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The Importance of Diet in The Management of Liver Disease (for veterinarians)

Nutritional intake in the patient with hepatobiliary disease provides the cornerstone of balanced medical care. Optimal recommendations require consideration of general nutritional principles, special species requirements and contemporary needs uniquely related to the patient’s medical problem.


Although general recommendations follow well-established guidelines developed to meet metabolic requirements for normal health, there is little information regarding altered requirements in animals that are ill. Consequently, recommendations for animals have been derived empirically from studies completed in humans, most work having been done in patients with end stage cirrhosis or liver failure complicated by hepatic encephalopathy. This is problematic because most veterinary patients with liver disease are not in hepatic failure and do not suffer from hepatic encephalopathy. Iatrogenic malnutrition can develop in patients when protein-restricted diets are inappropriately recommended. Insufficient energy intake and negative nitrogen balance can complicate a patient’s condition, impairing tissue regeneration and recovery from disease. This paper reviews strategies that can be used to individualize nutritional management in small companion animals with hepatobiliary disease. Consideration is given to both the known and controversial issues regarding energy requirements, dietary energy distribution, vitamin and micronutrient supple- mentation, the special requirements of the cat with hepatic lipidosis, as well as strategies effective for palliation of hepatic encephalopathy.    J. Nutr. 128: 2733S–2746S, 1998.

Learn much more here in this great article about nutritional management of the veterinary patient with liver disease:

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I'm sending my prayers and best wishes to everyone throughout the world that has been affected by this historic pandemic. My hope is for a better balance of the world and greater empowerment for all as soon as possible. Here are 4 actions that can be used today to improve immune resistance to any virus or bacteria:

1. Go on a "sniff walk” with your pet and breathe fresh air deeply for at least 30 minutes/day.

2. Eat darkly colored fresh vegetables and fruit such as wild blueberries and kale.

3. Do at least 50 HA! breaths just say ha loudly) daily. These forceful expulsions of air help maintain good lung function and can help you detect respiratory problems early. Laughter, coughing and Kapalabhati breathing (from yoga) are three other easy ways to do this.

4. Experience positive emotions, like the sense of awe, when we witness the renewal of nature. Stay safe, Vital and healthy”

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Stay safe, Vital and healthy,

Dr. Jeff