Originally Posted by otto
It does no good to second guess yourself now. You didn't know how dangerous it was for an overweight cat to lose weight too quickly.
I'm so sorry for the loss of your beloved Wizard. Malcolm's grieving probably weakened him too, in addition.
I do know that the liver is a regenerative organ in some cases. 15 is old, but not ancient. I've read a lot about the benefits of milk thistle supplement for liver health. You might ask your vet about using it for Malcolm, or look into it yourself, if your vet is not open to other ideas.
Have you thought of getting a second opinion? Another vet may have a different idea of treatment.
I'm also very sorry about Wizard. And poor Malcolm - he really suffered as a result of the loss of Wizard.
I agree with otto's reply to you, especially about getting a second opinion. It seems that your vet didn't actually give you a diagnosis as to what specific
liver condition Malcolm has. If the vet didn't know exactly what was wrong, how could he assume that Malcolm "probably" wasn't treatable?
There are common, non-invasive
ways to help diagnose what's going on with Malcolm's liver - bloodwork, x-rays, and ultrasound.
Otto's right - the liver is an organ that can regenerate itself, as long as some healthy cells remain. Milk thistle (silymarin) is extremely important for cats with liver disease. It's a natural supplement that is safe for use in both humans and cats.
Nutramax makes a veterinary product called Denamarin. It's a once a day pill given on an empty stomach. It combines sam-e, another beneficial liver supplement, with silymarin. I used it for my own cat for awhile, but I didn't think it had enough silymarin in it, so I've been making up my own capsules of the supplement (with advice from a vet as to dose).
I strongly recommend getting Malcolm on silymarin ASAP. Talk with your vet - he/she should have no objection to this. Denamarin is a good start as you may be able to find a vet who carries it. There's also lots of milk thistle available at health food stores, but steer clear of the liquid version. Most contain alcohol, which is not good for cats. You want a silymarin combined with phosphatidylcholine which increases the absorbtion of the milk thistle. Denamarin contains phosphatidylcholine.
There are also other meds and supplements that may be used, depending on the type of liver disease. Subcutaneous hydration may be beneficial, too. Steroids are helpful in the short term but can cause problems with prolonged use. Do some research on them. Hopefully, if you can get a second opinion, you can speak with that vet about the pros and cons of continuing with steroids.
My guess is that Malcolm had hepatic lipidosis (fatty liver disease) as a result of not eating because of his grief over Wizard. You didn't know that could happen, so don't blame yourself. You've been trying to do everything you can to help him since he got sick.
I hope some of this will help your special boy.