Many dogs will experience liver issues during their lifetime. Liver problems are common in dogs so every pet owner should be aware of and understand the symptoms of liver failure. Being cognizant of this will prevent potential liver issues down the road.
Recently, CBD oil has become very popular. Many dog owners are starting to learn how CBD oil can treat their dogs with liver issues and act as a great supplement. In this blog, we’ll touch on liver function and how CBD oil can help dogs with liver issues.
The second-largest organ in the dog’s body is the liver. The first largest is the skin. The liver plays a key role in metabolism and filters out toxins and waste found in medications and foods.
It is responsible for over 1500 different biological processes including:
- Creating bile to aid digestion and break down fats
- Metabolizing minerals, vitamins, carbohydrates, protein, and fat
- Filtering the blood
- Regulating blood levels of amino acids
- Producing proteins that are responsible for blood clotting
- Storing iron that’s used in the hemoglobin process
- Filtering bacteria from the bloodstream to fight infections
When a dog has liver disease, its liver is compromised so it doesn’t function properly. It may have trouble performing some or all of the biological processes. This can negatively impact the dog’s health and quality of life.
There are different types of liver disease in dogs. For instance, liver tumors can put pressure on the liver and surrounding organs in your dog’s body. Some dogs may have a bile duct obstruction in which the tubes that carry bile from the liver to the gallbladder get blocked.
Other dogs may have a liver shunt or portosystemic shunt. The blood from the spleen, pancreas, intestines, and stomach bypass the liver so the blood is not properly detoxified.
Symptoms of Canine Liver Disease
Depending on the type of liver disease your dog is experiencing, the symptoms will vary. Visiting your dog’s vet regularly is crucial. During these visits, have the vet test your dog’s blood and thoroughly examine the body.
Being aware of these symptoms and getting regular exams is important to prevent putting your dog to sleep early as often times you may not initially see any symptoms. By the time you notice it, the liver disease may have progressed far enough to late stages that it will be too late to treat your dog. Thus, early detection is key.
If you see any yellowing in your dog’s eyes, skin, tongue, or mucous membranes, it may be a sign that your dog’s liver may not be functioning normally. Other symptoms of dog liver issues include:
- Loss of appetite
- Swollen abdomen
- Lethargic or low energy
- Unsteady gait or loss of balance
Top 3 Daily Exposures That Can Lead to Liver Issues in Dogs
Dogs live in the same environment as humans. Because of that, they are exposed to the same chemicals humans are exposed to, which can affect their liver health.
Below we will discuss three primary exposures that can compromise your dog’s liver health and function.
If you’re feeding your dog commercial dog food, you may not be aware that they are often contaminated with a toxin called aflatoxins. Aflatoxins are produced by certain fungi found in agricultural crops such as tree nuts, corn, peanuts, and cottonseed.
Eating commercial pet food can contribute to poor health in dogs. The aflatoxins can not be killed in high temperatures so even if you heat up the pet food, the toxin is still in there.
When the aflatoxins enter the body, it binds with your dog’s DNA and causes cell mutations. Constant consumption of aflatoxins has been linked to an increased risk of liver cancer. No matter if the commercial pet food is cheap or premium quality, they contain aflatoxins.
- Toxic plants
The plants in our backyard or in our neighbor’s front yard may be toxic to our dogs. When our dogs head out for their daily walks to do their business, it’s natural for them to sniff around and even chew on plants that they see.
For example, many pet owners grow aloe vera in their backyard or patio. Although aloe is considered a medicinal plant for humans, its level of toxicity is considered mild to moderate for dogs. Other plants that are considered toxic to dogs are autumn crocus, begonia, castor bean, daffodil, lilies, sago palm, and tomato leaves.
- Household Cleaning Products
Many dogs naturally lie on the floor, on the furniture, bathe in the bathtub and even counter surf. Pet owners frequently clean their floor or bathtub with household cleaning products that contain highly toxic ingredients.
For instance, bleach or chlorine is very dangerous for dogs. Bleach can be found in toilet bowl cleaners, dishwashing detergent, and laundry detergent. If dogs swallow it, the bleach can burn the inside of their mouth or throat, causing them to vomit and have seizures.
Not only are dogs breathing in the toxins, but they are also absorbing them through their skin when lying on the floor or through their paw pads when they’re walking around the house. Constant exposure to many household cleaning products can cause liver damage and poisoning.
How can CBD Oil Help Treat Liver Issues in Dogs
If your dog has liver issues, CBD oil can help improve its life. You can use CBD oil as nutritional supplements, in diet, and under veterinary supervision.
Pet owners should not overlook CBD oil as a treatment option because it provides huge potential benefits for dogs with liver issues. The CBD oil helps manage liver damage and improve the symptoms associated with liver issues.
The dog’s body has an endocannabinoid system in which the cannabinoid receptors help to manage their health and wellness. When dogs take CBD oil, it helps their body regulate their own cannabinoids.
Many vets will also prescribe high-quality CBD oil that is carefully sourced, organically grown, and carefully tested for dogs with liver disease.
There are many positive benefits of CBD oil. It can reduce the inflammation that is damaging the liver and help manage liver damage and symptoms.
Here is a list of benefits from taking CBD oil:
- Alleviate symptoms including diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, vertigo
- Maintain a healthy appetite especially if your dog is losing appetite
- Better sleep
- Reduce pain and inflammation
- Prevent or slow down tumor growth
- No harmful side effects
- Easy to metabolized
- Reduce or prevent seizures
- Improve your dog’s mood and physical balance
- Boost your dog’s energy level
- Alleviate digestive issues
- Provide nutrients
By taking CBD oil, your dog will feel more comfortable and start to enjoy his life again. His quality of life will improve significantly after taking CBD oil.
When Not To Use CBD Oil for Dogs with Liver Disease
While there are no side effects for dogs taking CBD oil, it’s a good idea to avoid taking very large doses of CBD. This can cause diarrhea and a change in appetite.
There are two cases when you should not use CBD oil to treat liver disease. The first is when your dog has congenital liver shunts. The second is when your dog is on pharmaceuticals. CBD can interfere with the medication that your vet prescribed.
4 Types of CBD Oil for Dogs with Liver Disease
The good news is that there are four types of CBD oil available for dogs with liver disease. If one of them doesn’t work for your dog, the others may.
With capsules, you can put it in the dog’s food or directly into their mouth. Your dog won’t taste it and it is easier to get them to have it.
- Extract concentrates
When it comes to extract concentrates, the amount of dosage varies depending on your dog’s size and the stage of the disease they are in. Ask your vet for the appropriate dosage amount.
- Oil tinctures
Oil tinctures come with either a sprayer or dropper. This way the oil is applied directly to the dog’s mouth or into their food. Fortunately, it is flavored so your dog doesn’t taste the hemp flavor.
Treats are fun so you can replace your dog’s current treat with CBD treats. Make sure to check the ingredients first before you give these treats to your dog.