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Acute Liver Failure in Dogs

liver failure in dogs

What is Acute Liver Failure?

Acute liver failure, also known as hepatic failure, is a rapid (acute) loss of liver function due to death of liver cells. Typically over 70% of the liver’s function drops due to sudden, massive, hepatic necrosis (tissue death in the liver). Some causes include drug interactions, toxins, infectious diseases, and lack of oxygen.


Here is a list of possible symptoms associated with acute liver failure.

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Bloody Stool
  • Jaundice
  • Seizures


Acute liver failure can be diagnosed through a full blood test, urine analysis, biopsy, ultrasound or combination. If you suspect your dog may be at risk you should immediately take them to your local vet or a nearby hospital for testing and treatment.


Treatment depends on the severity and health of your dog. In mild cases dietary adjustments and vitamin supplements may be sufficient to allow the liver to recover. In more severe cases hospitalization will be required. Treatments at the hospital may include IV fluids, intestinal sedatives, plasma if indicated, antibiotics and vitamins.

Cost of Treatment: $1,200 to $1,500 if your dog needs hospital treatment

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Important Note

If your dog shows any symptoms or liver failure or you suspect something is wrong with your pup, don’t hesitate, immediately take him or her to your regular vet or a nearby vet hospital.


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