Hepatitis in cats – Causes, symptoms and treatment
The liver is one of the largest organs and is considered as the great laboratory and storehouse of the organism. At synthesize a lot of enzymes, proteins, etc., being the major organ detoxify, stores glycogen (essential for the balance of glucose), etc.
Hepatitis is defined as inflammation of the liver tissue and therefore of the liver. Although it is not as common a pathology in the cat as in the dog, it must always be taken into account when making diagnoses with nonspecific and general symptoms, such as weight loss, anorexia, apathy and fever. There are also more specific symptoms, such as jaundice.
In this article we will give you the keys to analyze the cause of hepatitis in cats as well as the Symptoms and treatment of the disease.
What causes feline hepatitis?
The inflammation of the liver can have multiple origins, so it will be reviewed the most common and frequent causes:
- Viral hepatitis: It has absolutely nothing to do with human hepatitis. There are certain cat-specific viruses, which can cause hepatitis, among many other symptoms. So the viruses that cause the diseases of feline leukemia and feline infectious peritonitis can lead to hepatitis, because the viruses destroy the liver tissue. These pathogens do not destroy only the liver tissue, so they will affect other organs of the cat’s organism.
- Hepatitis of bacterial origin: More frequent in the dog, it is exceptional in the cat. The causative agent is Leptospira.
- Hepatitis of parasitic origin: The most frequent is caused by toxoplamosis (protozoa) or by filariasis (blood parasite).
- Toxic hepatitis: Caused by the ingestion of different toxins, it is also very uncommon in the cat, due to its feeding behavior. It is usually due to the accumulation of copper in the feline liver.
- Congenital hepatitis: It is also very infrequent and they are usually diagnosed accidentally, looking for other pathologies. It is in case of congenital hepatic cysts.
- Neoplasms (tumors): They are more frequent in elderly cats. The tumor tissue destroys the liver. Most of the time they are not primary tumors, being metastasis of tumors generated in other organs.
What are the most frequent symptoms in feline hepatitis?
Hepatitis usually gives different symptoms, depending on whether it manifests acutely or chronically. An acute failure of the functioning of the liver usually leads to symptoms of sudden presentation.
The most frequent symptom is usually Inappetence and lethargy. The accumulation of toxins in the body affects the nervous system, being able to observe associated symptoms (behavioral changes, abnormal gait and even convulsions), known as hepatic encephalopathy. Inactivity and a state of sadness are common.
Another symptom would be jaundice. It is a more specific symptom in liver disease and consists of the accumulation of bilirubin (yellow pigment) in the tissues. In the case of chronic hepatitis, weight loss and ascites (fluid accumulation at the abdominal level) is observed.
What is the treatment of feline hepatitis?
The treatment of hepatitis is usually associated on the one hand to its origin, but because most of the time this is unknown (idiopathic) or is caused by viruses and tumors, the symptomatic treatment and nutritional management.
The nutritional management consists in the change of the cat’s diet (and that is going to suppose an additional problem, because it is not so simple to realize it) adjusting the same to the disease. It is based on reducing the total amount of protein in the diet and increasing its quality.
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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