Cat Liver Failure

Cat liver is an organ that performs the function of cleansing the body from toxins. In addition, the liver produces bile that's necessary for adequate digestion. It also produces certain hormones that are essential to the functioning of the body. Cats suffering from liver disease may not exhibit symptoms until the disease is in the advanced stage. In order to prevent liver failure, pet owners should watch for any signs of liver disease and seek prompt medical help to prevent death. Liver failure that occurs in the advanced stage of liver disease is caused by other underlying conditions or bodily ailments.

Symptoms of Cat Liver Disease

  • Abdominal enlargement
  • Vomiting
  • Seizures
  • Diarrhea
  • Jaundice

Causes of Liver Damage

Most pets suffer from fatty liver syndrome. This condition develops due to the presence of toxins in the body, nutritional inadequacies or due to diabetes mellitus. Pets suffering from respiratory infections are also at a higher risk of developing fatty liver syndrome. One of the main functions of the liver is to help fat and vitamin absorption. Excess fat deposit in the liver leads to an overload which reduces liver performance. Fatty liver syndrome is commonly seen in overweight and older pets. Various medications prescribed for other ailments are also known to cause side effects such as liver damage. In addition liver disorders may also occur due to certain cancerous tumors that affect the cat's liver.

Diagnosis of Liver Damage in Cats

If liver damage is not treated in time, it can result in reduced liver performance, build up of toxins and cause liver failure. The vet will then perform a physical examination to palpate the abdomen to detect swelling or abdominal fluid retention. The vet will conduct a biochemical test to check the level of cholesterol, enzymes and glucose present in the blood. Additional tests include urine analysis and thyroid tests. Ultrasound and other tests may be performed to rule out underlying diseases.

Prevention of Liver Failure in Cats

In order to prevent liver failure, the vet will prescribe medication and a diet plan to help the liver recover. Since the liver continues to function even if it's partially damaged, liver disorders go unnoticed until the disease has progressed. Cats suffering from fatty liver syndrome are fed diets that contain high quality proteins in moderation. Ingredients that can't be processed by the liver should be eliminated from the diet. The cat will be force fed nutritious protein diets through a tube attached to the pet's stomach. Pets suffering from additional health concerns like jaundice may also require IV fluids to treat dehydration.

Home Care

Cats recovering from liver disease may be fed specially formulated diets available commercially. Timely administration of medication and follow up vet examinations are necessary. Since liver failure occurs when the liver is severely damaged, early treatment is vital. Pet owners should also avoid using over the counter products that cause side effects to the liver.

The treatment of liver disease varies according to the severity and type of clinical symptoms involved. Antibiotic or corticosteroid medication may be necessary to treat certain pets.