Fatty liver in cats – Symptoms and treatment
If there is something that brings a lot of health problems in your cat is inappetence. Sometimes, due to stress, as a consequence of some other disease, or for other reasons, the cat refuses to eat and this is much more dangerous for him than you imagine.
One of the problems that is unleashed by the fact of not eating are the enfermedades hepatic, that is, those that put into play the functioning of the liver. These ailments are so dangerous for cats that, if not treated in time and in the right way, can be fatal in the 90% of the time. Among the liver ailments is the fatty liver in cats, so we are talking about your symptoms and treatment here. Keep reading this article!
What is fatty liver in cats?
El fatty liver, Also called feline hepatic lipidosis, is the disease of this organ that most affects cats, regardless of whether they are females or males. Consists of the accumulation of fat in the liver, which prevents it from working properly. When the liver fails, the whole organism is compromised, so the mortality due to this condition is quite high.
It can affect cats of any age, but it is more frequent in older than 5 years, especially if they are home and have weight problems. It is usually unleashed when the animal’s food cycle is disrupted, whether it is subjected to a too strict diet that makes it lose weight quickly, something that you should never do, or that due to some other health condition or very stressful situations the Feline has lost his appetite.
What happens is that, in the absence of food, the body begins to transport the fats it gets to the liver in order for it to process them, but when the lack of appetite spreads the liver is overworked and unable to synthesize all fats, so they accumulate in that body. Faced with this accumulated fat in the area, the liver collapses.
A cat with physical discomfort that stops eating for a day is not a cause for concern, but after the second it is advisable to go to the vet immediately, because the feline organism deteriorates very fast in the absence of food.
What are the causes of feline hepatic lipidosis?
First, la obesity It is a determining factor when suffering fatty liver in cats, especially when for some reason the feline begins to lose those extra kilos in an accelerated way. In addition, any element that causes the cat to stop eating represents a danger to him, whether he refuses to do so in response to a situation that causes him stress, that the food does not like (if the usual food has been changed or because he got bored with the same taste), among other problems. All these provoke anorexia, and anorexia brings about liver failure.
In addition, some diseases, such as certain heart or kidney ailments, they produce a lack of appetite, as do pancreatitis, gastroenteritis, cancer and any type of diabetes. As if that were not enough, problems related to the mouth, such as blows, infections such as gingivitis, trauma and anything that makes eating difficult or painful, lead the cat to not taste a bite.
Similarly, the lack of a meal schedule, translated into the administration of the food inconsistently, cause eating disorders and generate stress in the cat, because this will not be sure when will be your next meal (do not forget that they are routine animals ), causing this disease in the liver.
What are the symptoms of fatty liver in cats?
La loss of appetite, and therefore of weight, is one of the most obvious symptoms. It is possible for the cat to experience vomiting y Diarrhea o constipation, accompanied by dehydration and general weakness, so you will notice that he is fatigued and listless.
When the liver failure occurs, bilirubin levels increase and the jaundice, which is a yellowish coloration on the skin, gums and eyeballs. Tremors may also occur, and the cat will adopt an indolent attitude toward itself, causing it to stop grooming. The examination of an expert when palpating the abdomen will reveal the swollen liver.
How is the diagnosis made?
If the disease of fatty liver in the cat is advanced, at first sight the veterinarian will be able to distinguish the yellowish signs of the jaundice, in addition to palpating the abnormally swollen liver. To confirm that it is feline hepatic lipidosis, other tests will be required:
- Blood tests.
- Ultrasound of the abdomen, which will allow to analyze the size and condition of the liver.
- Liver biopsy, involves taking a sample from the wall of the liver with a needle. In some cats, rapid surgery may be necessary to take a larger sample.
- X-ray of the abdomen.
In addition, according to the physical examination, to the information that you are able to provide to the veterinarian on the signs of the disease and the state of the feline, tests will be necessary to determine the origin of the liver disease.
What is the treatment of feline hepatic lipidosis?
At first, it is likely that after being diagnosed with hepatic lipidosis, or fatty liver, the cat should be hospitalized for a few days, during which time he will be given a fluid therapy, necessary to combat dehydration, weakness and lack of nutrients in the body.
After this, which is only emergency care, the most important thing is for the cat to eat again, but this is usually complicated in most cases. It will not be enough to offer him his favorite food, it can be treated but the most usual thing is that he keeps refusing to eat. Because of this, we turn to the assisted feeding. The first thing is to try with porridge food that will be administered through a syringe, but if this is unsuccessful the veterinarian should place a probe, either in the nose or in the neck, that carries the food directly to the stomach, treatment that It will be necessary for weeks or even some months. The specialist will guide you on the type of food, the portions and the daily frequency.
In addition to this, it must be treat the disease that caused the liver failure and even recommended medications that stimulate appetite, because the ultimate goal is not only to control the condition, but also that the cat can have a normal life, eating on its own.
This article is merely informative, in .com we do not have the faculty to prescribe veterinary treatments or make any kind of diagnosis. We invite you to take your pet to the veterinarian in case of any type of condition or discomfort.
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