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Canine Hepatitis

A highly contagious disease, hepatitis in dogs can affect several organs, but particularly the liver.



The liver is responsible for providing the dog with energy for its daily activities, helps in the reproduction process and in fighting diseases. The liver is responsible for filtering out waste and cleansing the body. The disease is caused by a virus and occurs when a dog comes into contact with an infected animal through the transmission of body fluids.



Dog hepatitis descends from the throat and into the liver and kidneys. It multiplies at such a high rate that by the time it gets to the liver, it is numerous enough to cause a serious amount of damage. The infection can also be passed on by parasites such as ticks, fleas and mosquitoes.



Dog hepatitis can be of two kinds: acute and severe. In the case of acute hepatitis, the dog may have a high temperature, loss of appetite, diarrhea and vomiting, a tender abdomen and incessant coughing. The eyes may become yellow in color, the gums pale, and there can be swollen lymph nodes in dogs. There is a chance that it may top eating if the liver swells up. This kind of hepatitis is not very serious and the dog may recover in a week. The kidney lesions that may have occurred and corneal edema is likely to still persist.

However, severe hepatitis that is symptomized by diarrhea, vomiting with a lot of blood, a bloody nose and gums leaking blood can prove fatal for the pet. By this time, the liver is most likely damaged and it can result in seizures or put the dog into a coma. If the hepatitis is only acute, the dog may be hospitalized and fed fluids intravenously to combat the dehydration caused by all the vomiting and diarrhea. Vitamin supplements that include Vitamin C, E and K possess antioxidant properties and it would do good to include zinc supplements as well. The severe type of hepatitis can prove fatal within hours of the dog showing symptoms of this disease. The only way to fight it is to vaccinate the dog right when it is a puppy or if it has not been vaccinated, do so immediately. It is best to vaccinate the puppy when it is between eight to ten weeks old to help it become fairly resistant to the condition. The vaccinations may have to be continued but only under the supervision of a veterinarian.

 
  Submitted on April 6, 2010