Treatment instructions for a dog with liver disease

About the disease

Common symptoms of a liver disease are increased drinking, vomiting, diarrhoea and fatigue. In some cases, fluid may accumulate in the stomach, and swelling may also occur. There is no specific treatment for most liver diseases. However, diet and medication can be used to treat the liver. The dog should also be kept in rest until healing has begun.


The animal should receive only small amounts of proteins and fats but plenty of carbohydrates. The best source of protein are dairy products, e.g. cottage cheese or milk curd. The minimum requirement is approximately 100 g/10kg. Vegetable proteins are also suitable. Red meat should be avoided.

Boiled rice is the best source of carbohydrates. Grain products and boiled potatoes are also suitable. The animal should be fed often by giving small amounts at a time.

If You wish to feed home-cooked food to the dog, we suggest that You contact a nutritionist (Kulkurinputtiikki, tel. 044 0126 021,, who can help You plan a diet for Your dog.

An option to home food is to use commercial diet foods, such as Waltham Ca Hepatic. It takes the special requirements of a liver disease patient diet into account. You can order diet foods from the clinic.

If You feed commercial diet food to the dog, it is vital for the success of the treatment that You do not feed anything else to the dog apart from the prescribed diet food and water. Even small amounts of other food, minerals or vitamins can ruin the treatment completely. Home food and commercial food are two separate options, and they should not be mixed. The dog will eat home food only, or it will eat commercial food only.

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