Hepatitis in dogs | From symptoms of liver disease in dogs to treatment
Liver disease in dogs in unfortunately quite common health problem, especially as dogs get older. Early detection is very important and can make all the difference in treating your beloved pet liver problems.
Learn what are the signs of liver disease in dogs and what elevated alt in dogs means. Finally, find out what you can do to if your pet suffers from liver problems.
What are the most common liver problems in dogs?
These are the most common liver issues in dogs:
- Chronic active hepatitis
- Acute hepatic failure
- Canine infectious hepatitis
- Copper storage disease
- Canine hepatic lipidosis
- Liver shunt
- Cirrhosis and Fibrosis of the liver
Visit maxxipaws for more information about each liver condition and hepatitis in dogs in general.
Liver Support for Dogs
What are the symptoms of liver disease in dogs?
It is easy to miss the first symptoms of liver problems in dogs. Firstly, because they tend to be subtle in the beginning but also because they can be similar to symptoms from many other diseases.
The symptoms of hepatitis in dogs can also vary depending of what exactly the liver problem is but as we have learned there is more than one type liver failure in dogs.
The most common symptoms signs of liver disease in dogs tend to include:
- Loss of appetite
- Weight loss
- Vomitingor diarrhea
- Increased thirst
- Increasedneed to urinate
- Blood in the pee or stools
- An unstable walk
- Ascites (buildup of fluid in the belly)
- Jaundice (yellowish eyes, tongue, or gums)
Many of these symptoms are similar to symptoms of other health problems so how do you know for sure if you dog is suffering from liver failure? You need to take your dog to the Vet. Your Vet will examine your dog and if he suspects him to suffer from liver problems, he will take a blood test (liver enzyme test) to check the liver enzyme level.
Your Vet may also do an X-ray or ultrasound to get a better picture of what is going on in your dog’s liver.
What does elevated ALT in dogs mean?
Liver enzyme test checks the liver enzyme level but elevated liver enzymes (elevated ALT in dogs) indicate liver problems in dogs.
ALT stands for Alanine aminotransferase. High ALT in dogs can signify liver cell death. However liver problems are not the only possible cause of elevated ALT in dogs so further analysis is needed.
So the liver enzyme test should also check AST (Aspartate transaminase), ALP (Alkaline phosphatase) and GGT (Gamma glutamyl transferase).
If you are concerned that your dog suffers from liver problem, insist that the GGT level is tested as it is the most sensitive enzymatic indicator of liver disease. GGT can also help to rule out other potential health problems. For example, if ALP is elevated but GGT not, then the dog is more likely to suffer from skeletal disease than liver disease.
Healthy dog’s liver enzyme results fall within a range, see below example from Dogs Naturally Magazine.
What can you do about canine hepatitis?
The liver has amazing healing capacities so most liver problems in dogs can be successfully treated, or at least managed. The best treatment for hepatitis in dogs though varies based on what the exact problem is.
The prognosis for your dog also depends on the severity and length of time of liver pathology. Which is why early diagnosis of any liver issues in dogs is so important.
Treatments for canine hepatitis can include medication, dietary modifications, electrolyte, intravenous (IV) fluids, etc.
Liver supplements for dogs are usually also recommended as part of the treatment plan. Good canine hepatitis supplement is also important during the aftercare and can help to get down the elevated ALT in dogs.
Which ingredients should be in my dog’s liver supplement?
Supplementation with B vitamins is generally recommended for dogs with hepatobiliary diseases (the hepatobiliary system refers to the liver, gall bladder and bile ducts, and how they work together to make bile).
The best supplement for canine hepatitis health is in however SAM-e (S-adenosylmethionin). SAM-e is a compound that is made naturally in the body. It helps the cleaning out of build-up of unwanted waste in the liver and is important for liver cell health. There are no food sources of SAM-e so it has to be given as a supplement and it has shown its effectiveness in supporting liver health in dogs.
Milk thistle is also a popular supplement for hepatic health as it contains silymarin that has been shown to be effective for liver health. Artichoke (Cynara Scolymus) is a member of the milk thistle family and contains silymarin, as well as cynarin and caffeic acid that are as important as silymarin for liver health.
Other ingredients that are beneficial for canine liver health are Choline bitartrate which is an essential micronutrient for liver function and Inositol that works with Choline to remove fat deposits from the liver.
maxxiSAMe contains all the above ingredients for hepatitis in dogs, i.e. one supplement that contains all the ingredients that work best for canine liver health.
maxxiSAMe not only supports the liver, it also supports the cognitive function and joint health. This makes maxxiSAMe effective supplement for aging pets.
What’s more, maxxiSAMe can be given WITH food so no need to force coated tablet down your pet’s throat. And as powder, it is easy to adjust the daily serving as needed. It also allows you to divide the daily serving into two servings for maximum results, i.e. to maximize the absorption of all ingredients.