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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question

Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 24468
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 44 years of experience.
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My dog has liver failure and gh potassium and blood

Customer Question

My dog has liver failure and high potassium and blood pressure.
Should she on a drip and would it be at all useful?
Submitted: 4 months ago.
Category: Vet
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 4 months ago.

The use of IV therapy would be predicated upon whether acute vs chronic liver failure existed and whether biochemical testing supported such intensive supportive therapy. This is a decision for her vet to make. The goal of treatment is to allow adequate time for hepatic regeneration and repair, prevent or control complications of liver failure, and treat the underlying cause when possible.

IV fluids would be indicated, for example, for an acute infectious hepatitis expected to respond to antibiotics but of dubious benefit for a liver in failure due to neoplasia (cancer). If IV fluid therapy is chosen, it should be done with a balanced electrolyte solution supplemented with potassium chloride if need be (not in her case). Normoglycemia (normal blood sugar level) needs to be maintained and done by adding dextrose to the fluids as need be. If my patient suffers from hepatoencephalopathy (a poorly functioning liver is intoxicating the brain), normal saline should be administered rather than Ringer's solution to avoid alkalosis (a higher blood pH than normal).

Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.

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