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Hepatitis in Dogs

Products for: Hepatitis

Your dog’s liver is the most important and largest organ in the body. It plays a vital role in detoxifying and filtering impurities in the blood. The liver coverts your dog’s food into nutrients, synthesizes enzymes and proteins, produces bile that helps break down fats, and detoxifies the blood. Your dog’s liver is the only organ that can regenerate itself. The signs and symptoms of the disease may vary and can include loss of appetite, diarrhea, vomiting, yellowing of the eyes, skin and mucous membranes. Liver disorders can be caused by parasitic disease or by a bacterial, viral, or fungal infection.

Hepatitis
Hepatitis is a liver disorder caused by a bacterial or viral infections transmitted through contact with an infected animal’s blood, saliva, or feces. The three types of hepatitis common in dogs are infectious hepatitis, leptospirosis, and chronic active hepatitis.

Infectious hepatitis is a contagious disease caused by a virus known as canine adenovirus and it transmitted through contact with an infected animal’s blood, saliva, or feces. It targets the liver, kidneys, spleen, and lungs and can affect other organs as well. Signs of hepatitis vary from a slight fever to death, with mortality highest in very young dogs.

Symptoms
• high fever
• apathy
• poor appetite
• thirst
• inflammation of the eyes
• watery discharge from the eyes and nose
• abdominal pain & vomiting
• red nose & mouth (may also be bruising)

Leptospirosis is a bacterial disease caused by genus leptospira, a bacteria that thrives in surface water. Adult dogs, males, and large breed dogs appear to have a higher rate of infection, however any dog can be exposed. Dogs can become infected through exposure to contaminated water, after contact with body fluids from an infected animal, or from a bite wound. Once in the body, the disease spreads quickly through the lymph system to the blood stream and on to the tissue.

Symptoms
• fever
• depression
• lethargy
• poor appetite
• joint or muscle pain
• eye & nasal discharge
• vomiting
• dehydration
• lumbar pain from inflammation of the kidney
• increased thirst
• inflammation of the eyes
• watery discharge from the eyes & nose
• abdominal pain & vomiting
• red nose & mouth (may also be bruising)

Chronic canine hepatitis is a progressive liver disease that is characterized by irreversible scarring of the liver tissue that ultimately leads to necrosis (death of the liver cells). Dogs with chronic hepatitis will initially exhibit no outward signs of illness, however as the disease progresses, liver cells will be replaced by scar tissue that causes the abdomen to swell and become abnormally rubbery and firm. Chronic hepatitis can affect dogs of any age and breed.

Symptoms of chronic canine hepatitis
• vomiting (may be bloody)
• diarrhea (may be bloody)
• lack of appetite
• weight loss
• lethargy
• weakness
• depression
• disorientation
• excessive thirst & urination
• distended stomach
• abdominal pain & tenderness
• jaundice
• nose bleeding & abnormal skin bruising

Additional Support
Your vet will recommend the best course of treatment and make suggestions as to how best to protect other pets in your house. You can support your dog by making them comfortable and reducing any pain or discomfort they may be experiencing.