Enlarged Liver in Dogs

Enlarged Liver in Dogs

Enlarged liver in dogs is caused due to various reasons. Mentioned herein, is a detailed account, enunciating the symptoms, causes, various methods of diagnosis, and treatment techniques used, if your canine is identified with an enlarged liver.
DogAppy Staff
The condition of an enlarged liver is referred to as hepatomegaly. Enlarged liver, in itself, is a premiere symptom of different liver diseases; such as, liver cancer, or liver injury. If treatment is not meted in time, a condition such as this one, may cause liver failure, or worse, even death. Any kind of liver disease in dogs is a serious health problem, making his life miserable. Hence, it is our duty to take sedulous care of the dog and in the process, keeping him away from all kinds of diseases.
The liver performs a variety of functions; such as, helping in detoxifying the blood, removal of waste, production of bile which assists in digestion, supplies nutrients, fights diseases, provides energy, and also performs functions which help in the growth of the dog. From this excerpt, it is clear, that liver forms an important part in the dog's body; hence, it should be administered with utmost care. If you notice that your dog is suffering from liver disease, it is important that you take him to the veterinarian as soon as possible, in order to avoid further damage.
Indicants of Enlarged Liver
Jaundice causes liver malfunction. Enlarged liver in dogs, on the other hand, is an indication of liver disease. Along with jaundice, the other commonly observed symptoms are changes in the dog's behavior, diarrhea, vomiting, and white stool. The dog urinating rarely, is also a symptom of enlarged liver. Loss of appetite in dogs is also observed, which can lead to massive weight loss, thus, affecting your dog's health.
Causes
There are a number of reasons that may result in an enlarged liver in dogs. One of the many reasons held responsible for such condition in dogs is the Heartworm disease. They are a kind of dog worms, that not only affect the heart of the dog, but also affect its liver, and cause its enlargement. Presence of poisonous substances in the environment can also give rise to an enlarged liver. Substances, like, arsenic, insecticides, tetrachloride, ragwort, arsenic, etc. can have a harmful effect on the dog's liver. If, in the recent past, the dog has had an abdominal injury, then your canine could be prone to suffering from an enlarged liver. Different dog illnesses, like, diabetes, and encephalopathy can also cause this condition. In some dogs, it can be a genetic defect; as in, Skye terriers, Doberman, Bedlington terriers, etc. Liver neoplasia, hepatitis, storage of excess fat in the liver tissues, or an accumulation of blood at the peripheries of the liver, are causes as well, deemed responsible for an enlarged liver.
Diagnosis Conducted
A thorough diagnosis needs to be conducted, with regards to your dog's overall health, and the ailments that your canine might have encountered in the past. Diagnosing the stage of the condition, and the possible ailments that may have gathered the premises for the enlargement of the liver to occur is also conducted. A complete blood count will be conducted by the concerned veterinarian. The most important test called the biochemistry test provides an account of the cholesterol content, and the degree of liver enzymes found in the test. A higher content, or degree of liver enzymes may point toward a severe malfunctioning of the liver. A tissue culture could also be conducted in order to diagnose the stage of the liver disease. X-rays related to the abdomen, and the chest are drawn in order to extrapolate the configuration of the liver, and the intensity with which the disease is spreading to other parts of the body. With these diagnostic tools, the veterinarian is in the position to prescribe appropriate medication, and treatment management techniques.
Symptomatic Treatment
You can feed your dog with healthy, and nutritious dog food, or the food prescribed by the veterinarian. Along with this, make sure that your dog drinks enough water. Try to keep him away from harmful substances and gases, and make sure that he takes the required amount of rest. This will help in alleviating the condition to a large extent. Treatment may involve administration of antibiotics, and intravenous fluids. When the system endures dehydration, replenishing of the lost fluids is a must. If, however, liver disease is in its advanced stages, administering corticosteroids to treat the condition is required. Corticosteroids are predominantly prescribed in case of your dog suffering from Hepatitis disease. Surgical intervention becomes mandatory if tumor-like growths exist. Conditions in which blood pooling around the liver takes place, could be treated with surgery as well.
These loyal creatures are the best friends of human beings and if you have them as pets, make sure that you take proper care of your dog. If you look after them, I am sure your pet will be able to stay keep from such critical health eventualities.
Note: The article published herein, is meant to accomplish pedagogical purposes only. The information, by no means, intends to supplant the diagnosis and advice imparted by the veterinarian.
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