Posted by: sammi | 2004/02/22

hepatitis-water retention

My dog had hepatits 18 months ago and was very ill. She recovered eventually and I have had to keep her on a special diet. She has been well and still is but I am concerned as she seems to be retaining a lot of water and is definately looking a lot rounder!! She also appears to be drinking a lot more water. Does she need a diuretic and will this help her loose the "roundness" other that that she is as happy as ever.
Many thanks.

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Our expert says:
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If she is still retaining water, I would be very concerned, as it is potentially a sign of very serious liver disease. When last did your vet examine her and run some blood tests? If not recently, I would definitely suggest a follow-up examination. The build-up of fluid in the abdomen may either be as result of very low proteins, or because the resistance to blood flow in the liver is too high. Although diuretics may assist somewhat, it is a purely symptomatic relief and does not treat the underlying problem. There are certain treatments that can assist chronic liver problems, but it is very important that they be instituted early as the they may take many months to have any effect whatsoever. I am glad to hear that she is happy, but be careful not to ignore a problem which is slowly destroying more and more of the liver, and ultimately she may go into complete liver failure. Unfortunately, some of these conditions are very difficult or in some cases impossible to treat effectively. Specific diagnosis is usually only possible after biopsies are obtained from the liver.

Good luck!

Dr Malan van Zyl
Veterinary Specialist Physician
Cape Town

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