Acute hepatitis is characterized by an inflammation of the liver with a comparably quick onset. Clinical symptoms and significant tissue changes become apparent already after 3-14 days.
The symptomatology is characterized by suddenly evolving fever, vomiting, partly diarrhea, absence of appetite and excessive loss of weight being related to that, as well as a strongly impaired general condition of the dog. In many cases the animal expresses pain after pressure onto the region of the abdomen (around the position of the liver).
As activator of acute hepatitis, bacterial or viral infections, but also longer lasting drug administration or poisoning can come into consideration. In many cases the cause may not be clearly determined.
The diagnosis of the disease is at first made by means of preparation of a blood count. The increased affection of certain liver enzymes in the blood mostly indicates a disease of this organ. The treatment basically depends on the symptoms. Uncomplicated and mild cases can be treated with medication. Spontaneous healing is possible. Severe hepatitis with severe impairment of the general condition sometimes requires a stationary treatment and infusion therapy. Untreated, acute hepatitis may evolve into a chronic disease and cause permanent damages of the organ.
In case the symptoms mentioned before appear, particularly in connection with the characteristic yellow coloring of the mucous membranes, a veterinarian should quickest possible be consulted.