Today we are looking at Jaundice in dogs and finding out a bit more about it so that you can spot the signs in your pooch!
Icterus, or the more commonly referred to the title, Jaundice.
Facts About Jaundice
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The medical term for Jaundice is Icterus and it refers to a yellowing or yellow discoloration of the mucous membranes of the gums, nostrils, and also genital areas of your dog. In fact, it can show up in any area on your dog that has high concentrations of bilirubin.
What is bilirubin?
Well, it depends on the type of bilirubin. It is a molecule found in the blood. When high levels of bilirubin are present in the blood, it may indicate liver damage, gallstones, or other problems with the liver.
It can also occur as a result of transfusion reactions and certain infections. Medicines containing bilirubin may increase or decrease levels.
If you’re still unsure what is jaundice, it’s always best to see your Vet.
While there are many possible causes, some are more common than others are more serious. Depending on the cause, treatment options and outlook will vary.
Finding the cause is not always straightforward. Your health care practitioner will ask you various questions and perform a physical exam to determine whether the condition is caused by a liver disorder.
In addition to bleeding, jaundice can also be caused by an enzyme called glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD).
This enzyme helps the red blood cells function properly. Without it, red blood cells break down and spill bilirubin into the bloodstream.
If your dog’s symptoms are more severe, you may need for them to have surgery to unblock the bile ducts.
The Causes Of Jaundice
There are several possible causes of jaundice in dogs, including chronic hepatitis, autoimmune disease, and parasites on red blood cells.
Hepatitis can occur suddenly or develop over a period of time.
Some of these diseases can also affect the pancreas or small intestines.
Other illnesses can cause jaundice in your dog too as well as toxic substances and also some medications that can cause jaundice as a side result of another underlying condition.
One thing that has been known to cause jaundice in a dog can be as a result of an incompatible blood transfusion, so always make sure that you ask your vet about compatibility if your dog ever has to have an operation of any kind.
The Symptoms To Look For
The symptoms are a red color that persists even after liver problems have been treated. When your dog exhibits jaundice, you should take him to the veterinarian right away.
There are several non-specific symptoms of jaundice in dogs.
These include decreased appetite, weight loss, and increased water consumption.
Vomiting, lethargy and fever and abdominal pain, and noticeable paling of the skin.
Some metal confusion can be observed in advanced and more serious cases.
Fortunately, some cases are asymptomatic.
However, most dogs with jaundice will exhibit orange-colored urine and feces. Always be aware of any bleeding in your dog’s stool.
Treatment Of Jaundice In Dogs
The most effective way of treating jaundice in dogs is to treat the underlying disease. If the liver is malfunctioning, antibiotics can help. Moreover, the dog may bleed at any time, so it is important to contact a veterinarian immediately.
Discolored urine and feces should also be reported to a veterinarian. The treatment of jaundice in dogs should include full vaccination. It is crucial to follow the doctor’s schedule and cycle.
The diagnosis of jaundice in dogs is based on clinical signs. A complete blood count is usually performed to confirm the condition.
The blood analysis is performed to determine the presence of bilirubin, which is a type of yellow pigment in the blood. The color of the feces can change. The underlying disease must be treated for jaundice to resolve.
The treatment of jaundice in dogs should begin within the first two to three weeks of the disease.
In most cases, jaundice in dogs is diagnosed by clinical signs.
However, if the condition is undiagnosed, the diagnosis cannot be confirmed. Several tests may be performed to determine the cause of jaundice in dogs.
A complete blood count is the first step in determining the disease. The blood examination can show hemolysis and biochemical tests can identify liver enzyme levels.
The ratio of enzymes in the liver shows if the organ is inflamed or blocked.
Urine analysis may reveal the presence of bilirubin in the urine. The yellow color of the urine can be determined through a color change.
Living & Management Of The Condition
If your dog has this condition, he may also be vomiting. If the condition is severe, he or she may require long-term treatment and extra attention.
While it is important to visit your veterinarian as soon as you notice signs of jaundice, you can perform simple home treatments for your pet.
You should monitor your dog carefully and contact your vet immediately. You should remove any substances that might have caused the condition and avoid causing your dog more pain or discomfort.
When possible, discontinue any therapy before jaundice begins. The goal is to get rid of the underlying cause of your pet’s symptoms.