Question from Anita Bates
Can any vet perform a liver biopsy or should Spud Theduff dog be seen by an expert?
Answer from Shanika Winters MRCVS, Online Vet
Hi Anita and thank you for your question regarding liver biopsy. I am assuming that your dog has already undergone some tests e.g. blood tests, x-rays and or exploratory surgery which have pointed in the direction of liver disease.
So what is a liver biopsy?
A biopsy is when a small sample of a body tissue is taken to be analysed. The liver is a large organ that is found in your pets abdomen (belly) just behind the chest. The liver has many functions which include processing and filtering all the nutrients absorbed from the gut after digestion, production of bile which helps with fat digestion, production of vitamins and storage of iron.
Why would your vet advise a liver biopsy?
A liver biopsy is advised to determine the exact type of disease that might be going on in your pets liver. As mentioned earlier liver biopsy is usually discussed after the findings of blood tests, x-rays or ultrasound scan which suggest liver disease. Diseases of the liver include infections, tumours, inflammation and storage disease to mention a few.
How is a liver biopsy performed?
There are two main ways of collecting a liver biopsy either by opening up the animals abdomen and cutting a small sample directly from the liver or using a special biopsy needle that is inserted through the skin under the direction of an ultrasound scan……..