A horse’s liver rests against the diaphragm, next to the stomach in the abdominal cavity. The liver performs many necessary functions to prevent illness:
- filters and detoxifies blood coming from the intestinal tract and other parts of the body
- aids in fat and sugar metabolism
- production of bile, proteins, and vitamins
Symptoms of liver disease vary based on the degree of failure present: jaundice (yellow tint to the skin), weight loss, behavior changes, and colic. Diagnosis of liver disease requires laboratory testing. Common causes of liver disease include: infections (e.g.: Tyzzer’s disease), inflammation (e.g.: chronic active hepatitis), toxicities (e.g.: toxic plant ingestion), and tumors (e.g.: carcinomas).