|When an animal guardian notices that their dog or cat’s gums, eyes, or skin are turning yellow this usually indicates a condition called jaundice, and is often an important indicator that an urgent visit to a veterinarian is needed. A yellow dog is typically due to an immune mediated disease of the blood, where a pet is destroying its own red blood cells, thus becoming very anemic; or a severe liver or pancreatic problem exists. Infections in dogs such as the recently emerging disease of leptospirosis, as well as various immune and infectious conditions of the liver may also result in a yellow patient.|
A yellow cat can also mean there is an immune mediated disease of the blood, but could also be a result of various infectious, viral and parasitic diseases, such as feline leukemia virus, FIV, FIP, toxoplasmosis, and haemobartonella. Many cats with diseases called cholangiohepatitis or triaditis (inflammation of the liver, intestines and pancreas) can also present this way. Cats with the fatty liver disease called hepatic lipidosis can also develop signs of jaundice. Most of these conditions need immediate workup and treatment from your veterinarian and can also help to differentiate the above conditions from abdominal cancer.
Depending upon the specific diagnosis or combination of diagnoses, an individualized treatment plan is typically undertaken that could involve antibiotics or anti-inflammatories like Prednisone. In addition, force feeding or feeding tubes may be needed in situations where pets refuse to eat for prolonged periods of time.
There are excellent supportive products that may also help in your pet’s recovery when battling these blood or liver/pancreatic disorders. Denosyl is such a product made by the Nutramax Company which I’ve often used for these conditions.
Given that our companion animals’ livers are under constant and chronic stress, it’s no wonder we’re seeing an increasing number of pets with chronic liver disorders. With appropriate dietary therapy, these combination supplements can often improve liver function significantly, sometimes avoiding the need for higher doses of prescription stronger drugs.