Why does pet liver health matter? Unfortunately, dog liver problems are among the most common ailments in dogs and should be a factor when considering a dog wellness plan. Your dog’s liver is responsible for over 1,500 functions in your dog’s body. Its liver removes toxins from its system and controls blood clotting and digestion.

Common liver ailments

Liver shunts

Liver shunts are a congenital liver problem most often affecting small dog breeds like Yorkshire terriers and Maltese terriers but can sometimes be seen in larger breeds like Irish Wolfhounds. In this condition, blood vessels in the abdomen develop abnormally, and blood that should filter through the liver (removing toxins and other waste products) goes straight to a dog’s intestines.

Your wee pup may seem perfectly healthy with a liver shunt problem and will only be diagnosed through blood testing. If the disease is left untreated, your dog may appear drunk or have seizures after eating, and may have urinary issues from gallstones and kidney stones.

If your dog suffers from liver shunts, your vet may recommend medication and dietary changes. These measures won’t cure the disease but will help your dog live a more normal, happier life. If you want to give your dog treats, look for meatless dog treats at your local pet food store and consider a low protein or vegetarian dog diet.

Liver disease

Age is a factor in your dog developing liver issues. The harder your dog’s liver has to work to rid its body of toxins, the more likely it is that your dog will develop liver disease. If your dog has an underlying condition, like heartworms, it may develop liver disease as the liver copes with excess toxins in the blood.

Early signs of liver disease include weight loss, chronic vomiting, diarrhea, and loss of appetite though drinking and urinating more often are symptoms that most often prompt dog owners to bring their pets to the vet.

Many breeds of dogs are predisposed to this condition, including some terriers and spaniels, Labs, and Dobermans. Treatment for dogs includes dietary changes, supplements to help your dog’s liver recover, antibiotics, and even surgery in the case of tumors or cysts.

Tips for good liver health for dogs

Regular checkups are essential for your dog’s liver health because prevention or early diagnosis is the best approach to handling liver problems in dogs.

As mentioned before, your dog’s liver may fail because it’s coping with the toxins associated with an underlying condition. In the case of heartworms, regular checkups and preventative medication mean your dog never gets sick. Yearly checkups, keeping your dog up-to-date with vaccinations, and regular blood testing help your dog avoid underlying conditions by getting them diagnosed early.

In the case of liver shunts, your dog may be asymptomatic. Without a blood test, you’ll have no way of knowing if it has a problem.

Dog wellness plans versus dog insurance plans for liver help

Wagmo pet insurance offers both dog wellness and Wagmo dog insurance plans.

Wagmo dog insurance plans are in place to handle those unexpected medical issues. If your dog has a new, covered accident or illness, your insurance plan will reimburse you for expenses associated with the new condition, including prescription medications, emergency vet visits, hospital stays, and surgeries.

If your dog has a crisis around an undiagnosed liver condition, your Wagmo dog insurance plan will cover it. Remember,  there’s a waiting period following sign-up, so getting coverage early is important.

Wagmo peth health insurance also offers pet wellness plans. They help offset those ongoing expenses you’d incur anyway with your pet. Regular vet visits, vaccines, and bloodwork are all included. Your Wagmo Pet Wellness plan has no waiting period, so you can enjoy benefits immediately.
Since prevention and early detection are critical to ongoing liver health, the Wagmo dog wellness plan will help you, the puppy parent, ensure your dog gets the routine treatment it needs. Find out why pet parents love Wagmo and take the quiz to get a customized plan for you and your pet.