When your dog develops a yellow color to their mucus membranes and other body tissue, your dog is jaundiced. This is the result of elevated levels of bilirubin. Bilirubin is the material that comes from red blood cells that have broken down.
Jaundice is not normal. The first place an owner may notice it, is in the whites of their dogs eyes. It will also be noticeable on the abdomen, gums and at the base of the dog’s ear.
If the condition is “prehepatic” it is occurring before the blood enters the liver.
• Blood parasites
• Dogs may have it as a result of eating pennies composed of zinc or eating onions
• Reaction to a blood transfusion
• Dog Hemangiosarcoma or other blood vessel tumor
This is the result of Dog Liver Disease and can be caused by:
• Hepatitis, cholangitis (disease of the bile duct system) or both
• Toxins being ingested, such as heavy metals, certain chemicals
• Viral, protozoal or bacterial infections
• Cirrhosis that is end stage
• Disease of the pancreas, gall bladder or bile duct
• Intestinal disorders that cause blockage of the bile duct
Signs and Symptoms
Obvious symptoms include a yellow tint to the whites of the eyes, skin and gums. Your dog will have Dog Lethargy and a Dog Loss of Appetite. This will cause Dog Weight Loss and poor condition of your dogs body. There can be distention of the abdomen.
Your veterinarian will perform standard laboratory studies such as CBC, chemical profile, urinalysis and liver profile. There will also be tests that evaluate protein level, blood sugar, electrolytes, ph of the urine.
From that point and after a complete medical history, your veterinarian may choose to do the following:
• X-rays of the abdomen and chest will enable your vet to see any masses and evaluate the potential enlargement of body organs
• Ultrasound will assess the size and shape of the organs of the abdomen with emphasis on the liver
• Serology will test for any infectious diseases that attack the liver or cause the destruction of red blood cells
• Clotting profiles will also be done. Abnormal clotting is possible with severe disease of the liver
• Liver biopsy if it is determined that the liver is diseased
• Coombs test evaluates for the destruction of RBC’s by the immune system
• If necessary your veterinarian may choose to do an exploratory surgery of the abdomen. This is done if the tests performed are inconclusive
During the testing period your vet will discontinue any new therapies that were in progress before jaundice. Your dog will be encouraged to rest and not to be exposed to stressful situations. If the dog has Dog Dehydration, intravenous fluids along with electrolytes will be administered. If anemia is profound, blood transfusions will be done.
Once you get your dog home, palliative steps need to be taken, such as found with Dog Palliative Cancer Care. You should administer any medications ordered by your vet and remove any other materials that may be toxic.
Additional Dog Cancer Pages
Dog Cancer | Dog Skin Cancer | Dog Bladder Cancer | Dog Pancreatic Cancer | Dog Bone Cancer | Dog Cancer Prevention | Dog Cancer Diagnosis | Dog Lymphoma Cancer | Dog Gastric Cancer | Dog Mast Cell Tumors