Symptoms of liver disease in dogs vary but include loss of appetite, weight loss, vomiting, diarrhea and stomach ulceration, states Merck Manuals. Fluid build-up in the abdomen, excessive urination and thirst, weakness, unstable walk, seizures or other neurological problems are additional symptoms as are yellow eyes or mucous membranes.
Other symptoms to look out for include dark-colored urine, pale gums and behavioral changes, such as lack of energy, refusal to eat or depression, according to Hill's Pet Nutrition. Dogs with liver disease may also suffer internal bleeding due to ulcers or problems with blood clotting, according to Merck Manuals.
Dog owners need to discuss any and all changes in their dogs with a veterinarian since the symptoms of liver disease are not highly specific, stresses Hill's Pet Nutrition. He can perform tests to diagnose liver disease and potentially start treatment.
Early detection of liver disease in dogs is extremely important. Left untreated and undetected, liver disease in dogs can cause a serious brain condition called hepatic encephalopathy, stresses WebMD. Even if caught in the later stages, treatment can still slow the progression of the disease and minimize complications according to Merck Manuals. The vet may recommend dietary changes, vitamin and mineral supplements, medications and/or surgery, notes WebMD.