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Hi Amy. Thanks for being here.

post #1 of 2
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I have 3 cats. Two are seniors. Dottie is 16 years old. She is a long hair domestic. She had a recent visit with the vet. He looked gave her a good physical, laughed and said she was perfect and would probably outlive us all! Good news.

My other senior is Bleu. He is 14 years old. He is a beautiful flame-point with gorgeous crystal blue eyes. Bleu's sleeping pattern changed in February. He started sleeping all the time, and socializing much less. I attributed this to aging. I hadn't noticed he had stopped eating. By the time I realized he was sick, it was May. A vet visit showed he was severly dehydrated, jaundice, and critically ill. His blood chemistry was positive for liver disease, with ALKP of 1806, ALT of 283, CHOL of 243, GLU of 190, and TBIL of 4.7. Other indicators that something was wrong was a LYM of 1.23, MONO .91, HCT 47.3%, RBD 10.77, RDW 19.0% and MCHC 28.6. Abdominal x-ray showed that the stomach was "j" shaped, probably from an enlarged liver and/or pancreas. Needless to say, his prognosis was poor. Forced feedings, sub-q treatments, and a shot of depo medrol helped bring him around. He is eating and drinking again, socializing more, and putting on weight. Today he weighed 11 pounds(of his former 17 pound self); a 1/2 pound gain this week. I feel encouraged by his good progress, but I keep one eye on him all the time. I understand that a cat can have relapses with this disease. I want to make sure that if he lapses I know it immediately. He is now fed separately from the other cats so I can monitor his eating and drinking.

I don't have any specific questions. I mostly just wanted to get the story out there about Bleu's struggle with hepatic lipidosis. It seems that not enough people consider this disease when a cat becomes anorexic and lethargic.
post #2 of 2
Dottie and Bleu both sound like treasures. I'm delighted to hear that Dottie has the vet smiling (that is a GOOD thing!). It's true that sometimes our aging cats are doing so well, that ya don't want to mess with success--just keep doing what you're doing with her.

Poor Bleu, though, seems to have caught the short end of the stick. Hepatic lipidosis (fatty liver disease) can affect cats at any age. But when they're older, like your kitty, it can take them down even quicker.

For those who don't know--when cats fail to eat enough food (either refuse altogether to eat, or just reduce intake over a long period of time), their metabolism instructs the body to 'save fat!' as a way to feed itself. Unfortunately, when the body moves fat into the liver, this interferes with liver function so the cat gets sick. When the cat feels sick, it makes him even more reluctant to eat, so MORE fat gets moved into the liver...a really nasty situation develops and cats can die.

As anybody who has ever lived with a cat knows, it's nearly impossible to force-feed a cat. *s* So the treatment is often to place a feeding tube, and get nutrition into the cat until he recovers his appetite. It's very much up to the cat owner to take on this responsibility and the fact that Bleu has turned around is a great testiment to your dedication!

Incidentally, although "fat cats" may be more prone to FLD, even thin cats can suffer from the syndrome. That's why I like meal-feeding, so you keep track of what's going in and are alerted if the cat misses a meal.

best wishes,

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