Low Albumin In Dogs: Causes, Symptoms And Treatment Of Hypoalbuminemia

December 29, 2010 | Healthy Dog | Leave a Comment |

What is Albumin?  Low Albumin Levels in Dogs

  • Albumin is one of the primary proteins in the body.
  • It is only produced in the liver
  • It is a water holding protein and it is responsible for keeping waters inside cells

What Causes Low Albumin in Dogs?

Some of the conditions that can lead to low albumin levels in dogs include:

  • Liver problems – Liver damage, liver cancer, obstructions in the bile duct, inflammation, cirrhosis, etc.
    can lead to problems with the synthesis of albumin. Also read protein deficiency in dogs
  • Malabsorption Issues – Dogs may not be getting enough protein from their diet because of some issues with absorption. It could include trauma, inflammation, parasites, etc.
  • Kidney Problems – When a dog has problems with the kidneys, protein cells may leach out onto the urine causing a drop in albumin concentrations in the blood.
  • Malnutrition – Dogs who are not getting enough protein in their diet could also suffer from hypoalbuminemia.

Symptoms of Low Albumin Levels in Dogs

  • Ascites – This presents as abdominal distention. Since albumin is responsible for holding water, without it, water is going to leach out into the interstitial (spaces in between cells) tissues and causing water collection in certain areas, including the abdomen.
  • Edema – This is also related to albumin’s water holding function.
  • Weakness
  • Lethargy
  • Weight loss

Treatment of Low Albumin in Dogs

The treatment of hypoalbuminemia is going to depend on the underlying condition that is causing the condition. Some common treatments prescribed to dogs with low protein levels include:

  • Increased protein intake in diet
  • Paracentesis – The process of removing extra fluid in the abdomen
  • Intravenous Albumin Therapy
  • Diuretics to remove excess interstitial water
  • Cage Rest

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