Liver Tumor Dog
"Liver tumor in dogs is treatable depending on the location and cause of the tumor. Treatment involves surgery and possibly chemotherapy if cancerous"
Liver tumors dog are an important part of the body as the liver affects many bodily functions such as blood clotting, breaking down toxic substances, waste products and stores energy for the body.
If a tumor is the cause of liver disease it may or may not be cancerous. Cancerous tumors (hepatic neoplasia) may be the result of a primary liver tumor (one that originates in the liver) or may be a metastatic tumor (one that spreads to the liver from elsewhere in the body
(The pictures in this section are reprinted with permission by the copyright owner, Hill's Pet Nutrition, from the Atlas of Veterinary Clinical Anatomy. These illustrations should not be downloaded, printed or copied except for personal, non-commercial use.)
Liver Tumor Dog Symptoms
Liver tumor dog symptoms include:
- Pale gums
- Decreased appetite
- Weight loss
- Abdominal distension
- Difficulty breathing
- Increased respiratory rate
- Generalized weakness
- Jaundice (yellow discoloration of the skin and the whites of the eyes due to the bodies inability to remove bilirubin
These can be symptoms of a benign (non-cancerous) or a malignant (cancerous) tumor. You'll need to see a vet for a diagnosis.
Liver Tumor Dog Diagnosis
If your dog has symptoms associated with a liver tumor, take him to the vet as soon as possible. Your vet will do a complete physical examination which will include palpating the abdomen and feeling for the size of the liver.
Your vet will do blood work that will tell him or her about the way your dog's liver is functioning by looking at the liver enzyme level (there are 3 types of enzymes) Blood work may also indicate the likelihood that your dog has certain types of cancer.
Your vet will also do an abdominal x-ray and possibly an abdominal ultrasound in order to visualize the tumor. This verifies that there is indeed a tumor, but does not tell the vet what type of tumor it is.
The only way to determine whether the tumor is benign (not cancerous) or malignant (cancer) is to do a biopsy. This is a surgical procedure in which a piece of the tumor is removed and examined.
Liver Tumor Dog Treatment
If the tumor is confined to the liver, and has not taken over the whole liver, it can be surgically removed. Often the tumor has spread to the liver from other parts of the body, however, so removing the tumor from the liver does not solve the problem in those cases.
Chemotherapy is an option, but it is costly and can have some unpleasant side effects. Discuss it with your vet and consider it carefully before making a decision.
Unfortunately, by the time a tumor has spread to the liver, it may be time to consider euthanasia. Watch your dog carefully to judge his level of discomfort, and talk to your vet about making this difficult decision. See our section on canine cancer to better understand the implications of this disease.
Natural Help for your dog's Liver
Consult your veterinarian to ask if a herbal or natural supplement makes sense for your dog. Many supplements have a long history of scientific support. Herbs you should look for include:
Carduus marianus (Milk thistle): a herbal liver restorative with extensive scientific study and support.
Silymarin: anti-oxidant and can block the entrance of toxins into the liver
Arctium lappa (Burdock): blood purifier and system cleanser. Has antibiotic and antirheumatic properties
Chelidonium majus (Greater Celandine): remedy for indigestion, jaundice and sluggish livers. Clinical trials have supported this traditional usage.
Kalium Muriaticum (C6) (Kali. Mur.:) important biochemic tissue salts when it comes to liver health. Is a system cleanser and purifier,
Natrium Phosphate (C6) (Nat. Phos.): another biochemic tissue salt that benefits the liver and gall bladder.
Natrium Sulphate (C6) (Nat. Sulph.): acts as a cell cleanser and is often recommended to detoxify the liver.<
A good commercial source for additional research on supplements formulated to improve liver health is Liveraid. Also look at their supplement formulated to improve immune system and cellular health called C-Caps.
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