Diabetic Hepatopathy in Dogs
Diabetic hepatopathy is a disease of the liver which causes lesions to develop on the liver. It is associated with diabetes mellitus, and for unknown reasons, this type of liver disease is also associated with lesions on the skin. One of the possibilities may be a link to metabolic system and a change in the organ systems.
This is a relatively uncommon disease and there is no breed that is more disposed than others, but it does tend to affect predominantly male dogs that are middle-aged to older.
Symptoms and Types
- Sudden onset
- Weight loss
- Frequent urination and drinking
- Yellowish skin and/or yellow whites of eyes
- No appetite
- Sometimes lameness
- May be few signs
- No energy, poor body condition, painful feet and elbows making it difficult for your dog to stand and lie down
- Skin abnormalities
- A deficiency of amino acids (the building blocks of proteins) helps play a role in your pet’s skin disease
- Zinc deficiency
- Fatty acid deficiency
- Niacin deficiency
- Possibly too much glucagon secreted by the pancreas (a hormone causing break-down of stored energy in the liver)
- High blood sugar — insulin resistance
- Swallowing of anticonvulsant drugs
- Swallowing fungal toxins
You will need to give a thorough history of your dog's health and onset of symptoms. Standard tests will include a chemical blood profile, complete blood count, urinalysis and electrolyte panel. A skin biopsy will be taken for laboratory analysis.
Using the results from the bloodwork, your veterinarian will be able to determine how advanced the disease is. The complete blood count (CBC) may show a mild regenerative anemia, and the biochemistry profile may show high liver enzymes and low amino acids.
If the liver is severely compromised, characteristic crystals will be seen in the urine (crystalluria). Abdominal X-rays can be used to look for enlargement of the liver, and in some cases, may show effusion (an escape of fluid from the organ). An abdominal ultrasound is ideal for visualizing the liver in more detail and for searching for a possible pancreatic mass. Ultrasound may show nodular lesions, a swiss cheese appearance, or an uneven shape along the edge of the liver. Your doctor may decide to take a liver biopsy, but this procedure may further complicate the diagnosis or condition, as affected dogs do not heal well from the procedure.
A gland that aids in both digestive and insulin functions
Any type of pain or tenderness or lack of soundness in the feet or legs of animals
The disappearance of the signs and symptoms of a particular disease; this is often used in association with cancer
A medical condition; the contamination of a living thing by a harmful type of bacteria
An in-depth examination of the properties of urine; used to determine the presence or absence of illness
A hormone created by the pancreas that helps to regulate the flow of glucose
Inducing death on an animal or putting them to sleep
Term used to refer to any substance or drug that stops seizures.
A condition of the blood in which normal red blood cell counts or hemoglobin are lacking.
The process of removing tissue to examine it, usually for medical reasons.
The escape of fluid or blood into tissues or body spaces or cavities
Organic substances that aid in the creation of proteins; also the end product of the decomposition of certain proteins.
A hormone that increases the amount of glucose in the blood; secreted by the pancreas