Fatty Liver In Cats

Fatty Liver In Cats
Fatty Liver In Cats

Video: Fatty Liver In Cats

Video: Fatty Liver In Cats
Video: Fatty Liver In Cats: What To Do 2023, November

The role of the liver in the body. The liver has many functions in the body. It participates in the digestion process: it secretes bile, which breaks down fats from the feed. The liver also plays a metabolic role: it synthesizes coagulation factors, transforms some decay products.

This vital organ breaks down metabolic products into non-toxic molecules, which are excreted without complications from the body (with urine). In addition, the liver is the place of metabolism of proteins, sugars, fats … Many diseases of various organs affect liver function and have common clinical signs, even if they are of completely different origins.

Liver disease can be primary (the liver itself is affected) or secondary, that is, a consequence of another disease that affects the liver. Distinguish between an acute form, when there is a sharp loss of organ functions (which, however, can be restored), and a chronic form, usually associated with a progressive loss of liver function.

In cats, acute liver damage may be associated with poisoning (eg, certain medications), viral diseases (feline infectious peritonitis), parasites (toxoplasmosis), metabolic disorders (feline hepatic lipidosis), or secondary to inflammation in other organs …

Cat with advanced hepatic lipidosis (jaundice on the ears and sclera of the eyes), photo
Cat with advanced hepatic lipidosis (jaundice on the ears and sclera of the eyes), photo

A cat with advanced hepatic lipidosis (yellowed ear skin and yellowed eye sclera visible)

Feline hepatic lipidosis. This is a benign process, which is fatty degeneration of the liver, an anatomical and physiological manifestation of disorders of fatty and general metabolism. The disease is typical for obese cats that have lost their appetite under the influence of stress (the appearance of a new animal in the house, a child, a change in home or sudden changes in feeding), but it can manifest itself for no apparent reason. Usually cats over two years old get sick. Castrated animals are most susceptible to lipidosis, apparently because they belong to the category prone to obesity. There is no evidence that some cat breeds are more susceptible to this disease than others. As already mentioned, there is a distinction between primary liver lipidosis (not associated with other diseases) and secondary (manifested against the background of another disease, for example, diabetes).

Within a few days or weeks, the cat loses its appetite, refuses food, begins to lose weight, although without visible changes in behavior. She becomes lethargic, the smell of acetone is felt when breathing, sometimes profuse salivation is observed. Jaundice manifests itself: the mucous membrane becomes yellow, this yellowness is clearly visible on the conjunctiva of the eyes, on the gums, palate and inner surface of the ear. Vomiting is possible.

The liver doubles (hepatomegaly), half of the mass is adipose tissue, hence the name of the disease - "fatty liver of cats". The condition is rapidly deteriorating. The cat is in a semi-comatose state, the sight is absent (hepatic encephalosis), may die in a few days.

This disease can not be immediately diagnosed, especially if several cats are kept at home at the same time and it is difficult to establish which of them refuses to feed. It should be noted that cats with lipidosis that refuse food lose weight, but weight loss can be almost imperceptible, because they lose mainly muscle, but retain quite a lot of adipose tissue.

A biochemical blood test primarily shows an increase in the content of bilirubin and some liver enzymes (alkaline phosphatases and transaminases). The content of cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood may rise.

Ultrasound of severe hepatic lipidosis in a Persian cat, photo photograph
Ultrasound of severe hepatic lipidosis in a Persian cat, photo photograph

Ultrasound of severe hepatic lipidosis in a Persian cat

Treatment consists in the normalization of liver functions, for which they use Liv 52, allochol, intravenously - Essentiale Forte, intramuscularly - Heptral. To restore the normal functioning of the liver, courses of vitamins A and E play a positive role. The drug, which is effective in each specific case, and the scheme of its use is determined by the veterinarian. It is possible to force-feed the animal, which at this stage completely refuses to feed. An esophageal tube is introduced, through which a special liquid food is supplied, adapted for cats.

Patience must be maintained when force-feeding cats; feeding too quickly through the tube can lead to regurgitation, which must be avoided. Introducing too much feed is dangerous for a number of reasons:

- an animal that has had no appetite for a long time, is unable to digest feed normally, it is necessary to gradually restore the digestive function;

- the mucous membrane of the digestive tract is atrophied. The main task of feeding in the early days is to feed the intestinal cells to restore the intestinal walls to a normal state;

- the intestinal barrier loses its effectiveness and easily passes toxic substances. All nutrients not absorbed in the small intestine go to the large intestine, where bacteria must process them. These bacteria, which have access to most of the undigested food, multiply in an irregular fashion, releasing toxins that cross the intestinal barrier and can cause general body poisoning.

A few days after being force-fed with a tube or syringe, you can give your cat some solid food. If the cat does not eat it, then it is better to remove the food and offer it the next day. One to two weeks after the force-feeding, the animal may have an appetite. It can take from several days to several weeks before the appetite appears, it is necessary with great care, to gradually return to the usual feeding of the cat. It is necessary to monitor the amount of food eaten and the weight of the cat to make sure that it is receiving sufficient food, but at the same time not excessive. At the same time, it is not necessary to bring the cat's weight to the original, in a state of obesity. The need for a cat for special feeding, that is, to maintain body weight, is approximately 60 kcal IU / kg body weight per day.

We remind you that in order to weigh a cat, you need to pick it up and stand with it on the scale, and then subtract your weight from the total weight. If you do this once a month, you can track how the cat's weight changes, and avoid animal obesity or animal exhaustion.

Translated from French by Olga Mishchiha, “Friend” magazine, 1998

Editor: veterinarian, candidate of veterinary sciences V. Aronov - tel.: (812) 923-86-80, mob. +7 (911) 923-86-80.