Liver Disease and Liver Failure in Dogs (cont.)

Treatment

Your dog's treatment will depend on how soon you catch the problem and what caused it. A vet will need to see how much damage there is to the liver.

  • Diet changes often help. Your dog may need a special diet to make sure he's getting the nutrients and calories needed to help his liver.
  • Supplements such as SAM-E or milk thistle may help the liver recover.
  • Medications may help control his liver problems. You may also need to change your dog's other medications or reduce how much he takes.
  • Surgery may be an option for dogs with tumors or cysts.

Work closely with your vet to manage the disease and avoid liver failure.

Prevention

You can help your dog avoid getting liver disease. Take him to the vet for his yearly exams and vaccinations. Make sure your vet is aware of any drugs or supplements he may take. Be mindful of what you feed your dog. Fatty foods can hurt his liver. And don't let your dog roam free in areas where there may be poisonous plants or insects.

SOURCES:

Canine Health Foundation: "Protein-Losing Nephropathy (PLN): An Overview."

Vet Info: "Jaundice in Dogs."

UC Davis Veterinary Medicine.

Web DVM: "Ascites (Free Fluid in the Abdomen in Dogs and Cats)."

Canine Liver Disease Foundation: "Types and Causes of Liver Disease."