Hepatitis in Dogs – Symptoms and Treatment
Adopting a dog is synonymous with acquiring a great responsibility with our pet, since we must be aware of the importance of offering everything you need. When we talk specifically about the physical health of our dog, we must know that there are few diseases exclusive to humans, because like us, our dog can also suffer from hepatitis.
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Hepatitis is a term that comes from the Greek words “hepar” (liver) and “itis” (inflammation) and therefore indicates a pathological situation in which the liver is inflamed, however, liver inflammation can occur for different causes, which will help us to distinguish different types of hepatitis.
In this article of YourCatCareguide we give you the complete information about this condition and we indicate the symptoms and treatment of hepatitis in dogs .
How Canine Hepatitis Occur
The anatomy of dogs is not so different from that of humans and those organs vital to us are also important for our pet, as is the case with the liver. The liver is essential for the organic balance of our dog, since it intervenes in the metabolism, seeks the proper elimination of the different toxins, stores energy, synthesizes proteins, produces the bile and participates in the assimilation of the nutrients.
Canine hepatitis occurs due to inflammation of the liver , which can be caused by poor diet or by repeated exposure to different toxins, which progressively affects the liver and can cause chronic damage.
When liver damage affects the functions of this important organ we can observe severe signs that indicate a malfunction not only of the liver, but of the whole organism.
Types of canine hepatitis
Hepatitis in dogs can have different causes and depending on the origin of the we will be before one type of hepatitis or another:
- Common Hepatitis : It is one that causes liver inflammation by exposing the body to toxic and medications that are capable of causing liver damage. Symptoms occur when the damage generated is severe.
- Autoimmune hepatitis : It occurs by a reaction of the dog’s own immune system that attacks the hepatocytes (liver cells) because it confuses them with pathogens. This type of hepatitis is also known as autoimmune liver disease.
- Infectious hepatitis : Inflammation of the liver is caused by canine adenovirus type I, a viral and acute disease that is spread through the urine, contaminated water or contaminated objects. It mainly affects dogs under 1 year of age and the duration of the disease usually ranges from 5-7 days, before there is an improvement. This disease is also known as Rubarth’s hepatitis.
Infectious hepatitis usually has a good prognosis whenever the dog presents an overdone form, in this case, it can die in a few hours, in the case of common hepatitis or autoimmune the prognosis will depend on each case although the lesions become chronic.
Canine Hepatitis Symptoms
It is good to remember that in any case we are faced with an inflammation of the liver, so regardless of the cause, the symptoms of hepatitis in dogs are as follows:
- Excessive thirst
- Jaundice (yellowing of eyes and mucous membranes)
- Blood in the mucous membranes
- Abdominal pain that can lead to immobility
- Seizures due to hepatic impairment
- Loss of appetite
- Increased nasal and ocular secretion
- Subcutaneous edema
A dog with hepatitis does not have to present all these symptoms, so with any sign that indicates a possible hepatitis we should immediately go to the vet with him.
Treatment of canine hepatitis
The treatment of hepatitis in dogs will depend on the factor that caused the condition.
- In common hepatitis the treatment will be symptomatic, but it should also comply with the goal of modulating those factors that caused liver damage.
- In autoimmune hepatitis the treatment will also be symptomatic, although the veterinarian will evaluate the possible prescription of an immunomodulatory medicine that specifically acts on the system of defenses preventing the hepatic damage.
- In the case of infectious or viral hepatitis, treatment is also symptomatic since there is no cure, antibiotics can be used to control secondary infections, isotonic solutions to prevent dehydration, liver protectors and a hypoprotein diet.
It is the veterinarian who should indicate a hypoprotein diet, although this is beneficial in all three cases of hepatitis, since in the presence of abundant protein the liver becomes overloaded. Remember that only the veterinarian is the professional trained to prescribe any type of treatment to your puppy.
Prevention of hepatitis in dogs
Preventing common and autoimmune hepatitis is important so that our puppy can enjoy good health and the highest quality of life, so we must give him a balanced diet that covers all his nutritional needs, sufficient affection and sufficient exercise in the open, all this will contribute to your body can be kept more easily in balance.
In the case of infectious hepatitis, vaccination is the most efficient prevention tool, we have several options:
- Polyvalent serum: Prevents in the short term and recommended when it has not yet been possible to start the vaccination program.
- Vaccine with inactivated virus: Two doses are needed and the protection period varies between 6 and 9 months.
- Attenuated virus vaccine: Only one dose is needed and protection is as effective as lasting.
Check with your veterinarian as it will be the one that will tell you what type of intervention is best for your dog.
This article is purely informative, in YourCatCareguide.com.br we do not have the capacity to prescribe veterinary treatments nor to make any type of diagnosis. We suggest you bring your pet to the veterinarian in case of any type of condition or malaise.
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