Sweet Miracle is very sick and at the vets today.
He needs your prayers and positive thoughts.
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Fatty Liver Disease – Hepatic Lipidosis
by Jill Anne Sparapany
Fatty liver disease is the most common liver disorder in cats, caused by accumulation of too much lipid (fat) the cells of the liver, abnormal bile flow and impaired liver function. Severe impairment of the liver function affects the detoxification of blood. If toxins accumulate in the blood, the mental status is affected – causing mental dullness, severe depression and seizures.
Fatty liver can be a primary illness or occur as a secondary illness, resulting from another primary disease, such as diabetes. Cats of any breed and both sexes are affected. Middle age and older cats are more likely to become ill with hepatic lipidosis. Early diagnosis is essential because even with aggressive therapy, a significant number of cats will die.
The cause is unknown. Obesity is a predisposing factor for development of fatty liver and most cats are obese at the time of onset.
Another factor is anorexia (decreased appetite) resulting from stress. The stressors can be the addition of a new pet or family member or sudden change to a less palatable diet.
If your cat does not eat for more than one day,
have your cat evaluated by the vet to avoid development of hepatic lipidosis.
Signs of fatty liver disease: Anorexia, depression and intermittent vomiting are the first signs.
· Anorexia or decreased appetite
· Loss of muscle mass
· Jaundice – most noticeable by the yellow tint to the sclera and skin inside the ears.
· Severe depression
Jaundice- yellow tint inside ears
Diagnosis of fatty liver disease:
· Complete medical history and physical exam, specifically looking for jaundice
· Blood and urine tests
· Thyroid test to rule out hyperactive thyroid as the cause of elevated liver enzymes
· Bile acid test
· Abdominal x-rays
· Abdominal ultrasound (non-invasive procedure)
· Fine needle aspiration of the liver
· Liver biopsy. This is the definitive test for diagnosing hepatic lipidosis.
Treatment of fatty liver disease: With early diagnosis and aggressive nutritional support, the survival rate for hepatic lipidosis is 60-80%.
· Dietary therapy, feeding tube
· Strictly follow the type of food, amount and frequency of feeding
· Appetite stimulants
· Anti-emetics to control vomiting
· Meds to prevent development of gastric ulcers
· Meds to control gastrointestinal bleeding, if stomach ulcers are present
· Meds to help control mental symptoms in severe fatty liver disease
· Meds to improve bile flow in the liver
· Blood transfusions if the impaired liver cannot regulate blood clotting
· Follow-up with the vet for physical exams every 3-7 days to check weight, hydration and jaundice
· Follow-up with CBC and liver function tests every 1-2 weeks during treatment
Home Care and Prevention:
· Dietary therapy is the most critical aspect of recovering from hepatic lipidosis
· Follow all feeding instructions exactly and give all medications and dietary supplements as directed
· Follow all instructions for care and maintenance of the feeding tube.
· Avoid overfeeding your cat to prevent obesity.
· Observe for anorexia
· Avoid stressful situations (new cat or family member, sudden change in diet)
Many people treat with milk thistle. Discuss this treatment with the vet to prevent drug-drug adverse interaction!
Our personal experience has been that Milk Thistle will completely reverse Fatty liver disease. It has no over dose amount, you give it down the feeding tube every time you feed them. Fatty liver must be aggressively treated or the cat WILL DIE! This is not medical advice, this is use sharing our personal experiences with several cats with fatty liver.
We will do boxes today LIVE on http://ustream.tv/blindcatrescue
chat at 6 pm, boxes at 6:30 pm EST