Liver Tumors | Pet Care Blog

Liver Tumors 

Liver cancer is cancer (tumor) of the liver . The liver tumor can be the result of a primary tumor (a tumor that originates in the liver) of hemolymphatic origin (resulting from blood cells or lymphoid tissue, such as in the case of lymphomas ) or metastatic (tumor that has spread to the liver from other organs as a result of breast tumors, skin or blood vessels such as hemangiosarcoma).

The most common form of liver cancer in dogs is one result of metastasis , among which the hemangiosarcoma can be considered the most common.

Primary liver cancer is rare, comprising less than two percent of all liver tumors in this species. When this occurs, the most common hepatic primary tumors observed in dogs are hepatocellular carcinoma, which are malignant neoplasms arising from cells of the liver, and hepatocellular or hepatoma adenomas , that are benign tumors that arise from liver cells.

The cause of primary cancer of the liver may be related to environmental factors. Exposure to carcinogens or cancer-causing or chemicals, can increase the risk of developing cancer. Many chemicals are not toxic until they are metabolized by the liver. The liver performs an important role in the detoxification of many substances that circulate in the blood. Examples of possible carcinogenic substances include toxins produced by fungi which are sometimes associated with food ( feed and food moldy ) for pets, food additives, certain pesticides, dyes, plant tissues and animals. Viral infections have been associated with liver tumors in humans. This has been shown in dogs. Primary liver tumor is more common in pets over 10 years of age. There is a slightly increased risk of hepatocellular carcinoma in males compared to females.

The clinical manifestation ( symptoms ) of the disease of the animal varies depending on the tumor type. Benign tumors do not spread and usually cause no symptoms unless they compress other abdominal organ or rupture, causing bleeding and hemorrhage .

Occasionally, large tumors benign liver cause hypoglycemia (low blood sugar).

Already malignancies and often invasive, tend to also involve other organs such as lungs, spleen, kidneys, intestines and peritoneum. Even if it does not spread to other organs malignant tumors compromise the function of the liver leading to changes in hepatic enzymes, d protein iminuição blood deficiency of coagulation factors and vitamins . From then observed abdominal bleeding and severe impairment of quality of life with pain condition, cramps and discomfort.

Periodic blood tests assessing liver and ultrasound examination of the abdomen function, may identify changes of liver enzymes and the very structure (shape) of the liver.

Early diagnosis can guide the treatment, and in some cases have surgical indication (if the tumor is restricted to only some of the liver), the use of “hepatic protectors”, supplementation of vitamins and antioxidants , use of antibiotics to control the growth of bacteria in the intestine, dietary management , among others.

What we observed in animals that could be indicative of liver damage:


-Decrease appetite;

-Abdominal distension;

pale -Gengivas;

generalized -Fraqueza;

-Increase respiratory rate;

Difficulty breathing;

-Icterícia (yellowing of the skin);

-A weight loss;

Periodic evaluations, especially in cats over 7 years of age and those with a predisposition to tumors or tumors in the family histories helps in the early diagnosis and maintenance of quality of life.


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