Liver disease in dogs: advice & when to put to sleep

If your dog is suffering from a liver disease such as hepatitis and his condition is getting worse, you will probably wonder at one point or another whether it would not be better to put your dog out of his misery.

When it makes sense to put your dog to sleep depends on several factors. This article should help you to decide when it makes sense to say goodbye.

In a nutshell: When should a dog with liver disease be put down?

Putting a dog to sleep with liver disease is a serious decision that is not easy for the owner.

If the disease has reached its final stage and the dog suffers more and more, euthanasia can make sense.

If the quality of life of the animal and its owner is severely restricted by the disease, or if the owner is no longer able to constantly look after and care for his dog, euthanasia by a veterinarian is often unavoidable.

Prefer to speak to a pro?

Contact the online vet Dr. Sam and schedule an online consultation with an experienced veterinarian. In this way you avoid long waiting times and stress for your animal.

What is the course of the disease with a liver tumor?

Unfortunately, the disease is incurable.

The prognosis for this condition is usually cautious and depends on several factors, including the damage that has already occurred at the time of diagnosis, the breed of the dog, and general health.

Early diagnosis and intervention are important for the successful management of dogs with chronic hepatitis, as dogs with end-stage disease and evidence of decompensated liver function have a poorer prognosis.

What are the symptoms of liver cancer?

Symptoms of liver cancer are associated with several of the following symptoms:

  • loss of appetite
  • weight loss
  • Vomit
  • Excessive urination and excessive thirst
  • Yellow discoloration of the gums
  • accumulation of fluid in the abdomen
  • Bad body condition
  • Nervous system signs such as drowsiness or seizures

What are the treatment options for a liver tumor?

If your dog is seriously ill, he will need to be hospitalized and given fluid therapy supplemented with B vitamins, potassium, and dextrose.

Your dog’s activity will need to be restricted during the treatment and recovery period. Medications that encourage fluid removal from the body help reduce fluid buildup in the abdomen.

Medications may also be prescribed to treat infections, reduce swelling, and control seizures. Enemas can be used to empty the colon.

The dog should be placed on a low-sodium diet and supplemented with thiamine and vitamins. Instead of two or three main meals a day, you need to feed your dog several smaller meals a day.

What is the life expectancy with a liver tumor?

There are no exact values ​​for life expectancy. According to statistics, untreated animals live about a month.

With successful treatment, life expectancy can be extended to about a year.

What should I do if my dog ​​has end-stage liver cancer?

Although medicine has advanced, it is still the most humane thing to say goodbye to your dog, even if it is difficult. Discuss everything with a vet you trust to ensure a dignified farewell for you and your pet.

You can stay with him until the end to show him that he is not alone. He can see and feel you. That way he can trust you until the last minute.

Explainer video


Liver disease is incurable in most cases and will cause your dog’s condition to continue to deteriorate despite your best efforts. At the latest when your dog is only suffering and no longer has any quality of life, putting it to sleep is not only sensible, but also recommended.

Even if it is difficult, it is a salvation for both the dog and the owner.

dr Sam and his team are happy to provide you with their advice in an online consultation hour at any time, sensitively and professionally.