There are some man-made chemicals that are toxic and can cause liver disease in dogs as well as humans. The list of these chemicals includes phosphorus, selenium, carbon tetrachloride, insecticides, and toxic amounts of arsenic, lead and iron.
Most people are not aware that liver disease in dogs can also be caused by some over-the-counter medicines and also prescription medications. Antibiotics, antifungals, anticonvulsants, corticosteroids, dewormers and diuretics can all cause adverse reactions in a dog and possibly lead to liver disease if an excessive dosage is given or there is prolonged use of the medication.
Another cause of liver disease in dogs can be traced to a dog consuming certain plants and herbs. These include some mushrooms, blue-green algae, and the mold aflatoxin that grows on corn. If aflatoxin accidentally manages to enter the dog food manufacturing process it can contaminate any canned or dry dog food it comes into contact with and can result in severe liver damage. The damage comes from gallstones, tumors, and liver flukes that form and block the dog’s bile ducts.
To determine the best method of treating liver disease, a veterinarian will first order blood tests followed by ultrasound or CT scans. The scans can reveal damage to the liver but the only conclusive test is a biopsy of the dog’s liver. Whether or not a dog will recover from liver disease is dependent on how long the dog has been sick, the full extent of the liver damage, and whether surgery is necessary or if the disease can be controlled with medications. Surgical procedures are usually recommended to correct bile duct obstructions and some primary tumors of the liver.
Liver disease in dogs is a very serious condition and after treatment by a vet you will need to control and prevent any further complications such as bleeding. Your dog may also require a special diet low in protein to complete its recovery.
Liver disease in dogs is something that must be treated as quickly as possible to protect your pet and give it the ability to live a long and disease-free life.