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Hepatic Encephalopathy in Dogs and Cats

February 14, 2012 464 No of hits
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Hepatic Encephalopathy in Dogs and Cats

Hepatic Encephalopathy is a syndrome that occurs in dogs and cats whose livers are not functioning normally. There is no medical consensus about why exactly this syndrome occurs, but it seems to be a result of the diseased liver's failure to remove toxins from circulation in the body. Hepatic encephalopathy causes a number of neurological problems.



Dogs and cats develop hepatic encephalopathy only when the liver is malfunctioning due to liver disease, infection or poisoning. The liver is a vital organ with several functions. Among these are detoxifying substances that enter or are made in the body and metabolizing fats, carbohydrates, proteins and vitamins. Hepatic encephalopathy may be caused by the combined failure of the liver to remove toxins and reduction in its ability to metabolize amino acids. This causes poisons to build up in the body, inhibiting normal neurologic function.



In addition to the general symptoms caused by liver disease, hepatic encephalopathy also exhibits a number of other symptoms. They can include walking in circles or wandering, poor coordination, weakness and dementia. Affected animals may also behave more aggressively or suffer from seizures. In many cases the animal may drift in and out of consciousness.



Hepatic encephalopathy is treated by quickly reducing the levels of toxins being produced in the body. This may be achieved using intravenous fluids to hydrate the body and restore salt to proper levels. Your veterinarian may also perform an enema to cleanse ammonia and other poisons from the intestines. The enema may include nutrients to decrease poison production.



Animals undergoing treatment for hepatic encephalopathy should not be fed until they have stabilized. Once stabilization has been achieved, further treatment may be needed to prevent recurrence. Your veterinarian may proscribe a low protein diet for this purpose. The animal will also need to be treated for the liver disease that caused the hepatic encephalopathy.

Tags:   Hepatic Encephalopathy in Dogs and Cats   Hepatic Encephalopathy   Liver   Toxins   Liver disease  

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Hepatic Encephalopathy is a syndrome that occurs in dogs and cats whose livers are not functioning normally. There is no medical consensus about why exactly this syndrome occurs, but it seems to be a result of the diseased liver's failure to remove toxins from circulation in the body. Hepatic...

By: Richard Martine Created 75 months ago

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