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Feline Liver Disease – Things You Need to Know

Feline Liver Disease – Things You Need to Know

Feline liver disease usually occurs in cats that refuse to eat for 1 day or more. When a cat refused to eat, the body begins to collect fat or lipid cells in the liver, causing the liver to enlarge. This is why the disease is often referred to as feline fatty liver or the technical name, which is Hepatic Lipidosis (FHL).

In the majority of cats, there is usually some other type of underlying condition that exists. These conditions include diabetes mellitus, pancreatitis, hyperthyroidsim, urinary blockage and inflammatory bowel disease. Other causes of liver problems include neoplasia (abnormal cell growth such as a cancerous tumor) and bacterial infection.

Another type of liver disease occurs when there is inflammation of the bile ducts. Bile is a substance that is manufactured by the liver and then transported to the gallbladder. If this substance doesn’t transport properly, then a type of liver disease called Cholangiohepatitis.

One type of liver disease is triggered by an inherited abnormality where blood bypasses the liver and goes directly into the heart (Portosystemic Shunt). Since the liver cleanses the blood before it goes elsewhere, this problem can lead to ammonia build up and symptoms such as seizures, vomiting, drooling, diarrhea and circling.

Symptoms that often accompany liver problems include drooling, bad mouth odor, vomiting and diarrhea. You may even see signs of mental confusion.

Treatment of Feline Liver Disease

Treatment of a portosystemic shunt is done via surgery. Once the blood flow is directed properly, your cat should fully recover.

If the problem is fatty liver disease or Cholangiohepatitis, then the immediate treatment is to feed your cat via a tube that is inserted directly into the stomach. Your cat needs to be immediately hydrated, electrolyte balance restored so that the body is getting the food that it needs. After several days, 7 – 10, your veterinarian will reintroduce a normal diet that is high in protein. Your veterinarian will also seek to supplement the feeding with certain vitamins such as vitamin K and B.

Homeopathic remedies also have a unique role in restoring and preventing feline liver disease. Milk Thistle in particular has a long history of helping to restore liver health in both humans and cats. Other natural remedies that can be of help include Arctium lappa (Burdock, used as a blood purifier and system cleanser), Greater Celandine (supports liver health), Kalium mriaticum (system cleanser) and Natrium phosphate (benefits the liver and gallbladder).