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Liver Disease in Pets From Our Veterinarian at the Animal Hospital of Sullivan County in Ferndale, NY
If you are like most pet owners, you have not thought much about liver disease in your pet. While it does occur in dogs and cats, liver disease is not a condition at the forefront of most pet owners’ minds. It is a disease that is worth learning about, however, because it can affect both dogs and cats. Certain treatments can be effective for liver disease, depending on its severity, but there are also cases of liver disease that can be fatal. As your veterinarian in Ferndale, NY, we are here to help you understand the liver disease and to provide the treatments your pet needs to live a full, happy life!
Understanding Liver Disease in Dogs and Cats
The liver has a lot of jobs in your pet’s body. It produces bile for digestion, it helps blood clot, it cleans the blood and has a variety of other duties as well. Because of its many duties, problems with the liver can vary widely – affecting one or more of the functions the organ is responsible for.
Problems with the liver may lead to jaundice, the yellowing of your pet’s skin and other tissues. Or they may show up as issues with the gastrointestinal system, leading to vomiting and diarrhea. Symptoms of liver disease can even show up as disorientation and seizures. It all depends on what part of the liver’s function is impaired.
Some of the more common issues with the liver include:
- Infection – because the liver cleans the blood, it is susceptible to bacterial infections, viral infections, and other infections.
- Hepatitis – liver disease in dogs is often caused by hepatitis, which can lead to liver scarring and inflammation.
- Impaired development of blood vessels – liver disease in younger dogs is often the result of abnormalities in the blood vessels that feed the liver.
- Fungal infections – fungal spores can cause liver disease that is hard to treat, making it one of the more worrisome liver issues a dog or cat can suffer from.
- Masses – cysts can develop in the liver that may need to be removed surgically.
- Cancer – tumors can develop in the liver, either directly in the liver or after spreading from another area.
How Your Veterinarian Can Help
You can help your pet by bringing them in for regular physical exams and routine labwork at least every year and biyearly if they are seniors to establish a baseline and through time pick up on disease early with regular exams and lab work. The best way to get an accurate diagnosis of liver disease is to visit your veterinarian at the Animal Hospital of Sullivan County. Our team has a number of different tests we can conduct based on the symptoms your pet is experiencing. Tests can range from a standard physical exam to ultrasound and biopsy.
The treatments we will offer you and your pet will depend on the exact liver disorder affecting your pet. For instance, if your pet has a fungal infection, we will administer anti-fungal medication. If your pet has a cyst that needs to be removed, we will suggest surgery.
Schedule an Appointment at Animal Hospital of Sullivan County
If your pet is not acting right or is suffering from symptoms you think indicate liver disease, please contact Animal Hospital of Sullivan County at 845-292-6711 immediately. The sooner we can diagnose the problem, the sooner we can begin treatment.