From processing the food that your dog consumes to breaking down and excreting toxins, the liver is involved with so many organic operations that the causes of liver disease in dogs can be induced directly or indirectly.
The liver is the principal industrial center of the body, and in the process of executing its wide-ranging functions, it is assisted by and also helps many other organs in the body. This interconnection is among the main reasons behind the complexity in diagnosing feline canine liver diseases.
The fact that liver disease initially manifests with very obscure symptoms contributes to the problem, and frequently results in a late diagnosis and treatment. At the same time, the liver has a great reserve and regenerative capability that enables it to continue operating, even in emergencies, also leading to a late detection.
A physical injury, overloading that requires it to function beyond its normal capacity, and infection may directly impact on the liver. A small bruise or contusion may heal by itself, but a blow to the front of the stomach (for instance, when a dog is hit by a car) could fracture a lobe of the liver.
Bleeding into the abdomen can sometimes prove to be fatal. An injury may also cause inflammation of the liver, a condition called hepatitis. Hepatitis can also result from infections caused by bacteria, viruses, toxins, and overdose of certain drugs.
Some of the prominent drugs that can be instrumental in affecting the liver include analgesics, glucocorticoids, de-worming drugs, and those used to treat arthritis. Occasionally liver disease may be the direct consequence of a congenital defect as the portal vein bypasses the liver, a condition called a liver shunt, which starves the liver of much needed blood.
One of the basic types of indirect causes of liver disease in dogs, pancreas disease, is the most common. The pancreas is situated very near the liver, and any inflammation that takes place with digestive enzymes can spill over and reflect on liver operation. Any disease that affects functioning of the right side of the heart can also have a detrimental affect on the liver.
Cancer comes under the category of direct as well as indirect causes of liver disease in dogs. Cancer may develop from within the liver or spread to the liver. The extra supply of blood through the portal vein and artery, increases the chances of cancer arriving at the liver more quickly than in any other organ.
There are many toxins that can cause liver problems in dogs. Whatever medication that might be needed to treat other diseases should be given under the guidance of a veterinarian. The diet of your pet should also be conducive to his health and be commensurate with the natural essentials of the species.