Liver Bile Test in Dogs

The liver bile test is a diagnostic test that's performed to identify liver damage in pets. The liver is one of the major organs of the body and it works to filter out unwanted or toxic substances, apart from performing other tasks. The liver is one organ that can regenerate if it's partially damaged. Due to this, liver disorders often go unnoticed until the condition becomes very severe.

Liver Bile Test

One test that's commonly performed on pets suffering from liver disease is the bile acid test. This test doesn't merely offer an enzyme level reading, but it also helps to determine how the pet's liver is performing. If the pet's liver is functioning normally the bile acids that aid digestion are returned to the gall bladder where they're stored for further use.

If the liver isn't functioning well, the bile acids continue to circulate in the blood and they aren't stored in the gall bladder. To find out how well the liver is performing, the vet will assess the dog's overall condition and then carry out the liver bile test.

Performing the Liver Bile Test

If the vet wants to conduct the bile acid test on your pet, you will be asked to keep the dog on a fast for nearly 12 hours. Once food has been withheld for nearly 12 hours the vet will draw a sample of the pet's blood and test it for bile acids. The dog should then be administered a meal that's high in fats. The vet will draw another sample of the pet's blood once he has been fed some high fat food.

The vet will be able to compare the results of these two blood tests to find out how well the liver is functioning, and whether the blood flow to the liver is normal. If the pet's bile acid levels are high, it indicates a liver problem.

Other Tests

Apart from the bile acid test, the vet will also conduct the aspartate aminotransferase test, the serum alkaline phosphtase test, the bilirubin test and the alanine aminotransferase test to check liver function. As a pet owner it's important to inform the vet about all the symptoms exhibited by your pet so that the diagnosis is confirmed and treatment is initiated at the earliest.

Treatment of Liver Disease in Pets

The treatment of liver disease is based on the severity and type of disease present. Dogs suffering from an inflamed liver are given anti-inflammatory drugs to ease the discomfort. Other infections that are present in the pet's body are treated with the administration of antibiotics.

Since the liver breaks down medicines that are ingested, the vet will only prescribe drugs in small amounts. The dog should also be fed a diet that's free from preservatives, additives and food colors, as the liver will have to work very hard to get rid of these unwanted substances.

Tips for Pet Owners:

  • In order to prevent liver disorders, avoid overdosing your pet with medicines.
  • Give your pet meals that contain natural ingredients that boost the immune system.
  • Make sure that your pet doesn't consume any poisonous plants or toxic substances.
  • Conduct a vet check at the earliest to prevent disease progression.

Since liver disease can cause a lot of discomfort and in some cases death, it's best to initiate treatment at the earliest to increase your pet's chances of survival.