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hepatitis and mild hepatic lipidosis

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
Hi,
I am new here, I stumbled on this site trying to find info on if you could flush a cats eye out with water if you suspect something might be in it, while reading I figured I would ask a question about my other cat.

I have two cats, both 13 year old males, Echo and Sneakers. My one cat, Sneakers starting losing weight last year. In october I took him to the vet to see what was wrong, he usually weighed around 13 pounds, he dropped to just under ten. They did alot of blood tests, then had me bring him back for an ultra sound and biopsy of his liver. The tests revealed he has Severe Chronic Hepatitis with mild Hepatic Lipidosis.

My treatment options were limited as there is no cure. I could put him on pills that would suppress his immune system, and a steroid, or try a natural approach, Or let it take its course. I chose to not put him on anything that would suppress his immune system, and started him on SAMe. I did alot of research while trying to decide what to do, I dont know if I made the right choice or not, but he has been taking that since then - once a day. His color is starting to change, sometimes he looks jaundiced other days he doesnt, only on the skin by his ears though, his eyes still look white. He has days when he lazy and just sleeps, and days when he acts like he is still a kitten, he also has days that he wants attention and others when he doesnt. LOL, typical of a cat right? But he is different than he has been for the past 13 years.

This week was scary, I thought I was going to have to take him in to put him to sleep. I had company in town, and it seemed to stress him out to the point that he was listless. Most of my company left mid week, adn he perked back up. Stress obviously affects my little guy. But my heart broke all night when I was trying to figure out if it was time or not that night. I cant imagine him not being here when I get home.

Anyway, now you know a little about Sneakers. Here is the odd thing, and I am wondering if anyone else has a cat with this and these kind of "symptoms". Everything I have researched on Hepatic Lipidosis tells me that cats stop eating. My cat eats like a pig. He always wants food, at times I think that he has forgotten that I just gave him a can of food cause he is such a little beggar and can eat so much. He does not gain any weight though. I thought about taking him to a different vet, but then I would put him through all those tests again. And I dont know if I can do it to him. My vet said to watch for signs of throwing up, siezures, hiding and such before I decide to put him to sleep. Thankfully he has not done any of that!!

Ok, long post I know, I am sorry. And I feel like its a little scattered, but I just want to know if anyone else has a cat with this. Especially the Chronic Hepatitis, I only find limited info on it, and most of that is for bacterial hepatits.

Thank you so much of you took the time to read this
post #2 of 14
Lower his stress


What is eating>>> ?? Is it RX food from the vet or commercial or other??
post #3 of 14
Thread Starter 
I have always fed them Science Diet, from Kitten food to now senior advanced protection. And they split one small can of wet food every night. And if they dont get it fast enough when I walk through the door at night, they yell at me till they get it lol!
post #4 of 14
wet food is going to be far easier to digest and the quality of the protein is better than ANY dry //// SD is not one I ever recommend as the ingrediant s are nearly identical to grocery
post #5 of 14
Thread Starter 
Well, that is what they have eaten since they were kittens, and the one time I stopped at the grocery store to get them 9 lives dry cause I was in a pinch and petsmart was closed Echo ended up in the vet.

This has nothing to do with my original post, and thats what I am interested in. thanks though.
post #6 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by echnsneak View Post


My treatment options were limited as there is no cure. I could put him on pills that would suppress his immune system, and a steroid, or try a natural approach, Or let it take its course. I chose to not put him on anything that would suppress his immune system, and started him on SAMe. I did alot of research while trying to decide what to do, I dont know if I made the right choice or not, but he has been taking that since then - once a day. His color is starting to change, sometimes he looks jaundiced other days he doesnt, only on the skin by his ears though, his eyes still look white. He has days when he lazy and just sleeps, and days when he acts like he is still a kitten, he also has days that he wants attention and others when he doesnt. LOL, typical of a cat right? But he is different than he has been for the past 13 years.

This week was scary, I thought I was going to have to take him in to put him to sleep. I had company in town, and it seemed to stress him out to the point that he was listless. Most of my company left mid week, adn he perked back up. Stress obviously affects my little guy. But my heart broke all night when I was trying to figure out if it was time or not that night. I cant imagine him not being here when I get home.

Anyway, now you know a little about Sneakers. Here is the odd thing, and I am wondering if anyone else has a cat with this and these kind of "symptoms". Everything I have researched on Hepatic Lipidosis tells me that cats stop eating. My cat eats like a pig. He always wants food, at times I think that he has forgotten that I just gave him a can of food cause he is such a little beggar and can eat so much. He does not gain any weight though. I thought about taking him to a different vet, but then I would put him through all those tests again. And I dont know if I can do it to him. My vet said to watch for signs of throwing up, siezures, hiding and such before I decide to put him to sleep. Thankfully he has not done any of that!!

Ok, long post I know, I am sorry. And I feel like its a little scattered, but I just want to know if anyone else has a cat with this. Especially the Chronic Hepatitis, I only find limited info on it, and most of that is for bacterial hepatits.

Thank you so much of you took the time to read this
Welcome to TCS! I am so sorry about your big guy Sneakers. I can relate to him, as I have an autoimmune liver disease. It isn't fun. I also lost a kitty to hepatic lipidosis.

Hepatic lipidosis is generally thought of as being cause by not eating, because that is the most common cause of rapid weight loss. My kitty however ate like pig, but then would vomit up his food. I never knew he was vomitting for the longest time because one of my other cats would eat it. (sorry I know that is disgusting).

Also chronic illness can cause a major increase in metabolism, so Sneakers may not even be able to eat enough to satisfy his metabolic needs. This too will cause weight loss.

It is the burning of too much fat that causes Hepatic lipidosis. All the the scenarios I mentioned above will cause too much fat to be used for energy. If sneakers was even slightly overweight then he will burn that fat before muscle mass and that will clog up his liver.

There is a medication called lactulose that helps with liver problems. It is safe for cats. I would ask your vet about it, as it may especially help with the hepatitis.

Also, I never recommend this, but if Sneakers is eating and still losing weight then feed him more. Obviously don't let him get fat, but make sure he eats as much as he needs to not lose anymore. He has now become what is know as a hard-keeper and may eat twice as much as he used too.

About getting a second opinion. I think you very much should do so. You do not have to put Sneakers through all the tests again. Just get all his results from your vet. You have every right to have copies of everything, you paid for them all. I always get copies of all my animals blood work, everytime it is drawn. This is in case I ever move, have an emergency or something. I have all the pertinant information. Please don't feel bad about asking your vet for it either. Just explain that you would like to get a second opinion, if needed tell him/her you are taking Sneakers to an Internal Medicine specialist.

I agree with your vet about the signs before putting sneakers to sleep. When the liver gets too bad the build up of toxins will make Sneakers naseous (sp?) and he will start to vomit. There is also a syndrome know as hepatic neuropathy and this is the cognative problems and brain injury associated with liver failure. Seizures will be a part of this. Hiding will be depression. Also, liver disease can make some patients very itchy.

You will know in your heart when it is time to help Sneakers cross. If he is no longer able to be a cat and enjoy himself. Also, as you know, expect him to have bad periods. I call them crashes, give him some time to get through these before you make a decision. Eliminating stress is really important.

If you can't find any information on the lactulose let me know and I will see if I can find any of my old information from when my kitty had HL.

I am wishing you the best, give Sneakers some gently chin scratches from me.
post #7 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by echnsneak View Post
Well, that is what they have eaten since they were kittens, and the one time I stopped at the grocery store to get them 9 lives dry cause I was in a pinch and petsmart was closed Echo ended up in the vet.

This has nothing to do with my original post, and thats what I am interested in. thanks though.
Actually it does...I am dealing with a liver issue with hormone imbalence in my dog and learning loads... YES you have it much harder as liver issues in cats are far more serious... Gigi is being controled thru diet , herbs and supplementsand a extremely small dose of pred... She is getting better each day ... I HIGHLY recommend a second opnion...
post #8 of 14
Thread Starter 
kittymonsters - thank you so much for all of that information, I really appreciate that.


Sharkey - Prednisone! that was one of the pills he wanted to give him, I couldnt remember the names. I was afraid to try it because of the side effects, its been a while since I have read on it so I cant recite them now, but I did not like them.

About their food - they always have a bowl of dry food out for them. Sneakers has always looked forward to his half a can at night. Do you think I should give him a whole can?

I think I will take him to a different vet, I need to do some checking around. I do have all the test info and copies of everything on Sneakers.

Thank you both, I am so glad I found this board.
post #9 of 14
I think a second opnion is GREAT and WOW what a good mommy to have the records

I dont like pred but in at least dogs 50% of liver issues improve with it ... Gigi is taking a dose that is nensy( 2.5mg for a 15 lb dog once a day ) ... Pred is MUCH safer in dogs and cats than in humans but yeah some of it is scary
post #10 of 14
Welcome to TCS - I am sorry you are having such a hard time. As for prednisone, it can help with several conditions - one of mine takes it for asthma. Yes, there can be long term side effects, but one has to balance that against quality of life, and in a chronic situation, work with your vet to find the lowest possible effective dose. If it helps to actually prolong life, as in this case, maybe it is worth trying, at least in the short term. Good luck, and I hope you find an answer to Sneaker's problems.
post #11 of 14
Thread Starter 
I even have a copy of the ultrasound, I cant make anything out in the picture, but I have it

I paid alot of money for those tests, and I wanted to make sure they were actually being done. I am weird that way.

As for the pred:
I honestly feel that I have given my cats the best life I could, I dont have kids so they are it. They have always been healthy, happy, well taken care of cats, and I think they are still happy, and Echo is still healthy. Sneakers is sick, I know it, he feels it at times I am sure. My biggest reason not to start him on steroids and immune system suppresants was not to draw this illness out. I dont want him to be sicker - longer, I dont there to be a point that he feels awful longer because of the drugs, and I dont see it while he is miserable. I am giving him the SAMe supplement cause I simply couldnt bear the thought of not trying something, and feeling like I am giving up on him. And I still try to justify this in my head. I still have times when I think I should be doing more, and maybe the second opinion will be exactly what I need. But there isnt anything I can do, he cant be cured. I can just make his life as good as possible while he is still with us, and I do that every day. They lack nothing. But when it comes Sneakers time, I want to be sure wihtout a doubt that he is ready for me to take him in. And I am afraid the steroids/immunosuppresive drugs will mask that to me. Also, the immunosuppresive drug scares me cause then he cat fight anything off, like a little cold, or a cut from when they fight.

This has not been easy for me. I only hope that I have made the right decisions.
post #12 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by echnsneak View Post
I even have a copy of the ultrasound, I cant make anything out in the picture, but I have it

I paid alot of money for those tests, and I wanted to make sure they were actually being done. I am weird that way.
That is too funny about the ultrasound!. They do pretty much look like static on a tv. I really do believe everyone should always get copies of all test results...even if they don't understand them.

As to increasing Sneakers' wet food I think I would give 1/2 can in the morning and 1/2 can at night. Giving a full can all at once might cause him to eat too much too fast (because it tastes so good) and then vomit.

Quote:
Originally Posted by echnsneak View Post
As for the pred:
... But there isnt anything I can do, he cant be cured. I can just make his life as good as possible while he is still with us, and I do that every day. They lack nothing. But when it comes Sneakers time, I want to be sure wihtout a doubt that he is ready for me to take him in. And I am afraid the steroids/immunosuppresive drugs will mask that to me. Also, the immunosuppresive drug scares me cause then he cat fight anything off, like a little cold, or a cut from when they fight.

This has not been easy for me. I only hope that I have made the right decisions.
I honestly understand your feeling on this. I am making these same type of decisions for myself. It is a real eye opener to know you are going to die from an illness that the medical establishement has no ability to really affect. The drugs MAY and I stress MAY prolong my life, but at what cost? I very much believe in quality of life. For myself, I know I can try a medicine and decide for myself if it helping or making me feel worse. For our pets, they can't tell us. Cats are especially hard, because it is so instinctual not to show pain or illness.

Getting the second opinion will help. Ask the doctor to be very straight forward with you. Then you will have to make the choices based on your bond and knowledge of Sneakers. I can tell you are a very good Meowmy, and you know your kitties well. Trust your instincts, do what you would want done for yourself.

With our pets we will never be 100% sure. I have gone both ways...thinking I didn't wait long enough and knowing I waited too long and caused suffering. Remember we are not perfect, but if we make our choices with our pets best interest at heart we can't do more than that.

Please keep us posted on the second opinion and on Sneakers progression.
post #13 of 14
Thread Starter 
[quote=kittymonsters;1812632
I honestly understand your feeling on this. I am making these same type of decisions for myself. It is a real eye opener to know you are going to die from an illness that the medical establishement has no ability to really affect. The drugs MAY and I stress MAY prolong my life, but at what cost? I very much believe in quality of life. For myself, I know I can try a medicine and decide for myself if it helping or making me feel worse. For our pets, they can't tell us. Cats are especially hard, because it is so instinctual not to show pain or illness.
[/QUOTE]

I am so sorry you are going through this to. And your right, you can try a medication and tell your doctor how its making you feel - better or worse.
I wish you well, really.
post #14 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by echnsneak View Post
I am so sorry you are going through this to. And your right, you can try a medication and tell your doctor how its making you feel - better or worse.
I wish you well, really.
That is really nice, thank you. I didn't mean to make this about me.

I appreciate your way of thinking about giving your kitties the best for as long as you can. We can't do more than that.

I am hoping Sneakers is feeling on the good side of things.
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