Treating Canine Liver Disease with SAM-e

Canine liver disease is a very serious condition. The liver is responsible for the elimination of toxins from your dog's body. It also affects blood clotting, stores vitamins, produces bile, and is essential to the digestive process. Canine liver disease can seriously affect your dog's health and quality of life.

Causes of Canine Liver Disease

Canine liver disease has a number of causes. These could include bacterial infection, viral infection, parasites, or cancer. Toxins and some medications could cause canine liver disease.

Symptoms of Canine Liver Disease

Symptoms of canine liver disease include:

  • enlarged liver
  • abdominal swelling caused by fluid build-up
  • loss of appetite
  • weight loss
  • lethargy
  • jaundice (the whites of your dog's eyes will turn yellow)
  • vomiting
  • diarrhea
  • excessive thirst
  • excessive urination

Diagnosing Canine Liver Disease

Your vet will diagnose canine liver disease by first performing a physical examination. Blood tests, ultrasounds and x-rays may be necessary to determine whether or not your dog is suffering from canine liver disease. Your vet may also perform a urinalysis or even a liver biopsy.

Treating Canine Liver Disease

Treatment depends on the cause of your dog's canine liver disease. Treatment of canine liver disease may be limited to supportive care, such as the use of an IV to provide your dog's nutrition and medications to ease symptoms such as vomiting. Corticosteroids may be helpful to relieve inflammation of the liver; antibiotics can treat secondary infections related to canine liver disease.

A carefully monitored canine liver disease diet is often an important part of the treatment regimen. These diets are tailored to support your dog's nutritional needs while eliminating elements, such as copper, which may further damage your dog's liver. Canine liver disease diets support liver cell regrowth and minimize such complications as the build up of toxins in your dog's body, or fluid in his abdomen.

Dietary supplements, including herbs and vitamins, may be helpful in treating your dog's canine liver disease. Many supplements are quite effective in supporting the health of the liver, gallbladder, and pancreas. Vitamin and herbal supplements may be effective when used alone, or they may form part of a more varied course of treatment.

SAM-e and Canine Liver Disease

SAM-e, or adenosylmethionine, is an antioxidant normally produced by the healthy liver. SAM-e is essential to the healthy function of liver cells. An oral SAM-e supplement helps support your dog's liver function and has anti-inflammatory properties. SAM-e can be a useful part of a canine liver disease diet.