Liver disease is a problem which can affect any breed of dog. Many dog owners do not realise that their pet's liver is beginning to fail until it is too late. Advanced liver disease will typically have a fatal outcome for your dog. Below is a guide to 3 things you can do to make sure your dog's liver is healthy.
Keep an eye on your dog's weight
Overweight dogs are becoming a problem in Australia. Research has found that 33.5% of dogs are carrying more weight than they should be while 7.6% are classed as obese. Being overweight can cause a number of issues such as joint problems, diabetes and liver damage. An obese or overweight dog may start to develop hepatic lipidosis which results in a fatty build-up within the liver. The fatty build-up reduces the function of the liver and may eventually cause the liver to fail. To help to keep your dog's weight down, you should make sure you feed it healthy food and take it out for regular walks.
Keep your dog cool
Humans are not the only creatures affected by the heat of an Australian summer. Whereas you can remove your clothes and take a dip in the pool, your dog is stuck wearing its fur coat throughout the summer. If you dog overheats, it may develop sunstroke which could put its liver at risk. Research has demonstrated that between 79-83% of dogs that are treated for sunstroke go on to develop some form of liver damage. To prevent this, you should ensure that your dog stays in the shade on hot days, that it has plenty to drink and that you do not take it for very long walks.
Keep your dog's teeth clean
While this may seem like strange advice, it is important to keep in mind that your dog's oral health and its liver are closely linked. If you do not maintain your dog's oral health, harmful bacteria may build up inside their mouth. While this bacteria may cause problems with the teeth and gums, it can also enter the bloodstream. Once in the bloodstream, the bacteria may be transported to the liver where it causes lots of damage. You should buy some dental chew bones for your dog to help to keep their teeth clean.
If you would like further advice about protecting your dog's liver, you should contact a vet today.