What is the liver?
The liver is a wedge-shaped brownish colored organ that sits in the cranial (toward the head) part of the abdomen tucked between the diaphragm and the stomach. The liver is an organ within the gastrointestinal system. It plays a vital role in the well being of every animal, and human for that matter. The medical terminology for the study of the liver is “hepatopathy.”
Due to its central location, the liver has a chance to filter out toxins absorbed from the gastrointestinal (GI) tract in the blood, prior to the blood circulating in the body. This filtration is vital in keeping your pet healthy! But filtration is only one of its significant roles.
The liver is where glucose is stored, as well as other essential minerals and vitamins. The liver is responsible for the synthesis (creation) of albumin, which is a protein responsible for keeping the fluid at appropriate levels within your pets’ body! The liver is also responsible for the body's ability to clot. If there is a deficit of clotting factors that the liver produces, your pet may develop bruises or suffer from prolonged bleeding or excessive bleeding.
Check out the video below to see how the liver works:
As you can see, the liver is responsible for many important roles within the body! Unfortunately, since the liver is centrally located, it can quickly become overwhelmed by invaders and get sick easily. We will discuss what happens when the liver becomes sick in a future post.
Ashley DiPrete, RVT, VTS (SAIM) is a Registered Veterinary Technician practicing in California and obtained her Veterinary Technician Specialty in Small Animal Internal Medicine in 2016. She is the co-founder and a contributing author for InternalMedicineForPetParents.com.
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