By now you’ve probably heard about hepatitis, or the inflammation of the liver. The good news is that hepatitis preventable and rarely deadly, though the bad news is since it affects the liver, it’s impacting a major role in your dog’s system.
Dogs get infected with hepatitis inhaling or ingesting the virus which is present in urine, nasal, and eye secretions of already infected animals. After the virus enters the blood stream, it finds a home in the liver by attacking its cells, as well as eyes, kidneys, and inner linings of blood vessels.
As soon as nutrients are absorbed from the intestine, they’re processed by the liver. The liver also plays a huge role in metabolism and protein synthesis, and produces bile which aids in digestion. Since it has a big responsibility in the digestive system, it could become severely damaged before any outward signs are demonstrated by your dog.
Hepatitis actually begins showing outward signs once your dog is ill with a fever, vomiting, diarrhea, or swelling in lymph glands around the neck. Puppies should get vaccinated against hepatitis 8 – 10 weeks after they’re born to build up a strong resistance against it, and your vet will also likely advise to have annual vaccinations.
As for hepatitis symptoms that you are able to detect? Well, that depends since the liver is responsible for several things. The most common hepatitis symptoms are increased lethargy, loss of appetite and diarrhea. You may notice your dog is drinking and urinating more frequently than in the past. You may also notice in advanced stages of the diseases, your dog may have yellowish gums, eyes, and skin. In severe instances, dogs may become blind. The advanced stages may progress to seizures, coma, and even death.
Overall, your dog may be susceptible to diseases including hepatitis, therefore strengthening the case for annual vaccinations and regular visits to your vet. At The Dog Bowl, nothing is more important than your pets’ health and well being - shop online anytime, click here. For more information about hepatitis please contact your vet.