Fungal Infections in Dogs

Blastomyces dermatididis is a fungal organism that causes Blastomycosis, a fungal infection in dogs. The fungi is found in sandy, acidic soil in close proximity to water. It can cause severe respiratory problems and may lead to blindness. The first symptom of this disease is the appearance of crusty sores on the skin.

Blastomycosis is a serious systemic fungal disease that primarily infects dogs as well as people and can cause respiratory, eye, and skin lesions. It can be fatal if not diagnosed and treated quickly. Even with proper treatment many dogs do not recover from the infection.

The disease is usually found only in the area of the Mississippi, Missouri, and Ohio River valleys, the Mid-Atlantic States and parts of Quebec, Manitoba, and Ontario.

A blastomycosis fungal infection in dogs happens when the animal inhales the blastomycosis spores found in the soil. The spores then travel down into the airways of the lungs and an infection develops. Once it infects the dog’s lungs it spreads throughout the body to the skin, eyes, bones, lymph nodes, subcutaneous tissue, and brain.

The symptoms of blastomycosis include lack of appetite, fever, depression, weight loss, coughing, eye problems, lameness, or skin problems. These symptoms may be present for a few days or a few weeks.

Approximately 85% of dogs who have blastomycosis also have lung lesions and 40% have eye lesions. Skin lesions are found in 20% to 40% of infected dogs.

The most common treatment for this disease is oral administration of the antifungal drug Itraconazole. This drug needs to be given to a dog every day for 60 to 90 days. It is the safest and most effective way to treat the disease, but the drug was meant for humans and is very expensive. An injectable drug, Amphotericin B, is also prescribed by some vets, and must be given intravenously several times a week by the veterinarian.

There is currently no vaccine available to protect against blastomycosis.

Histoplasmosis is a fungus found in dust that causes infection in dogs under four years of age. The result is a swelling of the lymphatic nodes in the neck and armpits. The fungus is found in the soil and enters the body through a dog’s lungs, causing a range of respiratory and intestinal symptoms. Some animals are able to recover from the infection without any medication while others require treatment with an antifungal medication.

Infections are more common in dogs who live outside or spend a good amount of time wandering around forested areas. Dogs become infected by inhaling the spore-like particles of the fungus present in the soil. The symptoms are varied and depend on the severity of the infection. Many healthy dogs recover from minor respiratory infections on their own. Dogs with a weak immune system may develop a more severe infection that can spread to its intestinal system, lymph nodes, spleen, liver, or even the eyes.

The most common symptoms are weight loss, fever, and loss of appetite. A dog may also have a cough and experience difficulty in breathing. X-rays of the chest and abdomen are usually necessary to detect the organisms in infected tissue. A biopsy of infected tissue may be done because the tissues often contain some of the small fungal organisms.

In simple cases of the respiratory form of histoplasmosis, treatment may not be necessary because the dog will often clear the infection on its own. However, the risk of the infection spreading or becoming more severe is very real.

Dog Allergies: Symptoms and Treatments


It’s fairly easy to determine whether your dog is suffering from allergies. Dog allergies can affect any breed of dog, no matter where you live. The symptoms of dog allergies are the same for all breeds and the treatments for those allergies are usually the same.

Some of the symptoms of dog allergies are: excessive scratching, pawing at the face or eyes; excessive sneezing, continual runny nose, watery eyes, acute coughing, skin rashes or dry, crusty skin, continually rubbing its face on the floor or furniture , and chronic ear infections.

Seasonal allergies affect many dogs and are caused by spores or pollen grains in the air. These allergens are inhaled and sometimes are able to penetrate a dog’s skin.

Seasonal dog allergies usually occur when a dog is between the ages of 1 and 3. However, some dogs don’t develop seasonal allergies until they are 6 to 8 years old.

If you notice allergy symptoms in your dog you’ll need to schedule a vet visit to have blood tests performed. This is the only way to confirm if the dog really does have seasonal allergies or if the symptoms could be related to a disease that has infected the dog.

Two methods veterinarians use to determine if a dog is suffering from allergies are an ELISA test, the most commonly used test to diagnose allergies; and intradermal testing.

To effectively treat seasonal dog allergies, the vet first has to determine the cause of the allergy, and then you’ll need to limit or eliminate exposure to that allergen. Most dog owners whose pets suffer from seasonal allergies will keep the dog out of grassy or flowered fields during pollen seasons and will also keep the grass on their lawn cut short.

The vet may recommend topical ointments to relive the dog’s itchiness and the other symptoms of seasonal allergies. In addition, regular bathing of the dog’s skin will help reduce allergic reactions.

Some dog owners have reported that a change in their dog’s diet reduced the allergies by strengthening the dog’s immune system. Omega 3 fatty acids are known to help in boosting a dog’s immune system.

The vet may also prescribe antihistamines and steroids if the dog’s allergies continue to worsen.

Some vets also use immunization therapy to reduce a dog’s allergic reactions. This is accomplished by injecting the allergen in small amounts in the dog’s system and after a few shots, the dog will begin to build an immunity to the allergens.

The symptoms of dog allergies should not be ignored and treatment should begin as soon as you know for sure that your dog is suffering from seasonal allergies.

Ringworm Infections in Dogs

There are several types of fungal skin infections in dogs, each having a different cause. It is not difficult for a dog to contract a fungal infection from dirt, other infected dogs, and even from another dog’s feces. Ringworm is the most common type of fungal infection affecting a dog’s skin. This infection is not caused by “worms” as its name implies but is caused by fungi. The name “ringworm” derives from the appearance of a dog’s skin which develops red circles and hair loss when infected.

A ringworm infection can easily be transmitted to humans and should be treated as soon as it appears on a dog’s skin. Never touch these sores with your bare hands, instead always wear gloves when handling a dog infected with ringworms.

Several different fungi can cause ringworm. The ringworm fungus is most prevalent in hot, humid climates even though most cases of ringworm occur in the fall and winter.

Ringworm infection can be transmitted by direct contact with the lesions of another infected dog or by contact with a surface contaminated with the spores such as grooming equipment or brushes. Ringworm spores can survive for long periods in the environment, making it possible for a dog to contract ringworm just about anywhere other dogs or cats have been. Young dogs are most often infected, and dogs with a suppressed immune system caused by other diseases or overuse of steroids, are also more susceptible to contracting the disease.

Most healthy adult dogs have some resistance to ringworm and will never develop symptoms from the fungus.

Dogs with ringworm often display a distinctive set of symptoms, most often a small round lesion without hair. The lesion will often have scaly skin in the center and sometimes small abscesses appear in the lesion. The lesion may start as a small spot and continue to grow in size and it may or may not be irritated and itchy. The lesions are most common on the head but can also occur on a dog’s legs, feet, or tail.

The best and most accurate way to identify a ringworm infection is by collecting scales and crust from the dog’s skin and coat and have them cultured by a veterinarian.

Most small, isolated lesions on healthy dogs and puppies will heal on their own within 4 months. In more severe cases, several different treatments are used. Isolated lesions can be treated with an antifungal medication such as miconazole cream, Lotrimin cream, or 1% chlorhexidine ointment which need to be applied to the infected areas twice a day. More severe lesions need to be treated with antifungal shampoos such as 0.5% chlorhexidine shampoo, ketoconazole shampoo, 2% chlorhexidine solution, or 2% miconazole shampoo applied every two to four days.

There are currently no dependable vaccines to prevent ringworm infection in dogs.

Kidney Disease in Dogs

Kidney disease in dogs can be caused by several factors; it can be a causal effect of the dog’s age, severe dehydration, a new or past trauma to the kidneys, or even tick borne diseases.

There are a lot of valuable pieces of information your veterinarian will be able to obtain from analyzing your dog’s urine sample if he suspects kidney disease. The vet will interpret the results of the urine test by reviewing the history of your pet, completing a physical exam – sometimes including blood work, and depending on the severity of the kidney disease, further testing may necessitate x-rays or ultrasound.

If obtaining a urine sample from your dog is difficult, try one of these different ways to collect the sample: The most common way to collect a sample from a larger dog is to use a clean, dry container, (you can even use an aluminum pie pan or cake pan, or a deep plastic dish that will hold the urine). After your dog has urinated, pour the sample into a clean container and seal it. Be sure to save the urine sample in a clean, dry container you can easily transport to your vet. The sample should be delivered to your veterinarian’s office immediately. If you are unable to deliver the sample immediately, refrigerate it but never freeze a dogs urine sample.

If your vet requires a sterile sample of urine to test for kidney disease you will need to take your dog to the vet’s clinic to undergo a procedure called “cystocentesis,”. The vet will insert a small needle directly into the dog’s bladder through the body wall. This procedure will not take long and will provide a sample uncontaminated by bacteria from anything outside the dog’s bladder, including its fur.

In addition to checking for kidney disease, a urinalysis will also provide information about your dog’s bladder, liver, pancreas, and other organs.

A complete urinalysis of your dog’s urine involves three steps:
1. Checking and recording the color, cloudiness, and how concentrated the urine is.
2. Completing a chemical analysis of the urine.
3. Centrifuging a small quantity of the urine sample and examining the sediment under a microscope.

Normal urine is amber-yellow in color and clear to slightly cloudy. Concentrated urine will be a darker yellow. White blood cells can also make the urine cloudy. If there is blood in the urine it will have a reddish-brownish shade.

Many of the chemical tests for kidney disease can be done using only a small quantity of urine. A dipstick is used to transfer a small amount of urine to special medical pads containing chemical reagents that test for a particular material in the urine. When the urine comes in contact with one of the reagents a chemical reaction occurs and the color of the pad will change based on how much of the substance is in the urine. The vet will then compare the pad with a color chart to determine approximately how much of the substance is in the urine. Some medications may interfere with the chemical tests causing false results and your veterinarian will need to know about any medications or supplements your dog is taking.

The following substances are just a few of the chemicals that are tested when performing a routine urinalysis to test for kidney disease:
Urine pH – (a reading of how acidic or alkaline the urine is).
Protein – (healthy dogs usually don’t have any protein in their urine, although sometimes trace amounts may be present but that is normal.
Glucose – (sugar in the blood being significantly higher than normal.
Ketones – (substances formed in the body during the breakdown of fats).
Bilirubin – (a pigment made by the liver from dead or dying red blood cells).
Urobilinogen – (Big word for a compound formed from bilirubin by intestinal bacteria).

Blood cells in the urine are normal, but a larger than normal quantity indicates a problem.

An examination of the urine sample under a microscope tests for several problems and larger than normal numbers of white blood cells may indicate inflammation from a bladder or kidney infection.

Kidney disease is a very serious health problem for dogs, just as it is for humans. If you are concerned that something is just not right with your dog, you definitely should make an appointment with your vet as soon as possible.

 

Canine Distemper

For many years canine distemper was one of the most deadly viral diseases affecting dogs. Since the introduction of a vaccine to combat the disease, the incidence of distemper infections has dropped considerably.

Good vaccination practices in the U.S. have played a major role in the reduction of distemper cases in this country, but unfortunately, canine distemper is still a huge problem in other parts of the world.

The canine distemper virus is an RNA virus. A variation of the canine distemper virus causes measles in humans.

Canine distemper can affect dogs of any age but is more likely to affect younger puppies rather than older dogs. This may be due to an acquired immunity resulting from a canine distemper vaccination, or to exposure to the virus, resulting in the dog developing an immunity to the virus.

The wide range of clinical signs accompanying an infection of distemper often makes it very difficult to diagnose a young dog with distemper. In some dogs, a temporary fever and a lack of appetite, sudden lethargy or mild depression, are often the only signs of the onset of distemper. Some dogs infected with the distemper virus may have discharges from the nose and eyes in addition to coughing, a fever, lack of an appetite, vomiting and diarrhea. It is not uncommon for an infected dog to display some but not all of the symptoms associated with canine distemper.

Distemper infections often go undiagnosed when an owner believes the dog just has a cold or some other non-life threatening illness. The unfortunate consequence of misdiagnosing a dog’s distemper symptoms could result in the death of the dog.

Some dogs are able to survive the initial viral infection but later develop neurologic signs in one to two weeks after becoming infected. These signs include seizures, sudden and strange changes in behavior, and constantly walking in circles. Many dogs who develop neurologic signs develop rhythmic motions or twitches. Sometimes an affected dog will act as if it’s chewing on something due to continuous contractions of the head muscles. If a dog is able to survive the initial viral infection and does not display any neurologic damage, it does not mean the dog is completely in the clear. A distemper infection can also lead to retinal damage and discoloration of the dog’s cornea. Sometimes, the dog’s skin, nose and foot pads will become very hard.

There is a period of time that the virus remains dormant after a dog is infected. The clinical signs of distemper will begin to show approximately 10 to 14 days after infection. If a puppy is vaccinated against distemper but has already been infected with the virus, the vaccination will not be effective in preventing the disease.

Currently there is no specialized treatment that can kill the distemper virus. Prevention of infection is the best way to guard your puppy or dog against canine distemper. Be sure your new puppy is vaccinated at approximately 6 weeks of age. The vaccinations will need to be continued until the puppy reaches 12 to 16 weeks of age. The distemper vaccinations are given in 3 to 4 week intervals. Injection of the vaccine has to be repeated due to interference with the vaccine from antibodies in the mother’s milk being passed on to the puppies. These antibodies prevent the vaccine from being effective in about 75% of all puppies vaccinated at six weeks of age, approximately 25% of puppies vaccinated at nine weeks of age, and only a small number of puppies vaccinated at twelve weeks of age.

The follow-up vaccinations provide protection to almost all puppies who receive the vaccine.

Canine distemper virus is found in all the body secretions from an infected animal. Raccoons and skunks are often carriers of this deadly disease, so it’s a good idea to watch your dog carefully when venturing into areas where these animals are often found. Living in the city does not automatically exclude the possibility of an infected raccoon or skunk because these animals love to raid neighborhood garbage cans when foraging for food.

Thyroid Problems in Dogs

Thyroid problems in dogs are often difficult to recognize because the symptoms are so subtle. You might notice a change in the level of your dog’s energy, weight gain, or severe skin problems, but not associate these changes with anything serious that you should be concerned about. To detect thyroid problems a dog needs a blood test before the symptoms can be correctly diagnosed as a thyroid problem.

Hypothyroidism Kennel Cough in Dogs is a common illness in dogs and occurs when not enough thyroid hormones are produced in the animal’s body. The thyroid hormone has many functions and the most important is to regulate metabolism. Weight gain then becomes one of the most noticeable symptoms of hypothyroidism.

Approximately 90 percent of hypothyroidism cases are caused by a genetic autoimmune disease called thyroiditis, which produces anti-thyroid antibodies in the dog’s body. Sometimes the disease will develop as early as puberty even though the clinical signs won’t appear until later in a dog’s life.

Hypothyroidism most commonly affects dogs from four to ten years of age, especially large breed dogs. Miniature and toy breeds are very seldom affected.

Symptoms of hypothyroidism include weight loss, an elevated heart rate, increased urination, hyperactivity, lethargy, excessive hair loss and shedding, an intolerance for exercise – especially in colder weather – a low heart rate, and sudden changes in behavior such as increased aggression. All dogs suffering from hypothyroidism don’t display the full range of these symptoms, and some may exhibit only a few mild symptoms in the early stages of the disease.

In more serious cases, a dog may have seizures, chronic hepatitis, cardiac irregularities, or a loss of smell or taste.

To detect and diagnose hypothyroidism, a vet will do a blood test called a T4 panel which measures the level of thyroid hormones in the blood. A dog that tests positive for thyroid disease will require medication to regulate the thyroid hormones for the rest of its life.

More than 50 different breeds of dogs are genetically predisposed to developing thyroid problems. No matter which breed of dog you have, if these symptoms become noticeable and last for a protracted period of time, you should have your dog tested before the disease can cause serious damage.

 

Types of Cancer in Dogs

Cancer is one of the primary killers among all breeds of dogs but some breeds are more susceptible than others to certain types of cancer. Cancer can occur at any time in a dog’s life but it usually doesn’t rear its ugly head until a dog grows older. Treating dogs with cancer can be difficult for a veterinarian because the correct diagnosis can be challenging with the large number of different types of cancer that affect dogs.

Canine cancer can easily spread through a dog’s body, meaning that early detection and treatment is of paramount importance to a pet’s health and longevity.

One of the more common types of cancer found in most dog breeds is oral cancer. These cancers can be identified by the gradual, or sometimes sudden growth of tumors in a dog’s mouth. If these growths are cancerous and malignant, the dog may suffer considerably before any outward symptoms are seen. Even when the growths are benign rather than malignant, they can still be dangerous or deadly to a dog.

Liver cancer is the most common cancer affecting the major organs in the body. Tumors of the liver can develop quite suddenly, but usually take months or even years to fully develop. It’s very possible that a dog may be suffering from liver cancer for quite some time until the tumor becomes large enough that it begins to cause symptoms that indicate the presence of a cancerous growth in a dog’s body.

Bladder cancer is one of the leading forms of cancer in many dogs. Like other kinds of urinary tract diseases, bladder cancer can develop without the owner realizing it, and when it reaches a certain stage of growth it can have very painful consequences for a dog. This form of cancer is one of the most difficult ones to treat, partially because surgical removal of the infected tissue is difficult or even impossible.

Bone cancer is more commonly found in larger dog breeds who tend to have a higher rate of bone cancer and at an earlier age than smaller breeds. It is believed that the reason for this statistic is that the bones of larger breeds are growing and reproducing much more quickly than the bone cells of smaller dogs, allowing mutations to develop which can result in cancer.

A responsible pet owner will want to watch their pet for the ten early warning signs of cancer in a dog:

* Abnormal swellings that persist or continue to grow
* Sores that won’t heal
* Weight loss
* Loss of appetite
* Bleeding or discharge from any opening of the body
* Offensive odor
* Difficulty when eating or swallowing
* Reluctance to exercise or loss of stamina
* Persistent lameness or stiffness
* Difficulty breathing, urinating, or defecating

It also helps to be aware of known and suspected cancer causing agents which include:

• herbicides
• insecticides
• second-hand smoke
• radiation exposure
• certain viruses
•chemical additives and preservatives in food

No one wants to lose a pet to cancer. When the unthinkable does happen it can be as devastating as losing a member of the family to cancer. Learn to watch for the early warning signs and keep your dog away from all known cancer causing agents.

Canine Epilepsy

Canine epilepsy is a serious condition that causes seizures in dogs. Once the disease is diagnosed, epilepsy becomes manageable. Epileptic seizures are dangerous for a dog as it can easily be injured and fall into unconsciousness with no control over its muscles.

Recognizing canine epilepsy symptoms will help you treat the ailment in its early stages by getting the proper medication from your veterinarian and knowing how to keep your dog safe the next time it has a seizure.

Canine epilepsy becomes apparent when your dog has seizures that occur suddenly and without any warning signs.

Seizures can be triggered by something as simple as loud noise, bright lights, or a stressful situation.

When a dog has a seizure, it may fall down, stagger and have spasms. The dog may or may not lose consciousness, but either way it will have no control over its muscles and limbs. The dog will be breathing with great difficulty and will salivate excessively. There may be foaming around its mouth due to its fast breathing.

Most canine epilepsy seizures last less than a minute, although it’s not that unusual for one to last for 5 or 6 minutes. Apart from seizures there are no other symptoms of canine epilepsy.

Epilepsy may be caused by a genetic disease, tumors, blood clots in the dog’s brain, or damaged brain tissue caused by a previous injury. Seizures can also be caused by a heat stroke, poisoning, a calcium deficiency, or low blood sugar level.

If your dog has muscle spasms or suddenly falls down, it’s a good indication that a seizure is occurring. It’s important that you don’t hold your dog’s tongue during a seizure, because you could accidentally be bitten. Dogs usually don’t swallow their tongue during a seizure.

If your dog has a seizure, wait until it completely calms down and then let it rest for a while.

If your dog’s epileptic seizures only happen once or twice a year, medication is usually not recommended because of the somewhat severe side effects. If your dog has seizures on a regular basis, an anti-epilepsy drug should be prescribed by a vet.

Canine epilepsy is a rare but extremely severe disease and I sincerely hope it never happens to your pet.

Why Dogs Sleep So Much

If you’re concerned that your pet dog may be sleeping too much and there might be something wrong with it, you’ll first need to determine whether it really is sleeping more than what’s normal for its age and activity level.

Why Dogs Sleep So Much

Why dogs sleep so much

Why dogs sleep so much is a common question new dog owners often ask their friends who’ve had dogs for some time.

Dogs sleep more than humans do, but they also wake up more frequently than we do. How much they sleep depends a lot upon their level of activity.

A dog living in a home as a pet will sleep more than a dog that works for a living – like a search and rescue dog, or a dog working on a ranch or farm. Dogs are able to adjust their sleep pattern so that they can be awake when there’s something to do, and can easily sleep the rest of the time.

Many indoor dogs will sometimes sleep out of simple boredom. If you suspect your dog is bored, you can give it ample stimulation during the day by giving it lots of toys to play with or take it on several walks. If your dog has enough to do during the day, it will usually stay awake during the day and then sleep at night when you do.

Sleep patterns

Dogs have the same sleep patterns as humans.

When your dog first goes to sleep, it enters the slow wave or quiet phase of sleep. It will lie quite still and is oblivious to its surroundings. The breathing slows, the blood pressure and body temperature drop, and the heart rate decreases.

After about ten minutes, your dog enters the rapid eye movement (REM) or active stage of sleep. Its eyes will roll under its closed lids, and it may bark or whine or jerk its legs. During this stage, the brain activity is similar to that seen during the dreaming phase of human sleep, and many vets and pet owners agree that this is evidence that dogs have dreams.

Adult dogs spend about 10 to 12 percent of their sleeping time in REM sleep. Puppies spend a greater proportion of their sleep time in REM.

Larger dogs sleep so much more than smaller ones who generally have a tendency to always be alert for anything that allows them to start a round of loud and seemingly uncontrollable barking.

Older senior dogs always sleep more than younger dogs, and 20 hours or more a day of sleeping does not mean an old dog is ill; they’re just tired out.

Medical conditions causing dogs to sleep too much

Although all dogs begin to slow down and rest more as they grow older, there are some medical conditions that may cause your dog to sleep too much.

• Many veterinarians believe that dogs can get depressed just as humans can. Canine depression can be the result of a chemical imbalance in the brain but more often is caused by a sudden change in the dog’s routine, such as moving to a new home, being adopted, or losing a long-time companion – human or animal. The primary symptoms of canine depression are an increased amount of time spent sleeping, decreased activity, lethargy, decreased appetite and weight loss.

• When a dog has hypothyroidism, the thyroid gland doesn’t produce enough T3 and T4 hormones, causing a decrease in metabolic function. Most of the time this is an autoimmune response that attacks the thyroid, but it can also be caused by other conditions, such as cancer. The decrease in metabolic function causes the whole body to slow down resulting in excess sleepiness and lethargy. Other symptoms may include weight gain, anemia, hair loss, skin and coat disorders, decreased heart rate, and an intolerance to cold weather.

Juvenile-onset diabetes occurs infrequently in dogs and principally affects older dogs, particularly females. Dogs who have diabetes display symptoms including sleepiness, lethargy, increased thirst, frequent urination, weight loss, and occasional blindness. Treatment is the same as for humans with diabetes: insulin injections. Some breeds such as schnauzers, small terriers, and poodles are at increased risk for diabetes, as are obese dogs.

• There are many infectious diseases that can cause your dog to sleep so much or act lethargic. These diseases include rabies, distemper, parvovirus, Rocky Mountain spotted fever and Lyme disease. Most infectious diseases that cause lethargy and sleepiness are accompanied by a variety of other symptoms that are often more easy to diagnose.

 

Since 1990, Winston’s Joint System and Winston’s Pain Formula have helped heal over twenty thousand dogs from all over the world. Our staff specializes in hip dysplasia, arthritis and all joint, pain and mobility issues.
 
There is an excellent chance we can help your dog, so please contact us or call our toll free number at 888-901-5557.

Liver Disease in Dogs

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.