My Dog was diagnosed with Jaundice

Our question this week was:

My dog has Jaundice if he does get all the tests done will this cure him or will all the stress kill him as he frets away from home. He has the yellow gums and loss of weight but not appetite.


Teena Rockliff


Hi – thanks for your email. You wrote that your dog has jaundice, weight loss and no appetite. Your question was…- can it be cured and will he be stressed if away from home.

Jaundice is a very serious condition and can have multiple underlying causes. All the underlying causes are serious. We have a good article on jaundice on Petplace that may answer many of your questions – go to "Jaundice in Dogs"

As you may know and as explained in the article I mentioned – Jaundice, also referred to as icterus, describes the yellow color taken on by the tissues throughout the body due to elevated levels of bilirubin, a substance that comes from the breakdown of red blood cells.

Regardless of the cause, jaundice is considered abnormal in the dog. Jaundice is recognized by a yellow color to the animal's skin. It is often more apparent in the whites of the eyes, in the skin at the base of the ears, along the gums, and in the skin of the abdomen. There are three primary classifications of causes of jaundice.

Possible causes include parasites, drugs, toxins, immune-mediated hemolytic anemia, blood transfusion reactions, tumors, heartworm disease, inflammatory disease, cancer, infections, cirrhosis, gall bladder diseases and more.

The prognosis is dependent on the underlying cause and the severity of the disease. The only way to know is to have the tests done. There is no guarantee but it would be best for your dog to have a vet evaluation him and find out what your options are.

Best of luck!

Dr. Debra

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