Prognosis for Hepatic Lipidosis in Cats

Hepatic lipidosis is one of the most commonly occurring diseases amongst cats in the United States. This disease, which is also referred to as fatty liver disease, tends to strike older cats and those that are obese. However, it may affect cats of any age, breed, gender or weight.

The disease itself is potentially harmful and even fatal, and it requires almost immediate response on your part in order to preserve your pet's health. However, with adequate and prompt treatment and a careful prevention strategy, the feline liver is oftentimes able to regenerate and to eliminate the problem. The prognosis for hepatic lipidosis in cats is oftentimes a good one, although it is entirely dependent upon how early you catch the disease and how well you're able to address it.

Overview of Hepatic Lipidosis in Cats

Feline fatty liver disease is a condition that occurs when too much fat builds up in your pet's liver. The result of this is that your cat will experience a wide range of symptoms. Be ever vigilant for these symptoms in your cat, particularly if he or she is older or on the heavier end of the spectrum:

  • Jaundice
  • Lethargy
  • Vomiting
  • Anorexia
  • Seizures
  • Drooling

Feline fatty liver disease or hepatic lipidosis is generally caused by one of two things. The more common cause of the disease is when a cat is overweight or obese already and suddenly stops eating for a brief period of time. if your cat stops eating, his body redirects his metabolism almost immediately, particularly if he is quite large. The fat will then be transported to the liver, where it builds up quickly and causes the symptoms of hepatic lipidosis. Another less common cause of the condition is severe overeating in cats that are already obese, although this is much less frequently the cause.

Diagnosing and Properly Treating for a Good Prognosis

If you recognize any of the symptoms listed above, it's crucial that you take your pet in to the vet as soon as possible. Once your pet displays symptoms of hepatic lipidosis, the prognosis for his overall health may already be poor. This is because the condition is oftentimes advanced by the point at which he will display these symptoms. Therefore, the best way that you can diagnose and treat hepatic lipidosis that has already developed is to monitor your pet very carefully and address the condition at the first sign of any of the warning symptoms listed above.

More effective, generally, than being reactionary in this way is the use of preventative care. The single best thing that you can do for your cat if he is obese and at risk for developing hepatic lipidosis is actually to ensure that he continues to eat regularly. This will keep his metabolism working as it should and will prevent the condition from developing. Ensure, however, that you don't overfeed your cat. Working with a vet to transition to a healthy diet that will lower your pet's weight gradually over time is another good way of helping to prevent this condition.

The treatment methods for hepatic lipidosis will typically involve both of these changes as well, so they help in ensuring that the overall prognosis for the condition is a good one.