The 5 Most Common Cat Liver Problems

The cat liver performs several functions including the cleansing of the blood, reduction of toxins and production of bile and certain enzymes. However, the liver may be affected by a number of diseases such as the fatty liver disease, hepatopathy or liver shunt.

1. Fatty Liver Disease

The fatty liver disease in cats is also known as hepatic lipidosis and is the most common feline liver problem. The condition will be caused by the lack of appetite and anorexia. When the cat doesn’t eat enough, the body will start using the existing fat deposits as fuel and this will result in visible weight loss.

The fat will be processed by the liver and the liver may be overwhelmed by the unusual workload, so the fat can be deposited in the liver. This will affect the function of the liver. The condition may be treated if detected early enough and a change in diet is necessary.

2. Infection and Inflammation of the Liver

The liver may often get infected or inflamed and this is typically tagged as cholangitis or the cholangiohepatitis complex.

The infection or inflammation of the liver may be caused by:

The inflammation of the liver may be treated by dealing with the underlying condition.

3. Toxic Hepatopathy

Toxic hepatopathy is a condition that is caused by an increased of toxins in the cat’s body. The toxins can build up due to the constant ingestion of certain ingredients or medication. The toxic hepatopathy may happen spontaneously, if the cat ingests a highly toxic food such as chocolate or a drug overdose.

In this case, the cat will require immediate intervention and the toxins should be immediately removed from the stomach or the blood flow. The vet will recommend fluid therapy.

If the toxins cannot be removed from the cat’s system, the liver may be severely damaged and the cat may die.

4. Liver Shunt

The liver shunt is also known as the portosystemic shunt and indicates that blood bypasses the liver without being filtered.

The liver shunt may be caused by an inherited defect or may be due to unknown causes.

A liver shunt can be managed, but the cat will require frequent hospitalization and blood flittering, which can be problematic and very costly.

The condition is chronic and cannot be treated.

5. Liver Cancer

The liver of the cat may be affected by tumors and in some cases, the tumors can be malignant. However, tumors that start in the liver are not common in felines.

Typically, the cancer will spread from a different area of the body.

Cancer may be treated if the tumor is operable. Chemotherapy and radiotherapy may be required as well.