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Hepatic Encephalopathy in Dogs


Hepatic Encephalopathy in dogs is a metabolic disorder affecting the CNS that develops as a result of hepatic disease causing seizures. The end result is the accumulation of ammonia in the bloodstream due to portal shunts, cirrhosis, or end stage liver disease.


Symptoms include behavior changes, visual defects (blindness), circling, pacing, anxiety, stupor and seizures. These signs are more prevalent after eating due to the increased amount of ammonia in the bloodstream affecting the brain. Causes of hepatic encephalopathy include portal shunts, infectious hepatitis, cirrhosis, dietary restriction of arginine in cats and ferrets.


Hepatic encephalopathy can be treated with a low protein diet and antibiotics.


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