Hepatic Lipidosis (Fatty Liver) in Dogs Treating and Preventing Hepatic Lipidosis In Dogs

Hepatic Lipidosis (Fatty Liver) in Dogs https://cdn.pixabay.com/photo/2018/12/28/21/02/puppy-3900378_1280.jpg

A common liver disorder that can be fatal to dogs is hepatic lipidosis (Fatty liver). In this article, we go deeper into this condition.

Hepatic lipidosis, or fatty liver disease, is a common and potentially life-threatening condition in dogs. This disorder develops when the liver collects excessive fat, impairing its function and raising several health issues. Dogs of all ages and breeds can develop hepatic lipidosis, and early detection and treatment are essential to guarantee a good outcome.

We will discuss the causes, symptoms, available treatments, and prevention strategies for it in dogs in this article.

What Causes Fatty Liver in Dogs?

There are several possible causes of canine hepatic lipidosis. These include:

  • Obesity: Hepatic lipidosis is more likely to develop in overweight or obese dogs. Fat can build up in the liver due to too much body fat.

  • Inadequate nutrition: Hepatic lipidosis in dogs can be brought on by a diet heavy in fat but lacking in nutrients.

  • Medication: Hepatic lipidosis in dogs is more likely to occur when certain drugs, such as corticosteroids, are taken.

  • Underlying medical diseases: Hepatic lipidosis can be exacerbated by underlying medical conditions like diabetes, pancreatitis, Cushing's disease, and hyperthyroidism.

  • Fasting or anorexia: When dogs do not eat for a long period, their bodies may begin to break down fat stores, which can contribute to developing hepatic lipidosis.

  • Rapid weight loss: A dog may get hepatic lipidosis if its weight is lost too rapidly.

  • Genetics: Certain dog breeds may be more predisposed to developing hepatic lipidosis, such as Miniature Schnauzers.


The signs of canine hepatic lipidosis can vary based on the gravity of the condition. Some common signs include:

  • Appetite loss: A diminished or total lack of appetite is one of the first signs of hepatic lipidosis.

  • Weight loss: If the dog stops eating, it could lose weight quickly.

  • Vomiting: Dogs with hepatic lipidosis may vomit and regurgitate.

  • The dog could develop loose stools or diarrhea.

  • Lethargy: The dog may appear drowsy and exhausted.

  • Abdominal pain: The dog may exhibit abdominal pain symptoms such as panting, pacing, or circling.

  • Jaundice: Hepatic lipidosis in dogs can cause skin and eye yellowing from an accumulation of bilirubin in the blood.

  • Neurological symptoms: The dog may have seizures or other neurological symptoms in serious circumstances.

Hepatic Lipidosis Treatment

The treatment and management of fatty liver in dogs depend on the severity of the condition and the underlying causes. Sometimes, treatment requires hospitalization to provide supportive care and manage signs.

  • Nutritional support: Dogs with hepatic lipidosis require adequate nutrition to help their liver recover. If the dog needs nutritional support, a feeding tube may be used to administer a high-calorie, readily-digested meal.

  • Fluid therapy: To maintain hydration and rectify any electrolyte imbalances, intravenous fluids can be required.

  • Medications: Hepatic lipidosis in dogs might have symptoms including vomiting, diarrhea, and discomfort that need to be treated with medicine. Deramaxx and Prednisolone may be prescribed. In some circumstances, medications to treat underlying medical conditions such as diabetes may also be necessary.

  • Treatment of underlying conditions: It is crucial to treat any underlying medical conditions, such as pancreatitis or Cushing's illness, that may be causing the development of hepatic lipidoses.

  • Surgery: In some cases, surgery may be required to remove blockages or tumors contributing to developing hepatic lipidosis.

  • Monitoring: Constant monitoring of the dog's liver function, blood glucose levels, and weight is necessary to assess the treatment progress and adjust the treatment plan as needed.

Preventive Strategies

Preventing hepatic lipidosis in dogs can involve many strategies. Here are some preventive measures you can take:

  • Maintaining a healthy weight: Obesity is a risk factor for hepatic lipidosis, so keeping your dog at a reasonable weight can help prevent the condition from developing.

  • Providing a balanced diet: Providing your dog with a high-quality, nutritionally complete meal may help avoid nutrient deficits that could lead to hepatic lipidosis.

  • Slow weight loss: If your dog has to reduce weight, it's best to do it gradually to avoid fast weight loss, which can lead to the development of hepatic lipidosis.

  • Veterinary examinations regularly: The development of hepatic lipidosis may be influenced by underlying medical disorders, which can be identified through routine examinations with your veterinarian.

  • Management of drugs: If your dog needs medications, it's crucial to work closely with your vet to make sure they are administered correctly and do not contribute to the onset of hepatic lipidosis.

  • Avoid fasting: Avoiding prolonged fasts and eating frequently and in small amounts will help stop the breakdown of fat reserves that can cause hepatic lipidosis.

  • Limiting exposure to toxins: Certain chemicals, including those in some medicines and household cleaners, can harm the liver and hasten the onset of hepatic lipidosis. It may be possible to delay the onset of the disease by limiting your dog's exposure to these chemicals.

You may lessen your dog's risk of hepatic lipidosis and improve its general health and well-being by implementing these preventive measures.

Was this article helpful?

You May Also Like