What is hepatitis in dogs?
Hepatitis in dogs is a disease that can be the result of diverse processes. It is liver damage that may manifest as inflammation or cell death. There are three types of hepatitis in dogs:
- Common hepatitis. When substances or strange objects enter the dog’s body and do damage to the liver. These may be toxins, drugs, bacteria, fungi, or viruses. Symptoms of common hepatitis usually occur when the liver is severely damaged.
- Autoimmune Hepatitis. The immune system mistakes healthy cells with foreign agents and destroys them. This causes serious lesions in the liver.
- Infectious hepatitis. This is caused by canine Adenovirus type 1 (CAV-1) and is exclusive of dogs, although it can also attack wolves, coyotes, bears, and foxes. This is one of the most common infections in dogs around the world.
What are the causes of the hepatitis in dogs?
Hepatitis is caused by CAV-1. The forms of infection are through feces, urine, blood, saliva, and nasal discharge of an infected dog. This enters the dog’s body through the mouth and nose. It then incubates (from 4 to 7 days) in the tonsils and infects the liver and kidneys.
Will symptoms will my dog display if he has hepatitis?
The most common symptoms of hepatitis are decreased appetite, lethargy, vomiting, and diarrhea. The dog will displaly jaundice and corneal edema. The skin, ears, and gums take on a yellowish color. The dog will also manifest neurological disorders such as depression, aggression, and even erratic behavior.
What should I do?
First of all, it is important that you do prevention work by being on schedule with your dog vaccines that should include the polyvalent. If your dog has been infected with hepatitis by adenovirus, you must isolate him. Once you take him to the vet, he will administer medication against symptoms since the disease itself cannot be eliminated. However, with proper care, a dog that has suffered hepatitis can lead a normal life.
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