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Liver disease how can I help her? urgent advice needed thank you

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
HI all, well the vet said today that there is no more he can do for my 4 yr old Kazzy, but after looking around the net so far ive found that there is more you can do at home, so far the info I have is

crate rest,
syringe feeding small & often
milk thistle
dandelion root
burdock root

any other ideas please,
she is my baby,

post #2 of 13
Hi Harriet

First, Im sorry you have to go through this with your Kazzy, but hopefully with your love and care she will pull through.
Is the liver disease acute or chronic? Perhaps a better way to ask is if your cat specifically has liver disease, or is showing liver failure as a secondary complication of another problem (my cat Manytoes has been closely monitored for liver function recently due to a kidney problem that caused him to stop eating)? There are prescription cat foods for cats with chronic liver problems, they tend to have less heavy metals, no protein-free nitrogen etc. to reduce the liver workload as well as enhance its functions. For acute problems, like fatty liver syndrome (usually caused by cat not eating for some other reason), making sure kitty eats is the most important thing (without adequate dietary protein intake, the liver cannot handle the influx of fatty acids from kitty metabolizing fat stores for energy).
I had to syringe feed Manytoes for about a day, and found that he was fed easier with a pure chicken baby food vs. self pureed canned cat food (which is normally his absolute fave). I was told to aim for at least 80cc of food (not including water I used to dilute) per day, more if possible. Personally, I find 20-30 cc at a time was quite doable by myself, but depending on Kazzys disposition, you may find this easier/more difficult. I was also given an appetite stimulant to help him out, and I have no doubt this is why I havnt been fully syringe feeding him all weekend. Specifically, he was given 1/4 a 12.5mg pill of Mirtazapine, which lasts for about 72 hours. This drug works by both inhibiting nausea and stimulating appetite - 2 of the biggies why cats won't eat (however, if it is a chronic liver problem, or the acute problem is very severe, you probably dont want to give him more drugs to "metabolize", but it might be worth asking your vet).
In any case, best of luck to you, and many vibes and warm thoughts for Kazzy's recovery.
post #3 of 13
When you say your vet cannot do any more for your cat, what does that mean really?

Have you tried assist feeding? Has your cat been eating anything at all?
Is there a specific reason why your cat has liver failure? Is it tied to any other serious issue or did your cat just stop eating?

With liver failure it's a Catch-22 - when the liver fails, the cat loses its appetite but in order to re-start the liver the cat needs to eat - hence the assist feeding (some call it force-feeding but that sounds so awful).

As for the herbal medications, I would strongly suggest you at least speak to a holistic vet before giving any of those to your cat.
post #4 of 13
Do you have a definitive diagnosis for Kazzy? What exactly is wrong with her liver?

The first thing most vets do for a liver dysfunction patient is to put him/her on milk thistle. Don't use the tinctures, as they contain alcohol, which is bad for the liver. Hepato Support is a popular, well-known brand made specifically for cats and dogs. It is supposed to be much more effective than milk thistle alone because of the B vitamins. I've used it for my liver dysfunction dog.

Another one is Liver Support Factors. It contains dandelion extract/root.

I would put her on a liver diet asap. However, I am wary of the commercial liver diets they have out there - I don't agree with many of the ingredients and by feeding poor assimilated proteins... well, not the greatest on the liver. Anyway, diet definitely plays a big role in managing liver disease.

Please check out these links:

Even though they are from a dog site, there is valuable information there and most of the stuff applies to cats as well. I would definitely e-mail Lew and ask to see whether she has recipes for liver disease for *cats*.
Both a friend and I have dogs with liver dysfunction and by following her instructions, including the diet, our dogs went from being completely lethargic and sickly to almost normal, healthy dogs now.

Lastly, make sure you feed small, but frequent meals rather than big meals. The latter will make the liver work harder, overloading it.

Good luck!
post #5 of 13
Thread Starter 
HI all & thank you for your replies,

Kazzy stopped eating & was taken to the RSPCA vet as im not working, due to being a full time carer for son with spec needs
there they told us she had an infection, at that point even though id told them she had stopped eating & she had been kept in so they knew she wasn't eating i wasn't told about assisted feeding,
She was diagnosed with an infection & given antibiotics, I was told that her liver function tests revealed some problems but not what & not a word about making sure she ate something, she carried on not eating & I became very worried & started to look up things for myself, she went back to the vet today & I was told that there was nothing more they could do for her liver, & that we should consider putting her to sleep as there was no change in her after id assisted her feeding for a few days,
I didnt like the idea of losing such a young cat & after looking up secondary liver problems got in touch with the British Association of Homeopathic Veterinary Surgeons who suggested the above & also to ask the RSPCA for a copy of Kazzys blood works & to ring them back, which im going to do in the morning.

I have been feeding her 30mls of liquidized kitten food every 2hrs during the day till 12 midnight then a 4am feed of 50 mls back to 2hrly at 8am

am going to order milk thistle & others in the morning,
My dogs are fed a Barf diet so am going to look into some recipes for Kazzy

Thank you so much for your advice so far,
Hugs HarrietAnne & a pooly Kazzy cat,

on a humourus note we have named our bedroom Kamakarzi Kazzy cat hospital!! I only wish i could find another staff nurse!!
post #6 of 13
I think you have gotten some geat advice from cat goddess. Please make sue you ty to get in as many calories as possible. If you can get in 20-25 calories per pound of cat that would be fantastic.
Would the rspca help you with a feeding tube? That would be the best and easiest way to get though this. The very best of luck and healing vibes
post #7 of 13
My cat has liver disease and has been doing very well with milk thistle. However, you need to get a specific kind of milk thistle - one that has been combined with phosphatidlycholine. This combination allows the milk thistle to be much better absorbed by the body. In the US, Enzymatic Therapy ( sells milk thistle with phosphatidlycholine in capsules. The product is called Silybin Phytosome. If you can't get Enzymatic Therapy products in the UK, then look for products that contain this combination.
I open the caps and fill a smaller #3 gel cap with the contents, and pill my cat with it once per day. Don't open the caps and sprinkle on food since the milk thistle is extremely bitter.

There's a very helpful assist-feeding site you can look at:
Click the link at the bottom of the page for the Yahoo assist-feed group.

Thank you for not giving up on Kazzy! She's a lucky girl.

Please keep us updated. Feel better Kazzy
post #8 of 13
Thread Starter 
HI all Thank you very much for your vast knowledge & support,
Kazzy started her milk thistle, dandelion root, & burdock root today,
we have tried glucose but she didn't like that at all!! even from yesterday she has a little more life in her & has started to scratch me when i try to feed her, painful but great to see,
I have been feeding her 30mls of liquidized whiskers kitten food every 2 hrs & she is keeping this down, & have been giving her 50mls at 12midnight & then again at 7am, i tried to feed during the night but we both didnt do so well, should have seen her chin at 7am this morning
am going to spend tomorrow looking at all the diet advice but think i will go for the home made version as i can control this with much more ease,

I have also joined the yahoo group for assisted feeding so hopefully with the support of others doing this will keep my sanity over the coming weeks,

will keep you all updated,
Hugs Harriet & Kazzy
post #9 of 13
Check your Private Messages
post #10 of 13
A better food for her would be Hills a/d, it is designed for Hepatic Lipidosis, and is high in calories and very palatable, but it is fairly expensive at £1.10 a tin (I think that is the manufacturers price, but I am in a similar area to you, so shouldnt be much more than that), although you can get it slightly cheaper online (pm me for the best website) - you do have to buy 24 tins though. Sadly sometimes RSPCA vets dont do as much as private vets would do, partly due to the cost - a few days isn't enough to see if there is any improvement, it can take weeks of assist feeding, although the cause of her not eating needs to be established as well, or you will just go round in a vicious circle. Fingers crossed
post #11 of 13
you are doing amazing!! PLease keep us updated. Kismet went through something similar, and like you I got all my information off the internet and got all my support from the assistfeed group.

Kismet was forcefed for 3 months before her liver recovered and now she is a happy healthy girl!! Keep strong, it sounds like you are right on track

for you and your baby
post #12 of 13
Thread Starter 
HI all,
just a quick update,
Kazzy is doing very well on assist feeding she has found her voice, & yesterday started talking again & what was great it was to tell me she was hungry, today she even started eating a little out of her own bowl,
this is only a week after our vet told us that there was nothing else that could be done, yet with lots of advice, milk thistle, dandilion & burdock, & lots of crate rest & tlc she is deff on the mend, dont get me wrong there is still a long way to go but the sign are that she is going to recover from this
thank you for all your support & i promise when shes better i will become more involved with the forum, in the mean time promise to keep you updated on her mile stones,
with love in my for all that wished her well Harriet & Kazzy cat
post #13 of 13
I am glad she is seeming better.
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