Just like diabetes in humans, canine diabetes is a complex disease caused by the body being unable to use sugar from the breakdown of food properly. Although diabetes can’t be cured, the condition can be successfully managed with insulin injections and changes in diet and lifestyle. Successful diabetes management means your dog can lead a happy, healthy, active life. Your vet will explain how, and show you what you need to do to care for your diabetic pet.

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The liver is one of the largest organs in your pet’s body, and it’s vital for their good health. Just as in humans, the liver performs many essential functions.

Liver Functions:

  • Producing hormones, proteins and glucose (energy).
  • Clearing the blood of waste products, drugs and toxins.
  • Making clotting factors to stop excessive bleeding.
  • Producing immune factors and helping fight infection by removing bacteria from the blood.
  • Helping digest and absorb fat and other important nutrient.
  • Storing useful nutrients such as vitamins, iron and energy.

With all these vital functions, it’s easy to see how liver damage can harm your dog’s health. Fortunately, the liver has the amazing ability to regenerate itself, and can still function when up to 75% of it is diseased or removed. This means that a specially adapted diet can play an important part in minimising the clinical signs of disease and helping your pet’s liver to heal.

There are many reasons why your dog’s liver can become diseased. These include:

  • Infection by viruses or bacteria.
  • Intoxications (poisons).
  • Hepatitis (liver inflammation) often of unknown cause. This sometimes leads to scarring (cirrhosis).
  • Tumours.
  • Genetic problems in some breeds (e.g. excessive liver storage of copper in Bedlington Terriers).
  • Inherited problems with the liver’s blood vessels (portosystemic shunts).
  • Inherited problems are most common in younger dogs. Other forms of liver disease are more likely in older pets.

Liver disease can be either long term (chronic) or start suddenly (acute).

  • Dogs with chronic liver disease often show vague non-specific signs like loss of appetite, lethargy and weight loss.
  • The signs of acute liver disease are often much more obvious. They can include vomiting and diarrhoea, jaundice (yellowing of skin, the whites of the eyes and gums), abdominal swelling and excessive thirst and urination. Animals with acute disease may also have abdominal pain and fever.

Dogs with very severe liver disease may build up large amounts of toxins in the blood. These can affect the brain, leading to disorientation, confusion and seizures. This is known as “hepatic encephalopathy”.

Liver disease can often be tricky to diagnose. Your vet may need to test blood and urine samples and perform liver function tests such as comparing blood collected before and after a meal. Ultrasound or x-rays of the abdomen can help show any liver abnormalities. A liver biopsy can also give very useful information about exactly what the problem is, allowing for more effective and targeted treatment.

The choice of treatment depends very much on your vet’s diagnosis. Acute liver disease often requires hospitalisation, intravenous fluids (a drip) and sometimes feeding via a tube if your pet is not eating.

There are many medications for both acute and chronic liver disease patients. Depending on the specific problem, your vet will choose the most appropriate ones to help your pet. But whatever the problem, changing your pet’s diet will be an essential part of managing their liver disease.


Feeding a specially modified diet is very beneficial to dogs with liver disease. This not only helps support the healing liver, slows disease progression and helps your pet feel better, but also helps prevent weight loss and (in affected dogs) reduces copper accumulation in the liver.

Diets for dogs with liver disease should be:

  • Formulated with the optimal type and level of protein to help prevent malnutrition and reduce the risk of hepatic encephalopathy.
  • High in energy to help prevent weight loss.
  • Highly palatable to encourage affected pets to eat.
  • Highly digestible to help reduce the liver’s workload.
  • Low in copper and fortified with zinc to help reduce hepatic copper accumulation in dogs.
  • High in antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids to support healing.

PURINA® PRO PLAN® VETERINARY DIETS Canine HP Hepatic has all these benefits and so is the ideal diet to help support dogs with liver disease.


Selected protein sources at adapted levels

to help reduce toxin accumulation and maintain liver function.

Low copper

to reduce hepatic copper accumulation.

High energy content

to help maintain body weight and to cover increased energy needs

It is recommended that advice from a veterinarian be sought before use and before extending the period of use


Purina has been at the forefront of pet nutrition for over 120 years. By working closely with scientists and studying the most up-to-date research, we’ve created PURINA® PRO PLAN® VETERINARY DIETS – a range of innovative and effective formulas designed to help you enhance the health and quality of life enjoyed by your pet.

With your vet’s care and advice and by feeding Canine HP Hepatic you can be sure you’re giving your pet the best possible care and nutrition to help manage their liver disease.