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The first step to treating dog liver disease is to determine the cause. Sometimes, treatment can be much easier if the cause of dog liver disease is determined and targeted right away. However, sometimes dog liver disease treatment can be a little more tricky. This is because some causes are much more serious and require medical attention on their own. For example, if your dog’s case of liver disease is caused by a bacterial infection, often times antibiotics are used to treat the illness before liver disease in dogs treatment can begin.
There are many different methods of treatment for your dog’s case of liver disease. Most times treatments will need to be more than just in hospital. This means, dietary changes, supplementations and frequent check-ups may need to be administered in order to ensure your dog’s liver fully recovers. In serious cases of dog liver disease, surgery and extensive treatment such as chemotherapy may be required.
Treatment for Dog Liver Disease
The liver is one of the main organs that helps to break down medications. When dealing with dog liver disease, smaller doses that are more frequently given are a better method in order for the medication to filter properly through your dog’s body to treat the liver or any secondary illnesses that may occur or be present. Some liver disease in dogs treatments include:
Antibiotics – These are used in case of a current infection or if your dog is at risk for a secondary infection.
Anti-nausea – Anti-nausea medications that contain sucraflate and cimetidine may be given to help reduce vomiting and diarrhea caused by dog liver disease. These also may help to prevent stomach ulcers.
IV fluids – Electrolyte or potassium fluids may be given on an IV during treatment to ensure he does not become dehydrated. IV fluids are given when your dog cannot handle water or electrolyte beverages because of vomiting.
Zinc – If your dog’s liver problems are caused by copper storage disease, zinc may be used in treatment to help reduce the copper levels in your dog’s liver.
Steroids – These help to reduce swelling and scarring in the liver. Often times, corticosteroids or glucocorticoids are used to treat diseases that have caused liver disease, such as hepatitis or diabetes. It is recommended to only use this treatment under the supervision of your veterinarian, because overuse may actually cause liver disease or worsen the existing problem.
Diet – Diet is extremely important for the after-care of liver disease in dogs treatment. These foods are very easily digestible, and may even be made at home. Protein is important, but needs to be restricted. It is recommended that protein comes from dairy or eggs rather than a meat source, as these are easier to digest. Sodium levels will also need to be cut back because it retains too much fluid. You may also give your dog some supplements to help support liver function. These include vitamin C, K, E and milk thistle.
Blood transfusions – In more serious cases, blood transfusions may be required. These are usually only required if liver disease causes bleeding disorders.
Chemotherapy – If your dog is suffering from liver cancer, a severe form of liver disease, chemotherapy and radiation therapy may be used. These are usually very risky procedures and can be quite expensive.
Although the liver may become infected and may take awhile to heal, it is a very powerful organ that fights off illness and recovers many different ways. Most treatment options have a very high success rate, which depends highly on the cause of your dog’s case of liver disease. Always talk to your veterinarian about different options available for treatment of liver disease.