat the infection and prevent it from spreading.
  • Corticosteroids – These anti-inflammatory medications can be used in cases of autoimmune liver diseases to suppress the immune system’s response and reduce liver inflammation.

Supplements – Certain supplements, such as milk thistle or SAM-e, have been shown to benefit dogs’ liver function. These supplements can help reduce inflammation and promote the regeneration of liver cells. 

Weight management – Maintaining a healthy weight is crucial for dogs with liver problems. Obesity can put additional strain on the liver and worsen existing liver conditions. 

Obesity can exacerbate liver issues and lead to a condition known as hepatic lipidosis, where fat accumulates in the liver. Therefore,, monitoring your dog’s weight and adjusting its diet and exercise routine is important. 

Your veterinarian can help you determine your dog’s ideal weight and guide you on achieving and maintaining a healthy weight.

Exercise – Regular exercise helps improve circulation, promote digestion, and maintain a healthy weight. However, tailoring the exercise routine to your dog’s needs and limitations is important. 

Some dogs with liver problems may require more gentle forms of exercise, such as short walks or swimming, while others may be able to tolerate more strenuous activities. 

Always consult your veterinarian before starting or modifying an exercise routine for your dog.

Side note: Unfortunately, no known treatment is available for liver disease in dogs and cats unless a specific toxin is identified. 

In such cases, supportive care becomes crucial, which involves administering intravenous fluids and force-feeding. 

Force-feeding is considered the preferred treatment for cats with hepatic lipidosis and is usually done through a gastrostomy tube for 2-3 months. 

In certain instances, your veterinarian may recommend using antibiotics and/or corticosteroids to address infectious conditions like feline cholangiohepatitis. 

However, conventional medicine has limitations when treating liver disease in animals, so turning to contemporary therapy is the only viable way to help your dog with liver disease.


How can I help my dog with liver problems? Don’t worry; there are several ways in which you can help your dog with liver problems. 

The first thing to do is consult with your veterinarian to determine the underlying cause of the liver problems and devise an appropriate treatment plan. 

This may involve dietary changes, such as providing low-fat, high-quality dog food and avoiding certain ingredients that may strain the liver. 

Additionally, supplements like milk thistle can support liver function and promote healing. Regular exercise and weight management are also important for overall liver health.

If you follow these guidelines and work closely with your veterinarian, you can provide the necessary support and care for your dog with liver problems.

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