Definition :
It is the largest gland in the body. It has several functions. The main function is to secrete bile and to store in the gall-bladder. The gall-bladder is present in all other domesticated mammals and birds except equine. The collected bile in the gall-bladder is poured out into the bile-duct to pass to the small intestine i.e. the duodenum, where it assists the pancreatic juice in the digestion of food.
In a diseased condition of the liver, the symptoms are not immediately found obvious. The following diseases of the liver are found in animals-

  • Hepatitis
  • Congestion of liver
  • Cirrhosis of liver
  • Rupture of liver
  • Jaundice or Icterus
  • Gall-stone


Definition :
It is the inflammation of the liver. It may be acute or suppurative or chronic.

Acute Hepatitis :
It is caused by viruses, bacteria, and poisons. Sometimes, it is caused by the migration of parasites through the liver.

Symptoms :
Loss of appetite, often diarrhea or constipation in the later stage, temperature elevated, dislike to move and pain or pressure over the abdomen in the region of liver.


Definition: It is an abnormal accumulation of blood in any part of the liver characterized by dullness, depression and dislikes to move. It is of three types-

  • Active congestion
  • Passive congestion and
  • Biliary congestion

(a) Active Congestion :
It is arterial congestion in which more blood is coming in into the liver due to stimulating or irritating materials, less exercise and overfeeding

(b) Passive Congestion :
It is venous congestion in which less blood is going out from the liver due to some obstruction.

(c) Biliary Congestion :
It is an obstruction of the bile flow and does not reach the intestines, but remains circulating in the blood causing the deposition of bile pigments in the tissues and visible mucous membranes show a yellowishness.

Causes :
Insufficient exercise, overfeeding, intoxication, insufficient circulation of blood, some obstruction in vein and bile flow, affection of heart and kidney etc.

Symptoms :
Dullness, depression, drooping eyelids, hanging head. disinclination to move, constipation, bad odor of the feces, mucous membranes and urine yellow colored, enlarged liver, the temperature slightly raised or normal, a pressure at the seat of the liver causes discomfort and pain in small animals. Vomition is common in dogs and cats. Edema of the limbs. Frequently fever in case of the horse.


Definition :
This is the condition of destruction or degeneration of the liver cells characterized by a marked increase of connective tissues or fibrous tissues in which the liver may either increase or decrease in size and become solid.
The name ”cirrhosis of liver” was first given because of the characteristic orange-yellow color, but it is now applied to fibrosis of various internal organs e.g. lungs, kidney, etc.

Causes :
Bacteria, toxins, parasites, chemicals e.g. carbon tetrachloride, Irritants or obstruction in the bile duct.

Anorexia, irregular bowel, feces offensive, alternate diarrhea and constipation, gradual loss of condition and debility. In the acute stage, there is a rise of temperature and jaundice but these may gradually disappear.
There is enlargement of the liver which may be felt by percussion on the right side behind the last rib. There are ascites and anasarca in the advanced stage. It takes a chronic course.


Definition :
It is a symptom rather than a disease. It is a disease of liver and gall bladder. When the bile secreted by the liver cannot pass through the bile duct into the small intestines, it is dammed back, absorbed by the lymphatics and the blood vessels. It is carried into the general circulation in the blood and its pigments are deposited in the tissues coloring mucous membranes yellowish. It is of three types-

  • Obstructive
  • Haematogenous
  • Toxic

(a) Obstructive Jaundice :
It is an obstruction of bile duct caused by liver flukes, Ascarides, gall-stones, tumor, the pressure of an abscess, tubercles, cirrhosis of the liver.

(b) Hematogenous jaundice :
It is a distraction of blood cells e.g. surra in the horse, Babesiosis (Redwater) in cattle. piroplasmosis, portal vein congestion.

(c) Toxic Jaundice :
It is due to toxins produce by the destruction of liver cells e.g. copper, mercury, lead, phosphorus, chloral hydrate. equine influenza, canine babesiosis, distemper, and leptospirosis in dogs.

Symptoms :
Mucous membranes of the whole body and eyes become yellowish. Loss of appetite, dull and depressed. In the case of obstruction, urine becomes dark yellow and feces become clay-colored. In toxic condition and protozoal diseases, the temperature goes up to 106°F. There are progressive debility and emaciation. In dogs, the vomit is either yellow or green. In prolonging cases anemia sets up with wasting and dropsy of dependent parts. The dropsical fluid is yellow in abdominal dropsy. If the treatment is not taken up, the animal may die


Definition :
It is a condition in which muscles, tendons, joints, and bones are involved, resulting in pain, hardness, and disability to move, and the animal becomes lame.
In some cases, the uterus is also displaced completely along with the vagina after parturition outside the body.

Causes :
Cold and chill, exposed to moisture, dampness, sudden change in temperature, lack of sunlight, exposure to draught, excessive protein diet, bacterial infection and standing in rain for a long period. It occurs in all domesticated animals, but most common in dogs, pigs land horses

Symptoms :
It may be acute, muscular and chronic. There is no distinct difference in these three

(a) Acute Type:
The symptoms develop rapidly with high fever, pulse and respiration increased., The animal becomes dull. The affected joints become painful and stiff. The appetite is lost. There is usually constipation and high colored urine. The condition either subsides in a few days or prolongs to weeks resulting death.

(b) Muscular Type :
The signs appear rapidly. The affected muscles are found tense and trembling. Any part of the body may be affected. The most affected are the neck, shoulders and abdominal wall. The affected muscles on manipulation cause pain and agony in smaller animals and moan or grunting in larger animals. When back and loins are affected, it is called lumbago and when the croup and thigh are involved, it is called sciatica. The animal moves with lameness in distress.

(c) Chronic Type :
It is also called articular rheumatism. It is commonly localized to the joints and muscles. The affected joint becomes swollen and stiff. There may be depression, poor appetite, and slight fever. There may not be lameness