If a liver disease is not attended to in time, it will eventually lead to liver failure and premature death. At the same time, unless the patient is subjected to the recommended diagnostic procedures, it is not possible to detect liver disease. Liver Disease in cats and dogs, the problem is more significant because they cannot communicate and are not able to explain or complain about gastrointestinal discomfort or other non-overt symptoms.
However important the diagnostic procedures may be, if early signs of liver problems in dogs and cats are noticed and reported, the problem can be addressed in time. In most cases proper treatment can facilitate complete remission of the disease.
The same probably applies to every disease but it becomes more pertinent in the case of a liver disease. Many diseases can progress at a fast rate, rendering them incurable at times. Liver disease is a classic example where late detection and treatment can possibly lead to complete liver failure and death. Liver failure is one of the primary causes of death of dogs in the United States.
Signs, especially early signs of liver disease are vague and subtle and at the same time mimic many other diseases. On the reverse side, some other problems like pancreas diseases in dogs and cats usually accompany liver diseases and cause confusion during diagnosis. Both conditions together create complications and require keen observation on the part of a concerned dog owner. Common early signs of liver disease in dogs include the following:
- Polyuria or excessive urination
- Polydipsia or excessive thirst
- Refusal to eat that causes weight-loss
- Gastrointestinal problems like diarrhea and vomiting
- Bloated stomach, usually caused by accumulation of fluid
- Viral and bacterial infections
The ultimate confirmation, of course, is done with laboratory tests and imaging techniques to establish the prevalence of liver disease with complete certainty.
Besides other causes, the most common cause that leads to liver disease in dogs and cats is exposure to toxins. This includes environmental toxins as well as those contained in commercial foods. It is essential that the dog is fed with a nutritious and healthy diet in order to maintain overall health and fitness. Commercial foods that are normally touted as healthy can actually be detrimental to a dog's health. Many times they contain an enormous amount of additives and preservatives that are actually toxic for dogs. Long term reliance on such diets means more toxins to eliminate. As the pressure mounts on the liver to eliminate them it has to work beyond its capacity. The extra burden results in over work, which ultimately leads to damaging the most important industrial center of the body.
Liver failure is an omen of early death for a dog. A liver friendly diet that allows the liver to rest and work within its limits is the best tool for prevention and also for maintaining overall health of your favorite companion.