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Acute Liver Failure in Dogs

Treatment Cost: $1,100 to $1,550

What is Acute (Hepatic) Liver Failure in Dogs?

Also called acute hepatic failure, acute liver failure results in the rapid shutdown of the liver caused by dying liver cells. Causes can include toxins, infectious disease, medication interactions and lack of oxygen.

Dogs suffering from the condition often experience illness and vomiting, diarrhea, jaundice, seizures, hemorrhage, and acute depression.

Canine Acute Liver Failure Treatments

Acute liver failure treatments can cost thousands of dollars, with options that include

  • IV fluids or plasma
  • antibiotics and vitamins
  • intestinal sedatives.

Signs That Your Dog May Have Liver Disease

  • Loss of appetite
  • Unusual weight loss
  • More thirsty than usual
  • Cognitive impairments e.g. confusion, disorientation
  • Jaundiced, yellowish appearance in gums, eyes, and tongue
  • Urinating more frequently
  • Vomiting
  • Irregular bowel movements or diarrhea
  • Physical weakness
  • Blood in urine or feces
  • Loss of balance (unbalanced gait)
  • Urinating more often than usual
  • Seizures
  • Ascites

Enrolling your dog or puppy in a pet insurance plan in place before a potential disaster is always wise, especially since pet health conditions can crop up more frequently than most pet owners realize.

Return to the Dog Health Problems glossary.

1 Comment
  1. Reply
    Tim 10/29/2016 at 2:57 pm

    When I was young, our family dog Chelsea had acute liver failure and it was really painful watching her suffer. Fortunately, with the right help from the vet Chelsea recovered and lived out her life happily and fully loved. I really hope other dog owners never have to go through this, but I recommend getting good insurance. A dog is man’s best friend and it should be our duty to take care of them just as they love us unconditionally.

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