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Liver problems

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
This may be a long post...

Two months ago, one of my cats (Sally...6 years old and inside only) was diagnosed with Hepatic Lipidosis (through bloodwork, x-rays, an ultrasound, and a biopsy). She has always been tubby, so the diagnosis wasn't surprising, even though she had always been healthy. To make a long story short, she is almost completely recovered thanks to a feeding tube and a bunch of medications.

Here's the strange part- About 3 weeks ago, another one of my cats (Cory...also 6 and inside only) started acting "funny". Low energy, not grooming himself (or me, for that matter!), seemed a little shaky when walking; he was eating for a few days and then stopped. He has never been overweight and has had no health problems. As soon as I saw that he was not eating I took him to the vet and had bloodwork done. The results came back as nearly identical to Sally's. No other abnormalities were mentioned. I immediately had a feeding tube put in and he was prescribed the same types of meds as Sally (Metronidazole, Clavamox, and Denosyl), but I didn't have all of the diagnostic tests done. My concern is that he doesn't seem to be recovering as quickly as Sally did, even though he didn't seem as sick as Sally did at the beginning. His jaundice is improving, but he still seems shaky, and "off". He walks around the house periodically and he purrs and rubs his head up against my hand, but he is nowhere near as affectionate as usual. He hates being fed...big surprise, but only vomits occasionally. This has been going on for three weeks and I'm not sure what to do.

Okay, here are my questions:

1. How long should I wait before expecting major improvement? He doesn't seem to be declining, but he isn't improving by leaps and bounds.

2. Do his symptoms sound familiar to anyone as something other than Hepatic Lipidosis? He hasn't officially been diagnosed with HL...the vet and I are going on the similarity of the bloodwork results to Sally's.

3. I have noticed that he salivates and licks his lips when he sees his food syringe or the pill gun. I know that drooling is a sign of nausea (he's always had a sensitive stomach), but could this be a symptom of something else?

Any input would be greatly appreciated!

post #2 of 11
First of all, If you have any doubts in his fragile state, your best bet is to have the Vet look at him again to be sure.
Second, it took me 12 weeks to get Bud to fully recover from fatty liver disease. Cory may just not respond as fast.
I'm not sure about the drooling, it could be that he is anticipating the pills and force feeding.
If it was me, I would at least call the Vet and explain it to them.
I am no expert, so this is just my opinion and I feel for you and your babies, fatty liver disease is tough!
post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 
Cory and Sally both go to the vet at least once a week to have their feeding tubes checked and for a general exam. I will be taking them in tomorrow, I just thought I'd throw my questions out there to see if they sounded familiar to anyone.

post #4 of 11
Me and the clan are sending vibes your way!
By the way, Welcome to TCS!!!!
Let us know what you find out.
post #5 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thanks! Good vibes are always welcome...it's been a rough couple of months. Having two cats with feeding tubes doesn't really make for a low-key household!

Cory did actually have a breakthrough today that had me smiling all morning...he walked over to the food bowl and stuck his head in it as though he was smelling it. He didn't eat anything, but the fact that he acknowledged food at all is a sign of hope. That was one of the first things I noticed when Sally started getting better. So I'm crossing my fingers that this is the beginning of his recovery...I'll probably do cartwheels the day he actually takes a bite (there certainly was a happy-dance when Sally first ate again!).

post #6 of 11
Yeah Cory!
Keep us posted on the Vet visit today!
post #7 of 11
Thread Starter 
The vet was impressed by Cory's progress...he is less yellow and was being very affectionate at the vet's office (I think he was showing off!). He is keeping more of his food down, although he did get sick this morning. He has even started meowing a little bit, which is a good sign because he is usually very talkative. I feel so much better about his progress.

The other good news is that Sally had her tube removed yesterday...it's nice to have only one "tube kitty"! She is now obsessed with grooming herself, since the gauze holding the tube in place was limiting her range of motion. Now I just have to watch her carefully to make sure that she is eating enough.

Thank you all so much for your good thoughts! I have nine cats and these two are the ones I've had the longest, since they were kittens. It has been a rough couple of months, but it seems as though there will be two happy endings.
post #8 of 11
Great news! Sending lots of warm and loving thoughts and prayers your way! Way to go Sally and Get better, Cory!!! <3 They are so lucky to have such a loving mommy!
post #9 of 11
I'm struggling with this myself, so was interested to read your story. I'm so glad that things are going well!

post #10 of 11
i will keep my fingers crossed for the pair of them.
post #11 of 11
Thread Starter 
Update and another question...

Cory starting eating yesterday! I couldn't find him anywhere at feeding time and was very surprised to find him hiding his head in the food bowl. Since four of my cats are black, I didn't know it was him until he lifted his head! He took a few more bites of dry food throughout the afternoon and also ate a little bit of wet food. So that is a huge improvement since he's only had his tube in for 3 weeks...now for my question.

Last night, about 3 hours after feeding him (through his tube) he starting acting like he was going to throw up, sort of like dry heaves because there wasn't much food in his stomach. He threw up a miniscule amount of liquid (less than a teaspoon) and then seemed fine. He repeated this a couple of times...it seemed like he was going through the motions of getting sick but without the result (if that makes any sense). He didn't seem lethargic at all, he was actually way more alert than usual. He was following me around the house all evening, wanting to be petted.

When I went to bed and he took his usual spot on my chest, I could feel his stomach twitching...it almost seemed like hiccups. It went on for a little while, and then stopped. I'm wondering if his body was just trying to adjust to the re-introduction of regular food. He didn't get sick when I tube-fed him, either last night or this morning. This is just different than the other times he's gotten sick.

Anyone have any input? I'm confused!
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