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Liver Disease In Cats
Hepatic Lipidosis and Cholangitis are the two most common forms of feline liver diseases. They can lead to liver failure if they are not treated in time.
Hepatic lipidosis, which is also known as Fatty Liver Disease, is abnormal levels of certain fats that accumulate near the liver. It is an idiopathic disease (a disease whose exact cause is not known) that is mostly associated with loss of appetite and obesity. Stress is known to be one of the factors that leads to loss of appetite.
Cholangitis is an inflammation of the bile ducts and is associated with the feline leukemia virus as well as feline infectious peritonitis. The conventional treatment regime includes antibiotics, appetite stimulants, corticosteroids and other immuno-suppressive drugs.
Stress Can Affect A Cat’s Liver
Cats usually find it difficult to adjust to a changed environment like shifting to a new home, arrival of a new kitten. They get stressed even when the owner is stressed. There are chances of Fatty Liver Disease occurring due to Cholangitis, inflammation of the pancreas as well as a hepatic tumor.
The exact diagnose of a liver disease in cats is through a biopsy. Cats with Fatty Liver Disease are an anesthetic risk and a sample is normally taken with the aid of a fine percutaneous or laparoscopic needle.
Hepatic Lipidosis requires immediate treatment to avoid liver failure. Severe cases require hospitalization and critical care.
Cat owners would probably prefer outpatient care for their pet, however treatment requires perseverance and commitment to succeed as there are no specific home remedies that will cure the disease.
The first and foremost item on your agenda should be to modify your cat’s diet. Although the veterinarian is the right person to suggest the change, choose a high protein diet with high calorie intake sourced from non-protein sources.
Consult your veterinarian also for the quantity and the frequency of feeding.
Symptoms of Liver Disease in Cats
The first signs of liver failure in cats are often difficult to pin point. In most cases, the disease is diagnosed late. Vomiting can prove to be a big problem if Fatty Liver Disease has progressed to later stages. It may require surgical insertion of stomach tubes for feeding and home care.
Make food of gruel consistency and force it down the food through the tube. You may add some fish oil to the food. Start with small quantities every four hours and gradually increase the quantity and decrease the frequency.
Although 36 cc of food is enough to sustain life in a cat, it would require more than that to help with growing and healing. For administered fluids you may initially require the assistance of a veterinarian, however the process is easily learned by owners who are committed and keen.
Prognosis of both the liver disease conditions is fair, but only with persistent care and regular monitoring of the cat.
Another home care that you may try is to give your undivided attention and love to the cat for a couple of hours every day. If the cat is refusing food due to stress of some sort, make sure you spend a lot of time with her, giving attention and love.
This may help calm the stress and maybe help in curing anorexia, which is considered to be the primary cause behind liver failure in cats.
Changing A Cat’s Diet May Help
With many health issues in cats as well as in people, an improvement in the diet can often work wonders. If your cat is NOT already eating a raw diet, please consider changing to one. You can read more about this here: Best Food For Cats