Liver Cancer in Dogs and Cats

Common info

Liver cancer is an effect of the attack of hepatocellular carcinoma, which a malignant tumor that can develop within the liver epithelial cells. Tumors can also metastasize to the liver from other parts of the body. It often occurs in male pets over 10 years of age. The common symptoms of liver cancer in dogs and cats include weakness, loss of appetite, weight loss, vomiting, enlarged liver, and blood in the abdomen, etc.


Although the cause of liver cancer in dogs and cats is still unknown; it believes to related to chronic inflammations or toxic hepatitis, which is due to chemicals and toxins exposure.


The liver is a part of the internal organs of both humans and pets. It is responsible for filtering the waste and removing toxins and all the hazardous substances in the body. Because the liver connects to hepatic arteries and portal vein, it is likely to get the cancer cells from other organs as they can spread to the liver via both types of above-stated blood vessels.


  • Lethargy
  • Weakness
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Increased thirst
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Enlarged liver
  • Blood in the abdomen

These following symptoms will not exhibit unless the severe stage reached: lethargy, weakness, loss of appetite, weight loss, increased thirst, diarrhea, vomiting, enlarged liver and blood in the abdomen.

Treatment and Prevention

  • The treatment of choice for a solitary liver tumor is surgery, provided that it has not spread to another internal organ.
  • Chemotherapy may recommend if the tumor type is sensitive to this medication. A biopsy report needs to determine the potential response of this type of treatment.
  • Injecting a type of glue and chemotherapy into the blood vessels that feed an inoperable liver tumor can block the blood supply to the tumor and help shrink the tumor. This treatment, although not curative, may increase the survival time of your pet.
  1. ACVS | Liver Tumors
  2. Wikipedia | Liver cancer in cats and dogs
  3. Honestdocs | Liver cancer in dogs
  4. Petmd | Liver Cancer (Hepatocellular Carcinoma) in Dogs
  5. Magne, M. L., & Withrow, S. J. 1985. Hepatic Neoplasia. Veterinary Clinics of North America: Small Animal Practice, 15(1), 243–256.
  6. Hammer, A. S., & Sikkema, D. A. 1995. Hepatic Neoplasia in the Dog and Cat. Veterinary Clinics of North America: Small Animal Practice, 25(2), 419–435.
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