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Fatty Liver Disease

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
Hello. I am new here and hope I am in the right place. I have a cat who has been diagnosed with Fatty Liver Disease, or Feline Hepatic Lipidosis . He started vomitting a few months ago and I switched food, thinking something in the food was upsetting him. Somewhere along the way, he quit eating but I did not know because I have other cats. I noticed he had lost some weight suddenly and did not look well - it happened over the span of a couple of days. He went in for blood work and his liver enzymes were almost off the charts and he had begun to look jaundiced (also known as icterus). He started Denosyl and I must force feed him which he tolerates very well. He eats yogurt on his own. He has lost 6 lbs (he was 20 lbs - he is a very large cat in frame and muscles tissue, and a little fat too ). His liver enzymes improved over a week and a half although the icterus worsened. He has had an abdomial ultrasound and all is well there. The icterus is still very bad but he seems to be feeling a little better - not hiding, not vomitting, his eyes are clearer, etc. I am just hoping that somebody out there has had some experience with this. The vets have told me that the icterus had gotten worse while the enzymes were improving just because his body was "catching up" with the turning yellow part and that it should improve. Any advice is appreciated. Thank you!
post #2 of 5
Hello and welcome to TCS.

I am so sorry you are dealing with HL. It is a nasty scary illness. However, with aggressive treatment it is survivable. I lost a kitty to HL, despite all efforts. We could not ever find the trigger for the HL.

Will he eat anything other than yogurt on his own? Force feeding is necessary and you have to make sure he is getting enough calories so he doesn't lose any more weight. Have you discussed having a feeding tube surgically implanted? It is much less stressful on you and the kitty. Plus you know exactly how much food he is getting. I assume you have him isolated so you know if he is pooping too.

The fact his liver enzyme are getting better is excellent! The icterus will lag behind the enzymes in clearing. Sometimes it can take quite awhile to clear completely.

It you search Heptatic Lipidosis and Fatty Liver Disease, here at TCS you will find quite a few threads about this. Please don't get depresses as some do not have positive outcomes, but they all have insight about dealing with this difficult illnes.

Sending lots of healing vibes to your baby. Please let us know how he is doing.
post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 
Thank you for the reply. I have not done the feeding tube as it was a concern that the anesthesia clears the body partly through the liver. I don't know though because so many cats have that done. Do you have any experience with it? He is currently on an antibiotic because he picked up an upper respiratory infection while at the vet - I caught it as soon as it started so it never progressed. He is still using the box and all of that is healthy. It is so hard to see my biggest cat, who was quite frankly a bully, become so lethargic and bony. The icterus has not improved but I do continue to get food down him. He seems to be getting used to it as well. The worst is getting a pill down his throat - that is a fight each morning!

Thanks again for your reply. I will certainly search for other threads on the subject.

post #4 of 5
Oh meowracer, my cat Sneakers is going through the same thing. This is my thread:

Since I posted this, Sneakers has done a complete turnaround for the better so I have not taken him to another vet. I think having company for a week really stressed him. However he is still jaundiced, that doesnt go away. However it seems to vary in color some days.

Im sorry your cat isnt eating, I dont have that problem yet, Sneakers eats very well, he has never been one to turn away food and still doesnt.

I to am giving him Denosyl, which I really think has helped him. sAME, its just a tad different from Denosyl. It has something extra. I fight with Sneak to get the pill down his throat to, but we have a system now. I give him the pill and reward him with a piece of lunchmeat, in fact I now buy lunch meat to feed him as his reward.

I know its hard to see your cat becoem bony, I sometimes cat believe how skinny sneakers is. Just the other day he was sleeping by my pillow and I slowly went down his spine and felt every single one of his vertabrae.

I cant offer much advice, but I am here with what seems to be the same problems.
(hugs) For you and you kitty.

post #5 of 5
It sounds as if you are doing all the right things, and I do hope you have a positive outcome. I almost lost a pony to this illness at Christmas, but after eight days of hospitalisation, when the vets were not optimistic, she recovered and even had a healthy foal a month ago. So there is hope, although it can be difficult to treat.
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