When to Euthanize a Dog with Liver Failure


Concerns about your pet are very natural, especially when prone to many diseases easily. Moreover, dogs can show symptoms of liver failure at a certain age when we have to make the hardest decision, whether or not we will euthanize our pet. However, it doesn’t need to be the only way; sometimes, treatments can solve a mild disease. So, it is important to know when to euthanize a dog with liver failure. 

Liver failures in dogs are a common disease, and at the early stages, you can provide for their treatments. However, it is like riding a long train to the wrong destination. So, you will have to let go at some point. It is very emotional but better for the dog rather than painfully and slowly dying.

That is the premise of our article to identify the symptoms and know when to euthanize a dog with liver failure instead of slowly dying. 


What are the Stages of Liver Failure in Dogs

If your dog has liver failure symptoms, you will first have to take it to the vet to identify what stage it is to start the treatment. However, it would be best to prepare for the worst-case scenario as most cases end up with the canine’s death. There are four stages, and your vet will suggest treatments according to the stage your pet is in –

  1. Stage One

It is in the early stages, and you will sign such abnormal inflammations. If there is pain in the body, that means the organ is trying or frustrating to get well from the injury or infection in that organ.

Moreover, most vets can easily detect it in the first stage and treat it like diet changes and prescription medicines.


  1. Stage Two

During stage two, you will see fibrosis. It reduces blood flow in the pet’s body, which increases liver damage. Your vet can determine the abnormalities in the canine’s blood with a blood test. 

However, it is the last stage where there is any hope of healing the organ or treating it with simple treatments.


  1. Stage Three

Phase three is where the tissues in the dog’s liver are incurable, which medical professionals call cirrhosis. In the third stage, the puppy will have much more effective and harsh indications. 

Most veterinaries try to save the remaining healthy cells from developing a chance for the canine to heal.


  1. Final Stage

It is the final stage where your puppy’s liver stops working properly and develops severe conditions. There is nothing much that you can do in the final stage rather than keeping your canine partner as relaxed as possible. 

Make them more comfortable, and try to take them to the vet as soon as possible if you see any signs and symptoms of liver disease in your dog. 


The Liver Failure Symptoms in Dogs

The symptoms of liver failure or infection can show up at any point in your pup’s life. So, you will have to be conscious and attentive toward their behavior and eating to identify the disease. Moreover, knowing the symptoms can help you quickly identify a liver infection so that you can stop it in the early stages and save your animal partner’s life.

  • Increase in their aggression.
  • Appetite reduction.
  • Cramps.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Losing weight quickly.
  • Constantly thirsty. 
  • No control over their bladder or urination.
  • Confusion.
  • Build-up of fluids in their body.
  • Vomiting.
  • Weakness and gradually unable to walk properly.
  • Seizures.

However, these symptoms do not mean that it’s time to euthanize; rather, you can treat the issue depending on the stage. Euthanization should be your last choice as they are not just animals living with us. They are a part of our lives. 


Reasons that can Euthanize a Dog with Liver Failure

Knowing the symptoms sure gives you a head start, but you should also understand why your dog has a liver infection. Moreover, it is better to know the reasons so that you have a chance to prevent it rather than handling the symptoms.

  • If your dog has diabetes.
  • Consumption of plants or any toxic substance.
  • Diet including fats.
  • Bacterial infection.
  • Usage of painkillers for a long period.
  • Pancreas issues. 


When You Should Euthanize Your Dog

Euthanizing your dog or even taking the decision is one of the hardest decisions to make as a pet owner. However, when you see your pup screaming in pain, unable to walk, eating, running, and doing ordinary things, you will have to consider the option. It is better to put it down rather than watching your animal partner slowly die in pain. 

It is an emotionally tough choice for us, but you will have to take it depending on the situation. Moreover, During the last stage, you will not be able to see your dog in pain. However, there are some things to consider before deciding. So, you need to know when to euthanize a dog with liver failure if it –

  • Unable to walk or even stand up on its own.
  • If your dog cannot eat or use the toilet without any pain.
  • Unable to walk around. 

If your canine has liver disease and cannot do these things, it is probably too late and you should prepare to euthanize your beloved puppy for its good. 

It is better to end its sufferings rather than see your puppy screaming in pain.


Frequently Asked Questions

  • How long can a dog live with a bad liver?

If your dog is not getting surgery and has cancer, you can expect about six months of life in your dog. However, even doing the surgery, you can get almost a year if you are lucky. 


  • What are the signs of a dog’s organs shutting down?

If your dog has any disease and you see symptoms, then take it to the vet immediately. However, here are some signs of organs shutting down in a dog –

  • Coordination loss.
  • Appetite disfunction.
  • Not drinking water.
  • Confusion.


Conclusion on When to Euthanize a Dog with Liver Failure

Seeing your dog suffering through the pains of liver failure is the worst thing that can happen to a pet owner. However, it is better to reduce suffering, but the choice is not that simple. There are emotional attachments, but you need to choose when to euthanize a dog with liver failure to reduce its pain of slowly dying. 



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