Managing Feline Liver Failure with Prescription Diet Formulas

Feline liver failure occurs when a large number of liver cells die after they're exposed to toxins or infectious substances. There are several types of liver disorders that develop in cats. Some of them include hepatic lipidosis, portosystemic shunt, toxic hepatopathy and cholangitis. If these conditions are left untreated, the liver can suffer from a lot of damage and will stop functioning normally if its condition deteriorates.

Several liver disorders are accompanied by underlying illnesses like pancreatitis, irritable bowel syndrome and parasite infections. Pets diagnosed with these conditions require special diets that are easily digested. If your cat is suffering from any given liver disorder along with other health concerns, the vet will prescribe a special diet that's formulated for use in ailing pets.

Diagnosis of Liver Failure

If your pet starts showing signs of liver failure, the vet will perform a series of diagnostic tests to determine the overall functioning of the liver and the type of disorder present. The alanine aminotransferase test, thyroid tests, the aspartate aminotransferase test, serological tests and the bile acid tolerance test will be performed. The vet will also measure the cat's blood glucose levels and perform an X-ray or an ultrasound to identify any abnormalities present in the body.

Treatment of Liver Failure in Cats

The vet will prescribe medicines in small amounts to control any inflammation or bacterial infection that's present. Corticosteroids are administered if necessary, but in small quantities. The cat will have to be hospitalized for a few weeks until he is stable. Most pets suffering from liver failure require IV fluids, oxygen therapy and colloids to recover from the condition.

Since the liver can regenerate dead cells, the cat can be brought back to good health with dietary modification and supportive care. Most cats suffering from liver disorders are given low protein diets. These diets prevent the liver from getting overworked and also promote cell health.

Prescription Diets for Feline Liver Failure Include:

  • Hill's Prescription Diet l/d Feline Canned Food
  • Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Feline and Canine Recovery RS Formula
  • Hill's Prescription Diet l/d Feline Dry Food
  • Purina Veterinary Diets NF Kidney Function Feline Formula Dry 
  • Purina Veterinary Diets NF Kidney Function Feline Formula Canned

Diets for Cats Suffering from Liver Disorders

Pets suffering from liver disorders require meals that are organic in nature. The food you buy shouldn't contain any preservatives, artificial ingredients or colors. It should also be free from fillers or ingredients that have no nutritive value. Pets may benefit from supplements that contain vitamin K and vitamin E. However, you should discuss the benefits of supplementing your pet's diet with the vet before you administer any over the counter vitamins or supplements.

Cats suffering from liver failure require frequent followup vet checks. They shouldn't be allowed to exercise or roam outdoors. If they get plenty of rest and nutritious food, the liver will regenerate dead cells and this will speed up recovery.