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Chronic canine liver disease


Chronic diseases of the liver include chronic persistent hepatitis, chronic aggressive hepatitis, chronic liver necrosis, liver fibrosis and liver cirrhosis. They are caused by chronic viral infections, chronic poisoning, drugs and as a result of various other organ diseases.

Disease origin and development

In the case of chronic persistent hepatitis, no clinical symptoms are visible. The disease is discovered by chance and can even heal spontaneously. The second form, chronic aggressive hepatitis, is characterized by the destruction (necrosis) of hepatocytes and has been observed more frequently in Doberman Pinscher. Individual hepatocytes can be replaced again. However, the cell layers are doubled and connective tissue is deposited. If the lobule architecture is still preserved, it is called fibrosis; if the structure is lost, the term cirrhosis is used.

Clinical picture – symptoms

As mentioned above, the clinical picture of chronic persistent hepatitis is so weak that it is usually not noticeable. The symptoms of the aggressive form are much clearer. Here the symptoms range from weakness and apathy, to appetite with pathologically increased thirst and increased urine output, to vomiting. In an advanced stage of cirrhosis of the liver, the dog becomes grumpy, snappy, at times even blind and walks around with his head bowed.


The persistent form of hepatitis often heals on its own. The prognosis of the other chronic liver diseases is dubious or unfavorable. In any case, you should change your dog’s diet so that the liver is relieved. Ask your veterinarian for an exact diet plan.

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