Nutrition In Hepatic Disease In Small Animals
, BS, DVM, DACVIM, Department of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Cornell University
Nutritional support has a pivotal influence in cats with HL and is an important component of at-home treatment in animals with slowly progressive hepatobiliary disorders. Proper nutritional support improves quality of life in animals with hepatic insufficiency prone to HE. Diets for animals with hepatobiliary disease should be easily digestible, highly palatable, calorically dense, easy for the owner to prepare and feed, and fed frequently as small meals. Objectives are to optimize food digestion and assimilation and to achieve voluntary food consumption.
If animals are anorectic, tube feeding should be considered. Nasogastric tubes are inexpensive, easily placed, and recommended as a short-term solution. Esophagostomy tubes are preferred in cats with HL for longer dietary support. Use of appetite stimulants remains controversial, because they may delay institution of regimented nutritional support. In addition, some commonly used drugs are metabolized in the liver. Diazepam and oxazepam may rarely lead to idiopathic fulminant hepatic failure in cats.
What You Need To Know About Your Dog’s Liver Health
The word hepatomegaly is used to describe an enlargement of the liver in dogs. Usually if your dog has been diagnosed with an enlarged liver its due to a condition or disease that interferes with how his liver is functioning.
If your dog has been diagnosed with a condition or disease that is enlarging his or her liver you may need to start giving her a special diet for dogs with enlarged liver so he or she has the best chance at a healthy and happy life.
What Causes Enlarged Liver in Dogs?
There are a few reasons your dog can develop an enlarged liver. Chronic diseases like diabetes can cause an enlarged liver. Acute liver failure can come on sudden and quick and is usually caused by poisoning.
In the case of poisoning your dog needs immediate veterinary care. For chronic issues like diabetes or other K-9 diseases you may be able to control the symptoms and help heal the liver with a special diet and supplements.
Some diseases or conditions that can lead to an enlarged liver in your best friend are:
- Fatty liver
- Liver cyst
There are other health issues that can contribute to your dog having an enlarged liver. To keep your dog in the best health means paying close attention to his overall health and getting him to the vet when you notice anything out of the ordinary.
Common Symptoms That You Shouldnt Ignore
In some cases, there are no visible symptoms in the initial stages of liver disease. Despite being a major organ, the liver can stay functional even at a diminished capacity. However, if the disease remains undiagnosed and untreated, the progression may show the following symptoms:
- Jaundice check for the yellowness in eyes and tongue
- Loss of appetite
- Exposure to toxins
- Immune disorders
The symptoms stated above can be linked to other health problems in dogs. So before you change your poochs diet or start any treatment, it is best to get your dog diagnosed by a vet and take preventative measures under expert guidance.
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Recipes For Dogs With Liver Disease
The following recipes are the property of YourOldDog.com and are meant as a courtesy to our visitors. The recipes ARE NOT public domain and not permitted to be shared anywhere on the internet or copied and pasted on anyones website or shared in eBooks, etc. without the written consent of YourOldDog.com
If your dog has elevated liver enzymes which could be due to ammonia in the blood or he or she is vomiting bile, this recipe is not ideal. Detoxing your dog first is the best thing to do for a dog with any type of liver issues PERIOD! This recipe can possibly be slowly incorporated later. See the link at the beginning of the page for immediate guidance.
Again, do NOT feed this recipe if your dog has copper storage disease or hepatic encephalopathy. If youre not sure, ask your dogs vet if your dog has excessive amounts of copper in the liver. If you still dont know, treat your dog like he is storing copper and use the above link for immediate help a private consultation and a personal protocol including a meal recipe for your dog.
Most often traditional veterinarians will want to place a dog with liver disease on a prescription diet such as Hills LD. We do not recommend these types of diets at all. Homemade recipes for dogs are good for the health of dogs.
**NOTE:Since brown rice contains 50% more arsenic than white rice, there is a method that you can use to significantly reduce arsenic levels in any rice if you choose to: See Dr. Lees article here.
What Are High Liver Enzymes In Dogs And Cats
You may be wondering what it means if your dog or cat has what are considered to be high liver enzymes on a blood test. The reason for concern is that elevated liver enzymes may indicate inflammation or damage to cells in the liver. This is because inflamed or injured liver cells leak higher than normal amounts of certain chemicals, including liver enzymes, into the bloodstream, which can result in elevated liver enzymes on blood tests.
Dog or cat elevated liver enzymes most commonly found during a blood test are:
- Alanine transaminase
- Alkaline phosphatase
- Gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase
In most cases elevated liver enzymes in a dog or cat are only temporarily elevated and don’t signal a chronic, serious liver problem. In fact, you may not notice anything different in your canine or feline because bodily functions are not being affected. However, this should be paid close attention to, especially if liver enzymes don’t return to normal in a timely fashion, because high liver enzymes can be a predictor or indicator of a more serious liver condition.
High liver enzymes can be due to something that recently placed extra stress on the liver such as exposure to chemicals found in vaccines, flea and tick products or a medication. Remember, as mentioned previously, one of the main functions of the liver is to detoxify the blood and while doing this the liver may be exposed to toxins that can cause inflammation in the liver and cell damage that results in high liver enzymes.
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Homemade Food For Dogs With Liver Disease
Many dog food recipes fall short in certain nutrients, especially iron, copper, calcium, and zinc. Even some recipes created by veterinarians dont measure up. The University of California, Davis, School of Veterinary Medicine tested 200 recipes, many written by vets. The researchers found most of the recipes were short on some essential nutrients.
What dog wouldnt love a home-cooked meal from Martha Stewart? On her blog, Martha shared how and why she makes homemade food for her four pups, Emperor Han, Empress Qin, Bete Noire, and Crème Brulee.Martha feeds her dogs a variety of wholesome foods including chicken, quinoa, and plenty of nutritious vegetables such as peas, spinach, carrots, sweet potatoes, and broccoli.
If your dog has any symptoms of liver disease, it is very significant to examine his diet. As previously mentioned, food can determine your dogs disease status. So, I believe that the Top 8 best dog food for liver disease can help your dog with liver disease as well as provide him with balanced nutrition.
Now, were ready to look at some homemade dog food recipes! Dog Food Recipes with Chicken. Here are some recipes for homemade dog food made with chicken. Check Price on Amazon 1. Minced Chicken & Veggie Dog Food Recipe. This is a fast and easy recipe thats easy to make in bulk for your fur baby. Ingredients. 3 lbs minced chicken meat
Hills Prescription Diet L/d Liver Care Pork Flavor Dry Dog Food
Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Brewers Rice, 2. Pork Fat, 3. Egg Product, 4. Soybean Meal, 5. Powdered Cellulose
This diet from Hills helps your dog with digestion and conversion of nutrients, which supports a healthy liver. It also contains nutrients that help the liver repair and regenerate itself. Rich in essential minerals and vitamins, it aids in removing toxic substances from the blood while helping your dog maintain great health with high-quality nutrients. The L-arginine and L-carnitine levels in the formula promote fat metabolism, helping in the prevention of liver diseases.
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Diet For Dogs With Liver Disease
The liver is a very complicated, hard-working and truly unique organ. It is responsible for protein, fat, and carbohydrate metabolism, vitamin and mineral storage, digestion of food and detoxification of waste.
The liver is unique in the way that, much like a salamander have the ability to grow back its tail, so does the liver have the ability to regenerate if it gets some help. Thus, nutritional support plays an essential role for dogs with liver disease.
The basic goals are to:
- Supply energy and nutrients to prevent malnutrition
- Minimize further damage by copper and free radicals
- Support liver cell regeneration and avoid neurological symptoms
Non-protein calories help to prevent the use of protein for energy.
If the food does not contain enough non-protein calories the body will make energy from protein. This process is called gluconeogenesis and takes place in the liver. If the liver is already struggling, this will make the liver work harder.
When feeding a dog with liver disease, it is important not to overload the remaining metabolic capacity of the liver so its diet should contain enough non-protein. Protein requirements for dogs with liver disease are a subject of much discussion.
Moderate protein restriction may be necessary in dogs with clinically evident hepatic encephalopathy. The key is to offer high-quality proteins that leave less waste for the liver to dispose of.
There are several supplements that can be very helpful in supporting the liver during recovery.
The Honest Kitchen Whole Grain Turkey Recipe Dehydrated Dog Food
Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Dehydrated Turkey, 2. Organic Oats, 3. Dehydrated Potatoes, 4. Organic Flaxseed, 5. Dehydrated Carrots
This recipe from The Honest Kitchen contains natural and simple ingredients like high-quality free-range turkey to support your dogs liver. The recipe is also rich in other sources of protein, zinc, and vitamin E to help your dog maintain good liver function. The dehydrated version has moderate levels of fat and protein, which makes it particularly beneficial for senior and adult dogs.
Free of soy, wheat, corn, preservatives, GMO, and by-products, this formulation gives your dog only healthy and natural ingredients. The dehydrated formula is minimally processed using whole-food ingredients to strengthen your dogs immune system for fighting liver diseases.
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Seek Out Veterinary Advice
It is best to speak to your vet about the possible treatment options and diet changes for your pets health. If your dog has liver disease, make sure you work together with your vet to design the right routine and a proper diet for them. Good nutrition is a primary weapon for helping your dog battle through, and recover from the effects of liver disease.
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How Your Pups Diet Should Change With Diagnosis
What to feed a dog with liver problems? The answer is often a fresh food diet that is low in phosphorus and moderate in protein. It should contain antioxidants and omega fats . A vitamin deficiency test will help pinpoint areas in which your dogs dietary plan needs to improve. The resulting food should be easily delivered and extremely palatable dogs with liver disease often have decreased appetite. Regulated dog treats may be factored into your dogs daily caloric intake. You should not feed leftovers from your meals to your dog with liver disease.
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Vet Approved Homemade Dog Food Recipes For A Thriving Pup
Despite all of the commercially available dog foods that are on the market nowadays, many dog owners are turning to homemade recipes to keep their dogs healthy. Homemade meals offer greater control over what your pup is putting into their body.
Not only can you cater recipes to meet your dogs particular size, breed, and activity levels, but you can also address unique medical concerns or dietary restrictions. Instead of taking a stab at the dark and hoping that your dried kibble contains good ingredients,
you can make your canine companions meals yourself and know for sure.
Before you start whipping together canine meals, there are a few things to know.
First, you should steer clear of table scraps and processed human foods. Its important to remember that there are many things that dogs are allergic to.
Secondly, the dietary needs of your dog are much different from your own. The goal of homemade dog food recipes is to create a balanced diet that beats what you can get in your local pet food aisle.
There are many vet-approved recipes out there to get you started. These recipes are endorsed by licensed professionals, so you can have peace of mind knowing that theyre a healthy option. You should also consult with your own vet to make sure that your dogs unique needs are being met.
Eggs And Chicken Mash
This meal certainly doesnt look appetizing. However, it can make your dogs day with a variety of flavors that it offers. The recipe uses quality protein sources that can be easily digested. It also includes fiber and carbs, making it a great mix of beneficial nutrients. This meal is really easy to make and is best served fresh.
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Cats And Dogs With Liver Disease
Diet plays an important role in pets recovery from any liver disease. The best liver disease diet for your pet depends on the condition your pet is suffering from and its severity. For example, if your dog suffers from copper storage disease, then he needs to be put on a diet that is low in copper.
The best cat liver disease diet is not necessarily the best dog liver disease diet. However, there are some common dietary adjustments and nutritional supplements that are generally recommended for pets recovering, or suffering, from liver diseases.
Causes Of Canine Liver Disease
Poor diet may be a cause of liver disease. It can trigger the right genetic conditions for liver disease. While diet is generally not the sole culprit, it is often a minor player in the factors adding up to liver disease. Stress is definitely part of the pathogenesis of this condition. Copper toxicity or associated hepatitis is a buildup of copper this accumulation within hepatocytes becomes toxic, causing damage to the liver. Such endocrine diseases as diabetes mellitus, Cushings disease or hyperadrenocorticism, and hyperthyroidism may lead to impaired function of the liver. Infections such as leptospirosis may also have a hand in the outcome of liver disease. Another possibility is severe trauma to the area of the liver. Pharmaceuticals that may be to blame for liver disease include overuse of NSAIDs, acetaminophen, or phenobarbital. Untreated heartworms, some plants and herbs, particular mushrooms, blue-green algae, and molds are known to grow on corn may also contribute to liver disease.
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Importance Of Your Dogs Diet
Even with normal health, your dog requires sufficient nutrients both to maintain the bodys tissues, repair them at need, and meet your dogs energy requirements. These nutrients must be properly balanced and understanding dog nutrition helps. Animals require a particular combination of protein, fats, carbohydrates, minerals, vitamins, and water each day to keep up normal function. Nutritionists and manufacturers of the best dog food alike work hard to reach the delicate balance that provides your dog with everything it requires every day.
Holistic Liver Disease Protocol For Dogs And Cats
The goal of our Natural Liver Disease Protocol is to support the proper functioning of one of your dog or cat’s most important organs – the liver.* Buy doing this we help to support and maintain the functions of the liver so important to the body described at the beginning of this page. At the same time, in a holistic fashion, we want to address any contributing factors to your pet’s liver failure whether these are in your pet’s diet, environment or are related to medication side-effects. Since we do not necessarily know the root cause of the imbalance in your particular animal, we do know from our research and experience what are the primary culprits.
Core Recommendations Suggested products are included in the Core Liver Disease Package found below.
Our “Core Recommendations” form the backbone of our Liver Disease Protocol. They consist of supplement recommendations that we feel are the most important to provide to your dog or cat for this condition. They are displayed as a package and individually at the bottom of this page along with other helpful products for iver disease from which you may make additional selections.
Core Recommendation #1 – Daily Multi Plus
Core Recommendation #2 – Liver Tonic
Core Recommendation #3 –Milk Thistle Seed
Core Recommendation #4 – Liver Glandular
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