Conscientious dog owners are well aware that having a pet is very much like having a child; you’re raising a living being that is entirely dependent upon you for the love and care that you provide. But even if you’re not well-versed in pet health care, you can still adopt an animal if you are willing to invest time to learn and seek partnership with an Austin animal hospital in order to provide for the animal’s needs. Ordinarily, dogs will require an annual check-up, immunizations, heartworm prevention, a blood panel to make sure all readings are good, and dental cleaning. That may seem like a lot for a dog, but if a condition is manifesting silently without your knowledge, by the time symptoms appear, you may be in for a difficult and expensive haul in terms of saving your dog.

Liver disease, for example, is potentially life-threatening to dogs and its symptoms mimic other diseases, so it’s important to monitor your dog’s health annually under the care of an Austin animal hospital.

More about liver disease and dogs … the liver is a critical organ in dogs, just as it is in humans. Its job is to detoxify the blood and remove waste. The liver also aids in the production of bile, which is a substance necessary for proper digestion of food. The liver is so important that its functions are tied to just about every other process that the body undergoes in some way, and the continued health of the animal is dependent upon the liver’s ability to work properly. As precious as this organ is to sustaining life, it is by no means fragile. While it’s important that liver damage be avoided, the liver is actually a highly resilient body part. Because of its ability to continue carrying out its functions even when parts of it have succumbed to disease, it’s possible to have your pet treated at an Austin animal hospital even if the ailment has had relatively ample time to spread.

That being said, the goal is to give the disease as little time to grow and progress as possible. As with many other life-threatening illnesses, it’s absolutely imperative to get your dog to an Austin animal hospital at the first sign of trouble. With liver disease in dogs, symptoms tend to be non-specific; this means that while many signs may occur, most of them aren’t unique to this kind of disease and could just as easily point toward another issue being present. Because of this, many don’t factor liver disease in as a possibility. As a rule of thumb, if your dog seems to be drinking and urinating more, experiences loss of appetite, weight loss, vomiting, diarrhea, blood in the urine, vomit or stool, you should take it to an Austin animal hospital for further testing. While any of these symptoms are cause for concern that merit examination without delay, if more than one of these symptoms is present, the urgency of contacting an Austin animal hospital increases even more.

Always be vigilant with regard to changes in your dog’s behavior or patterns, and consult with an Austin Animal Hospital when signs of trouble appear. Austin Animal Medical Center provides full-service veterinary care and can manage diseases that range in severity from mild to severe. Become a part of our twenty-years-and-growing family of dogs and the people they love. Call 512.832.4119, email, or visit