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Companion Animal Practice
Liver disease in dogs
  1. Carolien Rutgers

    Carolien Rutgers is a lecturer in small animal internal medicine at the Royal Veterinary College, London, a post she has held since 1990. She is a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine and a foundation diplomate and current secretary of the interim board of the European College of Veterinary Internal Medicine. She holds the RCVS diploma in small animal medicine and is an RCVS Specialist in Small Animal Medicine. Her main interests are in gastroenterology, liver disease and feline medicine. She has published extensively on these subjects.


LIVER disease in dogs can develop as a result of many different insults. Mild damage may repair itself since the liver has tremendous regenerative capabilities. Severe and/or chronic damage, however, may lead to progressive and self-perpetuating chronic liver disease. The clinical signs of liver disease are usually non-specific and laboratory testing is essential for its recognition and evaluation. A definitive diagnosis is usually based on a combination of laboratory tests, radiography and/or ultrasound, and ultimately on histological examination of a liver biopsy.

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