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Cirrhosis and Fibrosis of the Liver in Dogs

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Patients with minimal signs can be treated on an outpatient basis as long as they are still eating normally. Patients with more severe signs should be hospitalized, given fluid therapy if necessary and have a feeding tube inserted if they are showing symptoms of anorexia. Electrolytes may be supplemented while administering fluids, and some patients respond well to B-complex vitamins.


If there is abdominal fluid build-up, the fluid will need to be tapped and removed, and sodium restricted in the diet until the cause of the build-up has been resolved.


Dogs displaying signs of hepatic encephalopathy (ammonia buildup in the blood causing neurologic signs) should have food withheld, as should dogs that are vomiting and/or suffering from inflammation of the pancreas. For hepatic encephalopathy, dogs may be given soy or dairy protein in combination with medical treatment to increase nitrogen tolerance. Such patients should have individualized protein portions suited to their level of hepatic dysfunction. Albumin levels should be maintained.


If surgery is being considered in such patients, a clotting profile will be performed, sine patients with longer clotting times will have an increased chance of bleeding, even during minor surgeries.


Living and Management


Your veterinarian will schedule regular check-ups with you for your dog. At these visits, blood work will be done, including monitoring of total serum bile acids. Your veterinarian will also observe your dog's ongoing body condition and observe to see if fluid is building up in the abdomen. Contact your veterinarian if your dog's abdomen appears to be larger than normal, is behaving strangely, or seems to be losing weight.



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