Liver Disease in Dogs: Diagnosis, Causes and Prevention

Liver Disease in DogsLiver disease in dogs could be very tricky to detect because your dog’s symptoms may be similar to other health problems that start off with increased thirst and excessive urination which keeps you up all night or you discover blood in your dog’s feces which scares you to death… and even worse, one day you notice the whites of your dog’s eyes look yellow and your vet informs you that your dog needs an ultrasound to check on his liver damage.

This news brief gives you information about prevention, symptoms and causes of your dog’s liver disease.  I hope when you read this post you’ll find the help you need to restore your dog’s liver and manage his disease.

Liver Disease in Dogs:  Detection, Causes and Prevention

Your dog’s liver removes toxins from his body.  As a vital organ, your dog’s liver helps break down drugs, metabolizes sources of energy, stores vitamins and glycogen, produces bile acids for digestion and manufactures proteins for blood clotting. 

If your dog’s liver isn’t healthy, your dog is at risk for liver disease.

Symptoms of Liver Disease

  • Increased thirst and urination
  • Blood in urine or feces
  • Loss of appetite and weight loss
  • Seizures, ataxia and loss of balance
  • Weakness and confusion
  • Vomiting and diarrhea
  • Jaundice – yellowish color of eyes, tongue, ears or gums
  • Ascites – fluid in belly

Danger:  If liver disease in dogs is not diagnosed early, your dog can develop hepatic encephalopathy,  a brain condition that includes seizures, disorientation, depression, head pressing, blindness, or personality changes.

Causes of Liver Disease

  • Fatty foods and Diabetes
  • Infections, Pancreatitis, trauma or disease that hurts your dog’s liver
  • Medications and painkillers
  • Plants, herbs such as ragwort, mushrooms, blue-green algae
  • Molds that grow on corn
  • Untreated heart worm
  • Aging
  • Genetic – Certain breeds may be predisposed to specific liver conditions. Copper storage disease is a known problem in Bedlington Terriers, Doberman Pinschers, Skye Terriers, and West Highland White Terriers. In these breeds a metabolic defect causes copper to remain in your dog’s liver which leads to chronic hepatitis.

5 Ways to Detect and Prevent Liver Disease in Dogs

  1. Avoid toxins – Keep toxic foods like alcohol, grapes and onions away from your dog.  Toxic substances in your home should be secured and out of your dog’s reach.
  2. Avoid fatty foods – Read labels on your dog’s packaged food to check on the amount of fat in his food. Ask your vet for help to make sure your dog gets a healthy low fat diet that will keep your dog’s liver healthy and prevent obesity or diabetes.
  3. Blood tests – Get annual blood tests that show toxin levels in your dog’s liver.
  4. Ultrasound – Your vet may recommend an ultrasound to check for tumors or cancer in your dog’s liver.
  5. Biopsy – Your vet may recommend a tissue biopsy to test for bacterial infections like Leptospirosis that can lead to liver disease in dogs.

5 Treatments for Your Dog’s Liver Disease

You can choose 1 of these 5 herbal remedies to help your dog with liver disease:

  1. Dandelion Leaf Root Tea – Dandelions help your dog’s digestion, pancreatitis, immune system, kidneys, liver and gallbladder.  Your dog can eat dandelions right out of your backyard as long as you don’t use pesticides or herbicides on Liver Disease in Dogsyour grass. Dry some dandelions and sprinkle a teaspoon into his food.  Make dandelion tea to help with elimination of toxins.  Add 1/4 cup of cool dandelion tea to your dog’s water bowl or mix with his food.  Increase the amount to 1/2 cup for dogs over 20 pounds.
  2. Lemon – The benefits of lemon include liver health and detoxification. Lemon juice even helps keep your dog free of parasites which helps prevent liver disease in dogs.  Use 1/4 teaspoon or less daily for small dogs under 10 pounds.  Use 1 – 2 teaspoons daily for medium to large dogs.  Add 1/2 teaspoon grated, chopped or finely minced lemon to your dog’s food at morning or night.  Keep lemon parts refrigerated in an air tight glass receptacle to keep fresh.
  3. Milk thistle – Sprinkle milk thistle seed powder on your dog’s food to boost immunity, repair and regenerate liver cells and rid your dog of toxins. Recommended daily dosage of milk thistle seed is 2 mg per pound and maximum 100 mg for large dogs
  4. Turmeric – Turmeric, a powerful anti-inflammatory herb, helps as a remedy for cancers, liver disease in dogs and reduction of blood clots. Sprinkle turmeric powder in your dog’s food daily to help with bacterial infections cuts and diarrhea.  Daily dosage for turmeric should not exceed 1/4 teaspoon for every 10 pounds of your dog’s weight and not exceed 2 teaspoons for dogs over 100 pounds.
  5. Wheatgrass – Wheatgrass is one of the best foods for your dog because it contains vitamins, calcium, iron, magnesium and selenium.  Benefits of wheatgrass include increased energy, Liver Disease in Dogsrejuvenates blood, delays aging, repairs DNA, and fights free radicals which helps prevent cancer and liver disease in dogs.  You can buy or grow organic wheatgrass and let your dog eat a few bites with each meal.  Snip off pieces of the wheatgrass and sprinkle on your dog’s food.

Note: Your dog’s liver is the only visceral organ known to regenerate.  This means that you may be able to control your dog’s liver disease with regular vet visits, rigid control of your dog’s diet and review of changes in your dog’s liver enzyme values.

Now you have 5 choices of powerful herbal remedies to help keep your dog’s liver healthy and give your dog a chance for a longer life if he has liver disease.

I hope you got some helpful tips from reading this post on liver disease in dogs.  I’d love to hear your feedback, so make sure you leave a comment below with your thoughts or questions.

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Share this health article on diagnosis, causes and prevention of liver disease with your friends and family so they have the information they need to help their dog who may have liver disease.  You can always depend on the best dog health strategies from Dog Health News.

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Can Dogs Eat Cheese? Yes But Avoid These Ingredients

Can Dogs Eat CheeseCan dogs eat cheese as a healthy snack you can grab out of your refrigerator or is there a slow danger that these tasty cheese treats you give your dog could cause health problems like obesity over the years because you didn’t notice the toxic ingredients in cheese or check out the high calories per ounce which could put your dog at risk.

Read this article and find out what ingredients to avoid in cheese to keep your dog healthy. These insights and tips about cheese will help you prevent your dog from the risks of kidney damage, heart disease and obesity.

Can Dogs Eat Cheese?  Yes, but Avoid these Ingredients and Cheeses

You may already know about the extra calories in cheese, however here’s some ingredients in cheese you also should avoid:

  • Garlic    Your dog may react to garlic and have an upset stomach or diarrhea.  You should avoid any cheese that contains garlic, onions, chives and leeks which are all part of the Allium Can Dogs Eat Cheesefamily and known to be poisonous to dogs.
  • Fat  – Avoid cheeses with high fat content like Boursin, Brie and Cheddar.  Too much fat can lead to pancreatitis and obesity.
  • Salt Can dogs eat cheese with salt? Your dog can become dehydrated and dizzy when he eats cheese with too much salt.  Other signs of salt poisoning may be excessive thirst or urination, kidney damage, high blood pressure, seizures, diarrhea and vomiting.
  • Blue Cheese – Avoid blue cheeses like Roquefort, Gorgonzola and Stilton. The coloring in blue cheese is caused by Penicillium mold cultures which can be poisonous to your dog.

2 Health Dangers of Cheese

  1. Lactose – Your dog may be lactose intolerant.  This means your dog can have gas, bloating, and diarrhea when he eats any type of cheese.
  2. Antibiotics – Dairy products like cheese may reduce the absorption of some antibiotics such as doxycycline. 

Note: Because of the above dangers of lactose, you may want to use peanut butter instead of cheese to give your dog a pill.

3 Good Cheese Choices for Your Dog

Can Dogs Eat CheeseCheese contains benefits like calcium, protein, essential fatty acids and vitamins that can keep your dog healthy.  Now you have the answer to “Can Dogs Eat Cheese?”

You can choose one of these 3 healthy cheeses as a treat for your dog.

  1. Cottage Cheese – You can feel good when you choose cottage cheese as a treat for your dog.  A quarter-cup of cottage cheese gives your dog protein and calcium with only 50 calories and no fat or salt.
  2. Aged cheeses – Cheddar, Swiss and Parmesan cheese have low levels of lactose, however they are high in fat. 
  3. Goat cheese – You can give your dog goat cheese because it’s low in lactose and may work for your lactose-sensitive dog with your vet’s approval.

Safe Amounts of Cheese to Give Your Dog

  • 1/2 ounce 3 times a week – dogs under 10 lbs
  • 1 ounce 3 times a week – dogs 10-50 lbs
  • 2 ounces 3 times a week – dogs over 50 lbs

Can dogs eat cheese? You’ve read what cheeses to avoid and now you have 3 healthy cheese choices to give your dog that will protect him from the dangers of calories, salt and fat.

Share this article on cheese with your friends and family so they have the information they need to choose the best cheeses for their dog.  You can always depend on the best dog health strategies from Dog Health News.

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Chubby Dogs: 7 Ways Your Plump Pooch May Cost You More

Chubby DogsChubby dogs may be the cutest canines on your street, get lots of love and make everyone smile, however their extra pounds can be the cause of dozens of health issues that will make these overweight dogs suffer and rack up expensive medical bills at your vet.  It’s hard to say no when your dog begs for treats until one day you notice he’s twice the size he was last year and your veterinarian tells you to cut back on his food because your dog could develop diabetes or a heart condition that will add lifelong dog health expenses and potentially shorten your dog’s life.

This news brief gives you 7 ways your pudgy dog could cost you more in health expenses so you’ll understand the consequences of canine obesity.

7 Ways Chubby Dogs are in Danger of Expensive Health Risks

  1. Knees  – Extra weight can put your dog at risk for knee and leg injuries and your dog may need cranial cruciate ligament (CCL) surgery.  The average cost for CCL surgery is $3,500 without dog health insurance coverage.  Additional costs are for physical therapy that can run as high as $100 per visit as needed.
  2. Arthritis – Inflammation around your dog’s joints builds up with more pounds to carry around and your dog may develop a limp or become lame from the pain he suffers with arthritis.  You may need to spend $1,000 or more to treat your dog’s arthritis, provide a dog wheelchair and pay for medicine to reduce your dog’s pain and arthritic symptoms.
  3. Hygiene – Urinary tract infections (UTI’s) increase when chubby dogs can’t reach areas to clean because of their body weight.  The cost to treat UTI’s can be more than $500 each time your dog gets an infection.
  4. Back – If your dog carries 5-10 pounds over his healthy weight Chubby Dogsthere’s a good chance he’ll have back problems sooner or later.  Corgis, Dachshunds and Basset Hounds are prone to intervertebral disc disease (IDD) which can result in surgery that can be more than $2,000.  However, back problems are common in all breeds when your dog is overweight.
  5. Cancer – Obesity in dogs can often be one cause of cancerous tumors.  The cost for tests and treatment for your dog with cancer is over $2,000.  Medical expenses can be a minor point for your family compared to what your dog must endure with this disease.
  6. Stomach – Too many treats, large portions of food and reduced exercise can contribute to your dog’s weight gain. The consequences for chubby dogs can be things like an upset tummy, gas, diarrhea, liver disease, vomiting and dehydration.  The cost for vet visits to solve these health problems add up over the years.  Stomach-related health issues are one of the most common reason for vet visits and thousands of dog owners are unpleasantly surprised with average bills of $500 – $1,000.
  7. Diabetes – Table scraps, pieces of pizza, bites of cookies and treats loaded with carbohydrates and fat could be the catalyst for your dog to develop diabetes.  If your dog suffers from diabetes, you are faced with daily responsibility for his health and additional dog health expenses throughout your dog’s life.  The estimated annual cost starts at $1,000 to cover vet visits and blood sugar maintenance.

Tips to Prevent Canine Obesity

  • Exercise – Light to moderate exercise for at least 30 minutes a Chubby Dogsday helps keep your healthy dog from growing into the obese weight category of chubby dogs.
  • Diet – Work with your vet so you feed your dog a breed specific nutritionally balanced diet with limited treats for being a good dog.
  • Habits – Bad habits are hard to break, however your dog depends on your help to keep him at his healthy weight.  It’s never too late to change your habits like limiting treats to once a day.  Obesity can shorten your dog’s life, reduce his quality of life and even worse, you may face tough decisions when presented with a big bill to pay because your dog is overweight.

This article gives you reasons to keep your dog at his healthy weight to prevent him from the risks of obesity including extra expenses to care for a chubby dog.

Share this article with your friends and family so they have information on the dangers faced by overweight dogs and the costs to cover their health expenses.  You can always depend on the best dog health strategies from Dog Health News.

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