Causes, symptoms and treatment of inflamed liver in dogs

Inflamed liver is a serious problem in dogs

Hepatitis is the term that we know from the Greek words hepar, which means liver and the term itis, which means inflammation and This indicates that it is a pathological circumstance where the liver is inflamed.

However, liver inflammation has many causes and this is helpful in distinguishing the different kinds of hepatitis.

Causes of liver inflammation in dogs

The anatomy of a dog is usually not very different from that of a human being and those vital organs that are of great importance to us, for our dog they are too, as is the liver in this case.

The liver is essential for the organic balance to exist in our dog Due to the fact that it is responsible for intervening in metabolism, it has the function of ensuring that toxic elements are eliminated, of storing energy, synthesizing proteins, it is responsible for producing bile and also having a role in the assimilation of nutrients.

Inflammation in the liver can be caused by a diet that is not correct or also can be caused by persistent exposure to toxic elements, which causes quite serious damage to the liver and the possible that these damages become chronic.

If liver damage has caused damage to liver functions, we will see the presence of quite serious signs that indicate abnormal operation of this organ, like the rest of the organism.

Symptoms of liver inflammation in dogs

Dogs with liver problems are sad

While there are several types of hepatitis in dogsIt is important that we remember that in any of the cases it is an inflammation in the liver regardless of the cause, the symptoms of this problem are mentioned below:

  • Thirst excessively.
  • Jaundice, or in other words it is the yellowing of the eyes as well as the mucous membranes.
  • Presence of blood in the mucous membranes.
  • Pain in the abdomen area that can later cause immobility.
  • Seizures from liver failure.
  • Lack of appetite.
  • It increases nasal discharge as well as the ocular one.
  • Subcutaneous edema.
  • Vomiting

Dogs that have an inflammation in the liver do not necessarily have to show each of these symptoms, so if we observe that there is the presence of some of these signals that we have pointed out above, we have to take our pet as soon as possible to a veterinarian.

The tests that a veterinarian performs to know if your dog has liver problems

When a dog is taken to the vet with suspicion that it may have liver inflammation problems, the professional will need to do some tests to determine the diagnosis of the animal. And those tests will incur a cost in the visit to the vet. For this reason, we want to inform you of the type of tests it can perform, and which are:

A blood test

It is one of the most widely used tests, not only for liver inflammation in dogs, but in general for know the health status of the dog. In it you will be able to see if there are alterations in the hemogram, such as leukocytosis, anemia…; as well as the state of coagulopathy (decreased platelets, presence of cirrhosis, variations in PT and APTT…); or biochemical alterations in some values, especially, and related to the liver, alkaline phosphatase or transaminases).

An ultrasound

Ultrasound is visual, which allows the expert to see how that area is, if there are any abnormalities, if there are masses that should not be ... In general, when something like this happens, it can give you an idea, but almost always this test is combined with a blood test.

Blood tests in dogs
Related article:
Why do blood tests on dogs

A histology

Finally, the last of the diagnostic tests that are performed on a dog may be a histology, that is, a liver biopsy. This is done by sedating the animal so that it does not move or suffer. And it allows to know what degree of liver problem you have, from minimal, medium or severe inflammation, to hepatitis that can lead to fibrosis of different degrees.

Treatment for liver inflammation in dogs

Check with the vet if your dog is sick

The treatment for this problem will depend on the factor that caused it. In a common hepatitis in treatment it has to be symptomatic but at the same time, it must fulfill the purpose of being able to modulate each of the factors that have caused the damage to the liver.

In a hepatitis that is autoimmune, the treatment, as in the previous case, must be symptomatic, although the veterinarian will value a possible prescription of some medicine that is immunomodulatory, which can act specifically on the defense system to prevent liver damage.

If it is the case of a infectious or also called viral hepatitisAs in the other cases, the treatment continues to be symptomatic because there is no cure, it is possible that antibiotics are used to maintain control in secondary infections, isotonic solutions are also used to be able to prevent dehydration from occurring, liver protectors and a diet that is hypoprotein is also prescribed.

The veterinarian is in charge of pointing out the aforementioned diet, despite the fact that it has many benefits in any of the cases of liver inflammation, because a large amount of protein in the liver can cause an overload.

How to detoxify a dog's liver?

When the liver of our dog is inflamed due to intoxication, we have to take it to the vet since, depending on the toxic substance it has ingested, the professional will act in one way or another. A) Yes, As long as the substance is not corrosive and a very short time has passed since ingestion, it may make you vomit so that the animal expels it, but if there are doubts, it will administer medicines that will help to eliminate it by other means.

Home remedies for liver inflammation in dogs

Having a dog suffer from a health problem makes you worry a lot. So helping you lead a healthier life, and also learning about different ways to alleviate your problem, can be easy. Especially because we want to dedicate this space to help you know what you can do if your dog has an inflamed liver, or you notice the symptoms and want to help him.

Among the home remedies you have the following:

A proper diet

Diet, that is, your dog's diet, is a very important factor for him to recover or not have liver problems. Therefore, you must control what you eat a lot. To do this, we recommend that you choose a food that gives it a great supply of energy and protein. This will prevent malnutrition in the animal, in addition to the fact that proteins can repair liver damage. And that would amount to solving part of the problem.

You can get protein from meat, but also from dairy, soy, etc.

Dog Food
Related article:
What can a dog with hepatitis eat?

Infusions and teas

Just as a person drinking infusions and teas helps to improve the inflation of the liver, the same thing happens with the dog. In this case, You can change the water you drink at various times of the day for a boldo tea, milk thistle, or artichoke infusions.

These will help treat the liver for the properties they have, in addition to calming abdominal discomfort, pain in general, etc.

Home cooking

One of the consequences of a dog having an inflamed liver is that it stops eating. As much as you like a meal and are hungry, the pain is greater and makes you not want to eat anything, being more dangerous because you can become malnourished. For this reason, many veterinarians recommend that if you do not accept feed or processed meals, you go to homemade food with recipes and diets focused on dogs with liver problems.

The perfect diet for a dog with liver problems

If your dog has hepatitis you should take him to the vet

As we have said before, the diet to feed a dog that has liver inflammation should be based on a series of nutrients that are:

  • Proteins: Very important because they can help repair liver damage. However, meat proteins have the problem that they contain nitrogen and, when broken down in your body, they produce ammonia, which is harmful to the liver, as well as toxic. This does not mean that you cannot give them any meat, for example, chicken or turkey do not have such a problem and are ingredients that are used for their diets. But vegetable protein is much more beneficial and will help your pet. Where do you find it? Definitely in the tofu. But for a dog to eat tofu can be almost impossible, so you have to use alternatives that do carry it, such as some brands of dog food. Another option is, for example, cheese.

  • Carbohydrates: Just as proteins must be of quality, in the case of carbohydrates the same thing happens. They are used to give the animal energy so that it does not have to create it itself in its body, so that it focuses on recovering the liver or protecting it well. What can you give it? Boiled rice. It is the best carbohydrate food for your pet.

  • Fiber: Finally, we talk about fiber. This is better if it is from viegales, such as spinach, green beans, etc. But dogs don't usually like vegetables, so bet on a little oil where you fry chicken and garlic. That oil on your food will provide you with the fiber you need.

Diet recipe for dogs with liver inflammation

We leave you one Special recipe that you can make to your dog if he has an inflamed liver. With it, you will surely want to eat and you will also help him to recover sooner.

The ingredients are as follows: 200 grams of chicken meat with skin (remove the bones), 500 grams of cooked rice, 1 carrot, 10 grams of bran, 10 grams of vegetable oil (or extra virgin olive oil).


The first thing you will have to do is put a pan with oil. Then add the chicken with the skin and let it brown a little. It does not have to be well done, if you do it to the point it is enough. Then add the previously cooked rice as well as the carrot (also cooked) and stir well. You can add a little more oil if you see that it remains very dry.

Now you just have to wait for it to cool down to serve it.

Of course, there are more variants to choose from. The diet itself will be determined by your dog since, if you know that there are vegetables that he likes, you can take advantage and consult with your veterinarian if they are good options to make recipes for him and that he eats them.

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  1.   jhoan said

    Good night. Excuse me, my dog ​​has not eaten for 3 days and does not want to drink water, he started losing his vision and then orientation, he emits some sounds of pain when he is lying down and suddenly stops. What can I do apart from going to the vet.

    Note: It hits hard when it hits walls.