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Love These Small Breed Dogs? Watch for These Signs of Liver Disease

These 8 breeds are at high risk of congenital liver disease, with 30% to 70% developing it. It's a worldwide problem affecting both genders. Even parents without the disease can produce puppies with it. Is your favorite pup at risk?

hepatic microvascular dysplasia

STORY AT-A-GLANCE

  • Hepatic microvascular dysplasia, or HMD, is a condition in which tiny blood vessels inside the liver develop abnormally, disrupting blood flow, and compromising liver function
  • HMD is a rare congenital disease that occurs in certain small-breed dogs
  • Some dogs with the disorder have no symptoms and require no treatment. Clinical signs in symptomatic dogs include GI disturbances, small size, and poor muscle development
  • Definitive diagnosis of HMD requires a liver biopsy. All dogs with the disease have abnormally high total serum bile acids
  • Treatment depends on the severity of the condition and usually involves a reduced amount of high-quality protein in a biologically available form, and appropriate liver support supplements

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