With more and more toxins and environmental changes in the world it is important for owners to help their pets maintain a healthy liver.
The second largest gland in a dog’s body is the liver as well as being the largest and one of the most important organs. Responsible for so many processes including production of bile to support digestion it also has the main function of ridding the body of waste and filtering out toxins amongst other functions.
But there are unfortunately times when things can go wrong. Chronic liver problems can be caused by numerous events such as poisoning, parasitic, viral, fungal and bacterial infections with some causing permanent liver damage.
A good explanation quoted from The Spruce Pets* describes liver disease, or acute liver failure, as an issue that comes on suddenly, affecting the liver’s ability to function, or, in severe cases, leading to necrosis, or the death of the organ. There are several different types of liver diseases. Bile duct obstruction occurs when the tubes that carry bile from the liver to the gallbladder become blocked. A portosystemic shunt—also called a liver shunt—happens when blood from the stomach, intestines, pancreas, and spleen bypass the liver. Liver tumour, most common in older dogs, can manifest as cancer or an abnormality within the liver itself or its surrounding tissue.
But why is the liver so important?
Some of the over 1,500 functions the liver undertakes for a dog are:
- The liver makes nutrients and controls their release into the body
- It produces plasma proteins and blood clotting factors
- It stores vitamins A, D, K, and B12. As well as the minerals iron and copper and releases them when needed*
One of the most important is:
- The liver breaks down important medications and exits toxic substances from the body*
What are the symptoms of a poorly or stressed liver to look out for?
Other than symptoms specific to jaundice – a yellowing of the eyes, tongue or mucous membranes. A dog with this or other liver issues may present with:
- Vomiting, loss of appetite, constipation or diarrhoea
- Distended abdomen
- Unsteady gait
- Pinkish eye discharge
- Dark urine
- Poor appetite
- Dry, brittle or infected nails
- Dull eye
The above could also be associated with many other health issues a dog may be facing.
What could be the causes of liver disease.
Expanding on before, there are many different causes for the loss of liver functionality and liver disease including
- Exposure to a toxic substance
- Exposure to too much heat – NEVER leave a dog in a hot car or confined space.
- Bile duct obstruction
- Viral, bacterial or parasitic infections etc.
It is very important to immediately get a vet’s opinion if one feels something is not right with their dog. A veterinary diagnosis is the first step after which they would assist, if required, in the treatment plan, which can also include medical intervention, or even just a change in diet, exercise as well as medication and supplements.
Broadreach Nature + has partnered with PawSquad – giving their clients immediate online access to Vets via online chat and video 24/7 – helping them get access to veterinary support in the first instance.
We understand how important it is to get the right advice fast so if a pet seems to be getting sick quickly or appears very unwell to seek physical veterinary support immediately.
How to aid and support a dog’s healthy liver?
Exercise, a good diet with low fat foods and removal of all known toxins from a dog’s environment is a good start. In addition, Natural Supplements such as Broadreach Nature Advanced Liver Care – in both an easy to give capsule or liquid – may aid the liver allowing it to function as it should. This is one of the Most Advanced Natural Extra Strength Veterinary formulations available. Developed, approved and used by vets in the UK this supplement may help promote normal liver function. In addition, it may also help support the nervous system and give support to the normal functioning of the liver to maintain liver health.
Containing all-natural ingredients, this Advanced Extra Strength Formula with Milk Thistle Extract, known for its powerful antioxidant benefits, is one of the most concentrated Milk Thistle extracts available on the market place today. It also includes a full range of B vitamins and Alpha Lipoic Acid which may help promote normal liver function.
Additional products which may assist and aid liver function are Broadreach Nature Organic Turmeric & Bioperine™ – a complementary feed supplement designed to promote and support Digestive, Joint, Cardiovascular and Liver Care for Dogs and Cats and Advanced Omega 3 Skin, Coat, Joint and Heart Conditioning oil for dogs and cats.
*NOTE: If the Liver Care is being given DO NOT give Senior Care in conjunction with this as they both contain veterinary strength Milk Thistle.