The Liver, Your Dogs Natural Clean Up System
The liver is a vital organ responsible for a wide range of functions in dogs. Here's an overview of how the dog's liver works:
Detoxification: One of the liver's primary functions is to detoxify the body. It metabolizes and eliminates various toxins, including drugs, chemicals, and waste products. The liver filters the blood, removing harmful substances before they can enter the systemic circulation.
Bile Production: The liver produces bile, a substance that aids in digestion and absorption of fats. Bile is stored in the gallbladder and released into the small intestine when needed. Bile helps break down dietary fats into smaller molecules that can be more easily absorbed and utilized by the body.
Nutrient Processing: The liver plays a crucial role in processing and storing nutrients. It metabolizes carbohydrates, proteins, and fats, converting them into forms that the body can use for energy or store for later use. The liver also stores certain vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin A, vitamin D, and iron.
Protein Synthesis: The liver synthesizes various proteins necessary for different bodily functions. These include proteins involved in blood clotting, immune system function, and the transport of substances throughout the body. Additionally, the liver produces albumin, a protein that helps maintain fluid balance in the bloodstream.
Metabolism of Hormones: The liver is involved in the metabolism and breakdown of hormones in the body. It helps regulate hormone levels by removing excess or outdated hormones from the bloodstream.
Storage and Release of Glucose: The liver helps maintain blood glucose (sugar) levels within a normal range. It stores excess glucose as glycogen and releases it into the bloodstream when blood sugar levels drop. This function helps ensure a steady supply of energy to the body.
Detoxification of Ammonia: The liver plays a crucial role in converting toxic ammonia, a byproduct of protein metabolism, into urea. Urea is then eliminated from the body through urine, preventing the buildup of harmful ammonia levels.
Liver disease in dogs can have various causes. Some common factors that can contribute to liver disease in dogs include:
Infections: Bacterial or viral infections, such as leptospirosis or infectious canine hepatitis, can affect the liver and lead to liver disease.
Toxins: Dogs are susceptible to liver damage caused by ingestion of certain toxins. These can include medications like NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), certain plants, chemicals, pesticides, and even some types of food.
Medications: Prolonged use or high doses of certain medications can have adverse effects on the liver and potentially lead to liver disease in dogs. It's important to follow proper dosage instructions and consult a veterinarian when administering medications to your dog.
Inflammation: Chronic inflammation of the liver, known as chronic hepatitis, can result from immune-mediated diseases or other underlying conditions. This inflammation can lead to liver damage over time.
Genetics: Certain dog breeds are more prone to developing liver diseases due to genetic predispositions. For example, breeds like the Bedlington Terrier are known to be more susceptible to copper-associated liver disease.
Fatty Liver Disease: Also known as hepatic lipidosis, this condition occurs when there is an abnormal accumulation of fat in the liver. It can develop secondary to obesity, diabetes, or other metabolic disorders.
Trauma: Severe physical trauma, such as blunt force or penetrating injuries to the abdomen, can directly damage the liver and result in liver disease.
Cancer: Liver cancer, such as hepatocellular carcinoma or metastatic tumors from other sites, can affect the liver and lead to liver disease in dogs. It's important to note that the diagnosis and treatment of liver disease require a veterinary professional's expertise. If you suspect your dog may have liver disease, it is recommended to consult with a veterinarian for proper evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment options. They can perform diagnostic tests, such as blood work, ultrasound, or liver biopsy, to determine the underlying cause and provide appropriate care for your dog.
Natural remedies may offer some support for dogs with liver issues, it's crucial to consult with a veterinarian before administering any treatment. Here are some natural remedies that may be considered as part of a comprehensive treatment plan:
Milk Thistle: Milk thistle is a commonly used herb that can support liver health in dogs. It contains an active ingredient called silymarin, which has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Milk thistle can help protect liver cells and promote their regeneration. It's available in various forms, such as capsules, liquid extracts, or powders, and should be used under veterinary supervision for proper dosing.
Denamarin: Denamarin is a nutritional supplement that combines milk thistle extract (silybin) with another compound called SAMe (S-adenosylmethionine). It is specifically formulated to support liver function and can be beneficial in certain liver conditions.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Omega-3 fatty acids, such as those derived from fish oil, can have anti-inflammatory properties and provide support for liver health. They can help reduce inflammation and promote overall well-being.
Antioxidant Supplements: Antioxidants like vitamin E and vitamin C can help reduce oxidative stress in the liver and support its function.
Stress Reduction: Stress can negatively impact liver health. Minimizing stressors and providing a calm environment for your dog can be beneficial during the recovery process.
We believe in using natural products to help support the liver in conjuction with your veternarian to create a game plan for helping your dogs liver. See us for holictic remedies at Brown Dog Bakery!
Here's to your dogs health!
Your Brown Dog Bakery Team