Glycogenic hepatopathy is a rare cause of elevated levels of transaminase in type 1 diabetes mellitus. This disease, characterized by increased liver enzymes and hepatomegaly, is caused by permanent and excessive accumulation of glycogen in hepatocytes.

Symptoms To Observe

  • Diarrhea and vomiting
  • Lack of energy
  • Abnormal gait or pain while walking
  • Skin issues
  • Hard for the pet to walk, lie or stand up
  • The dog starts loosing pounds quickly
  • The dog may feel lethargic
  • They may urinate alot
  • drinking more water
  • Skin and/or white of the eyes (sclera) being yellowish
  • Lack of hunger


You’ll need to provide a detailed history of your dog’s health and severity of symptoms. Regular tests will include chemical blood profile, full blood count, electrolyte panels and urinalysis. A biopsy of the skin would be used for laboratory analysis.

Characteristic crystals will be seen in the urine (crystalluria) if the liver is seriously damaged. Abdominal X-rays can also be used to examine for enlargement of the liver and, in some cases, may indicate effusion (fluid leakage from the organ). Abdominal ultrasound is suitable for more thorough visualization of the liver and for the search for potential pancreatic mass. Your veterinarian may decide to take a liver biopsy, but this procedure may further complicate the diagnosis or disease, as the infected dogs are not cured well by the procedure.


Diabetes regulation can minimize associated hepatopathy in most cases of fatty liver disease. Dogs are typically given insulin several times a day, and occasionally oral medicines are administered. You can use to get more information on pet care, including advice on managing health issues. Depending on the cause of diabetes, diet and weight loss are also prescribed. Dogs with diabetes need a high fiber diet. With hepatic lipidosis, the consumption of fat and carbohydrate would have to be reduced and dogs can consume nutrient-rich proteins to prevent lipid mobilization. If your dog is already on diabetes treatment, the veterinarian might need to raise the dosage of insulin and further limit the diet of your dog.

Prevention and Care

You will need to go back to your veterinarian every month to evaluate your dog’s need for amino acid supplementation and care for secondary infections. Your veterinarian can conduct a chemical blood profile, full blood count, electrolyte panel and urinalysis every three months. Your dog’s diabetes mellitus will be tested and the medication will be modified as required during these visits.

All dogs with diabetes mellitus, particularly those taking insulin, should have their blood glucose levels tested regularly at home, especially when they have symptoms of glycogenic hepatopathy. This is done by obtaining a drop of blood, and using an instrument called a gluco-meter to measure the blood glucose concentration. Using this technology, many dog parents become skilled at evaluating their dog’s diabetes and usually take appropriate measures to prevent complications from occurring.