Animal & Bird Medical Center of Palm Harbor
Medical Database

Gastrointestinal Disorders

Hepatic Cirrhosis

General Information
The liver plays a major role in food, vitamin, and hormone metabolism, which means it changes these substances into forms the body can use or into forms that allow easy removal to sustain normal body harmony. The word metabolism literally means change. The liver is like a chemical plant that continually takes the substances we eat (on purpose or accidentally) and changes them into forms for body use, storage for future use, or excretion (removal). The liver also contributes to various immune and blood-clotting activities and plays a major role in digestion. The liver also neutralizes many poisons that would otherwise cause grave results.

Hepatic (liver) cirrhosis (sir-ro-sis) means liver degeneration in which active, functional cells of the liver have undergone end-stage degeneration from any cause; it is considered very serious. Because of the multitude of functions of the liver, cirrhosis can be represented by as many symptoms as there are functions. Some symptoms are vomiting, weight loss, diarrhea, nervous signs, seizures, and depression.

Diagnosis is based on clinical signs, laboratory tests, and microscopic examinations (biopsies) of liver tissue sections. The liver samples may be taken during exploratory surgery or by laparoscopic or needle biopsy techniques. It is not uncommon to take more than one sample.

Important Points in Treatment
1. Treatment for hepatic cirrhosis is mainly symptomatic and supportive. Actual cure of the disease is not attainable, and comfort and safety are the primary goals.
2. Laboratory blood tests are required to determine the status of the patient, and they should be repeated at various intervals to periodically assess the overall status of the condition. Testing will help guide the treatment as well as provide you with information to make a decision regarding whether to continue treatment or not.

An Important Update From Animal & Bird Medical Center On COVID-19

We are committed to offering a safe and healthy environment for our clients, pets and hospital team here at Animal and Bird Medical Center. The best way to avoid becoming ill is to avoid exposure to the virus. Taking typical preventive actions is key.

In being cautious and mindful of everyone’s safety, we are actively working to minimize your exposure to crowded exam rooms and long waits in the lobby.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have made some changes to our protocols in-hospital for the time-being…

In order to limit exposure while still providing quality care for your pet, we will be implementing special protocols to keep you safe.

We will have our veterinary technicians get a history of the patient’s symptoms and owner’s concerns via phone prior to coming into the clinic.

Our goal is for you to be able to bring your pet in for medical care but have no risk for you or our dedicated staff of transmitting the COVID-19 virus.

The Doctors and staff are dedicated to making sure your pet’s medical needs are taken care of during this national crisis.

We can still fill prescriptions for pick up, however, for those who prefer, non-narcotic and non-urgent prescriptions can be mailed to your home.

As always, careful hand-washing and other infection control practices can greatly reduce the chance of spreading any disease.