Idiopathic Chronic Hepatitis
General information on Idiopathic Chronic Hepatitis
Idiopathic chronic hepatitis is not a single disease, but a group of liver diseases cause cirrhosis. Idiopathic chronic hepatitis seems to have an autoimmune base. There is no known cause, but essentially, the immune system of the dog produces antibodies that attack the liver which then becomes inflamed and progressively leads to liver failure. The exception for this process is only in cases of copper related hepatitis.
Symptoms of Idiopathic Chronic Hepatitis
Some of the symptoms for idiopathic chronic hepatitis may be anorexia, depression, or weakness. With further test done by your veterinarian, there may be noticeable lesions similar to the ones that humans with chronic active hepatitis get.
Treatments for Idiopathic Chronic Hepatitis
Some treatments that your veterinarian may try are different combinations of corticosteroids, which are a group of steroid hormones, and immunosuppressant drugs. Dogs with idiopathic chronic hepatitis respond differently to medication. Some dogs respond very well, recover, and are off of medication for life. Some dogs that do not respond well to treatment are required to take medication for the rest of their lives. Usually the dogs that do not respond well have an advanced case of liver disease and sometimes cirrhosis. Milk thistle, supplements, and antioxidants have may be helpful in the recovery process.
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