Posts Tagged ‘liver disease in pets’

Feeding time at the zoo

  Is it time for a change?

There are a number of good reasons you might change the food your pet is eating, including:

  • Pet enters a new stage of life, such as going from puppy/kitten to adult to senior
  • Pet develops a food allergy
  • Pet requires a prescription diet to manage health issues, such as obesity or liver disease
  • Pet refuses to eat its regular food
  • Pet could benefit from a higher-quality food than the one it currently eats

Before changing your pet’s diet, consult with your veterinarian.
In the case of prescription diets, your pet may need to be
on a strictly measured amount, rather than free-choice feeding.

The key to making the switch is to gradually introduce the new food, in order to reduce the possibility of digestive upset. 

This is the trick to introduce a new food to your pet:

Days 1 and 2: Feed 3 parts old food and 1 part new food*

Days 3 and 4: Feed 2 parts old food and 2 parts new food (i.e. half and half)

Days 5 and 6: Feed 1 part old food and 3 parts new food

Day 7: Feed only the new food

*Be sure to calculate how much of each food to give, so that you are not overfeeding.

If your pet experiences loose stools during the transition, your veterinarian may recommend adding probiotics to the diet.

Est. 1973

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What is liver disease?

     The liver is an important organ with many functions, including the digestion and conversion of nutrients, the removal of toxic substances from the blood and the storage of vitamins and minerals.  Liver disease results in inflammation, known as hepatitis.  If untreated, this can lead to loss of function as healthy liver cells are replaced by scar tissue.  Diseases elsewhere in the body can also affect the liver’s function.

What causes liver disease?

  • Age:  Several diseases, including liver dysfunction, are common in geriatric pets.
  • Breed:  Certain breeds, such as Dobermans, Rottweilers, Yorkies, Cocker Spaniels, and Siamese cats, are more likely to be born with or are prone to develop particular liver problems.
  • Obesity:  Cats that are severely overweight may be more likely to develop liver disease.
  • Medications and chemicals:  Medications containing acetaminophen can damage the liver in cats and dogs.
  • Bacterial and viral infections
  • Congenital abnormality

What are common signs of liver disease?

  • Poor appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Jaundice
  • Increased thirst
  • Vomiting and diarrhea
  • Changes in behavior
  • Excessive drooling

Why does the vet recommend Hill’s Prescription Diet l/d?

     Hill’s Pet Nutrition knows that the liver is designed to repair and regenerate itself, but it needs the proper nutrition* to support the process.

     Hill’s has specially formulated its l/d diet to support liver function while reducing the liver’s overall workload and allowing this complicated organ a chance to heal.  Prescription diet l/d also includes vitamins C and E to help protect delicate liver cells from more damage.

*Liver conditions may also require surgical intervention and drug treatments.  Some pets may be placed under the care of a veterinary internal medicine specialist.  Diagnostic testing is necessary to determine the type of disease or physical abnormality present and the extent of damage to the liver, which will aid in the creation of a treatment plan.  Hill’s Prescription diet l/d is one facet of the treatment plan.

Information taken from Hill’s Pet Nutrition pamphlet “Liver Conditions,” available at our office.

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