Also on our pets’ skin, on the smooth areas and on the mucosa, more easily of mouth and of the white part of the eye, some anomalous colors can appear that can be easily detected by the owners and be the alarm bell of some important pathologies like jaundice.
Basing on the shades of color the jaundice distinguishes itself in 4 types according to the intensity of the color itself: Flavinico, Verdinico, Rubinico, Melanico.
These strange color are due to an anomalous heap of hemoglobin, normally present in the red blood cells, that occurs after their physiologic destruction by the use, after about 100-120 days of activity.
The liver, besides of providing many other functions, transforms in fact the hemoglobin in bile acids, fundamental for the digestive phase. These gather in the gall-bladder that through a small canal directly communicate with the first section of the intestine.
In case that the liver, because of infections, pathologies, can’t wholly perform its task of depuration, all the substance in excess pours in the blood flow and deposits itself in these smooth areas giving the typical more or less intense yellow color.
The Pre-liver jaundice occurs the healthy liver is not able to get rid of the big quantity of hemoglobin present in the blood because of a strong destruction of red blood cells due to poisoining or self-destructions of themselves. In this case a sign of different jaundice is the urine of the subject that doesn’t suffer an anomalous coloration.
We talk of hepatic jaundice instead the liver is ill and therefore can’t transform the hemoglobin in bile. The hemoglobin will be, in this case, digested also by urine that will get a dark coloration, until having a coffee color. The typical example is Piroplasmosis.
The post-hepatic jaundice is when the bile can’t reach the intestine because of gallstones or obstructions. Also in this case we will see yellow mucosa and dark urine, but the faeces will appear yellowish and almost colorless, just because of the absence of the bile acids that normally color them.
In case of doubts, specific blood tests and an abdominal ultrasound will define the diagnosis further.