What You Need to Know About Your Pet’s Liver
The liver plays many important roles in your pet’s body. Without a functional liver, your dog or cat wouldn’t be able to properly digest food, filter toxins from the bloodstream, or regulate certain hormones. Continue reading to learn more about the liver and what you can do to keep your pet healthy!
The liver is a vital organ that is essential to our pets’ lives. It is located in the abdomen just behind the diaphragm, close to the stomach, spleen, and small intestines.
The liver functions to remove toxins that have been absorbed by the intestines, aids in digestion, acts as a large storage area for energy such as sugar and certain fats, and processes sugars, fats, and proteins. It also regulates many hormones, produces proteins that contribute to muscle mass, and helps blood to clot in order to prevent bleeding.
Healthy Liver, Healthy Pet
Keeping your pet healthy involves caring for all of his body systems, including the liver. The following factors help maintain overall health and support the liver’s many functions:
- Maintaining a healthy immune system
- Feeding a nutritious, veterinary recommended diet containing essential vitamins and minerals
- Maintaining a normal body weight
- Staying active by providing your pet with physical and mental stimulation daily
- Regular veterinary check-ups
- Vaccinations to protect against potential infections
- Oral health such as daily tooth and gum care as well as regular dental cleaning by your vet
- Avoiding exposure to toxic foods, plants, medications, etc.
Causes of Liver Disease in Dogs and Cats
The many causes of liver disease in dogs and cats include:
- Certain medications
- Toxins (plants, food, chemicals)
- Infections (bacterial, viral, parasites, and fungal)
- Diabetes mellitus
- Genetics/breed predisposition (chronic hepatitis, copper storage disease, and amyloidosis)
- Heart disease
- Hepatic lipidosis in cats
Have more questions about your pet’s liver?
Schedule a video consult to speak to one of our vets.