Symptoms of Cat Liver Disease

A cat liver is one of the most important organs in the body, maintaining chemical levels and proteins, as well as filtering toxins from the blood and regulating amino acid levels. Any imbalance in the liver due to disease can cause problems for your cat. Unfortunately, most liver diseases don't present symptoms until damage to the liver has already been done.

Symptoms of Cat Liver Disease

A cat with liver disease of any kind will most likely present with a series of identifiable symptoms. Anorexia, abdominal swelling, lethargy, jaundice, vomiting and diarrhea are all symptomatic of liver disease, although the type of disease is not clearly delineated. Visit your vet for testing in order to determine the type of disease your feline is suffering from.

Some diseases, like diabetes, leukemia and feline immunodeficiency virus, can cause damage to the liver but are not considered liver diseases. Your cat's liver disease symptoms may be a secondary result of an existing infection, or even parasites. Only your vet can diagnose your pet.

Jaundice Yellows Eyes

Jaundice, one of the most common symptoms of liver disease, is also known as icterus. The build up of toxins like urea in the bloodstream, due to a malfunctioning liver, causes discoloration of mucous membranes. If your dog's eyes, gums or ears take on a yellowish tinge, visit your vet to determine the cause.

Fatty Liver Disease

Fatty Liver Disease is a common liver problem in elderly cats that occurs when fat builds up in the liver. When your cat stops eating, fat cells are sent to the liver for fuel. The liver is an ineffectual fuel processor for fat, so the fat moves into the liver tissue. This can cause renal failure.

Symptoms at the onset of the disease include weight loss, loss of appetite, vomiting and drooling, in addition to decreased energy and jaundice. As these symptoms can be common in cats with liver cancer and other diseases, be sure to visit your vet for further testing in order to properly diagnose your animal.

Fatty liver disease is an easily treated disease if caught early enough. With tube feeding at the vet for eight weeks to introduce your cat's missing nutrients followed up by a changed diet at home, you should be able to reverse the disease. In later diagnoses, treatment may include fluid replacement and toxin removal therapy.

Liver Damage

Liver damage causes difficulties in your cat's urinary tract. Because of the decreased filtering functions, more toxins will be in your animal's bloodstream and urine. The amount of toxins in the urinary tract will make your feline more prone to urinary tract infection. Watch out for symptoms of urinary tract infections to avoid further damage to your cat's body.

If you suspect that your cat has liver damage, avoid any foods containing fish proteins. These proteins cannot be metabolized in the liver, adding purine to the bloodstream, which can't be filtered out.