Cat Liver Problems
The liver is a vital organ and is affected by 5 major disorders in cats. These include toxins from poisons or bacteria; a variety of Cancers which tend to spread and Portosystemic Shunts in which blood circulation in the liver is abnormal. Hepatic Lipidosis is a condition in which excess fat accumulates in the liver. It results in liver failure and the disease itself causes cats not to eat. The 9condition is fatal without prompt treatment. Fatty Liver Disease is a synonomous term. Cholangitis is chronic inflammation of the bile ducts which may progress to Cholangio-hepatitis which is chronic inflammation of the bile ducts and the liver. Fatty Liver Disease and Cholangio-hepatitis are the two most common liver problems in cats.
* Fatty Liver Disease occurs because of anything causing a cat to stop eating such as dental and kidney disease, diabetes, cat flu, Leukemia, anxiety, etc.
* Cholangitis and/or Cholangiohepatitis are usually caused by unknown factors. Immune system disorders, bacterial infections and rarely pancreatic upsets can be responsible.
SYMPTOMS: FATTY LIVER DISEASE
* Fat cats that have stopped eating for a few days or more.
* Yellowish discoloration to skin, gums and whites of eyes; this is called Jaundice and is a sign of liver failure.
* Toxic levels of Ammonia can accumulate in the brain due to liver failure. Dementia, seizures and coma can result.
* Cholangiohepatitis affects mid to older age cats. Signs include: weight and appetite loss for no known reason, occasional fevers and vomiting, many are anemic. These cats just “aren’t right”.
WHAT YOU AND YOUR VET CAN DO
FATTY LIVER DISEASE
1. A tissue biopsy of the liver confirms the diagnosis and is necessary to differentiate Cholangitis and Cholangio-hepatitis Disease from Fatty Liver Disease.
2. Aggressive force feeding through a stomach tube surgically placed is the simplest, most effective therapy. 80 percent of cats survive. Owners easily feed high protein kitten type diets through the tube at home. Ten days after the appetite returns, the tube is removed.
3. Immune disorders often require the medication Actigall to block the inflammatory reaction. Antibiotics eliminate bacterial causes. These cats have the best results. Fluids maintain hydration. Nutrition is essential, surgery is a last option.
* Denosyl is a nutrient currently being used in vet medicine. It promotes liver healing.
* Lactulose is a medication used to decrease ammonia in the blood which may help prevent brain damage.
* Dietary nutrients (supplements) added into meals. Available at health food stores.
* Dietary therapy is specific and quite different for Fatty Liver versus Cholangitis therefore exact diagnosis is helpful.
* Arginine stimulates natural immunity, no adverse effects.
* Carnitine increases energy and Vitamin C production, no adverse effects
* Fish oil – omega-3 fatty acids 1/8 Tsp salmon oil
* Chelated Zinc – 5 milligrams daily into meal
* Anti Oxidant Vitamins A, C, E – mix into meals.
* Vitamins A – 10,000 Iu (international units) per week
* Vitamin C – 250 mg powder 3 times daily
* Vitamin E – 400 Iu (international units) per week
1. Natrum Suplhurium 6x (Sodium Sulfate) – a tissue salt pellet every 4 hours on tongue up to 5 days or until signs gone. Stop if not better in first 24 hours.
2. Belladonna 6x – one pellet every 4 hours on tongue up to 5 days or until signs are gone. Stop if not better in first 24 hours. No food 10 minutes before or after.
* Use for cats with fever that are agitated
Batch Flower Remedies – Easy to use, affect mood. One to two drops into mouth, water, meal.
* Crabapple – use to cleanse body
* Impatiens – use if cat seems angry
* Aspen – use if cat is fearful