Fatty Liver Disease in Cats


Fatty Liver Disease in Cats


The fatty liver disease appears in cats feeding on a diet that lacks protein. Often, fatty liver disease occurs in cats that lose appetite because of stress or illness. According to feline experts, a cat’s body cannot cope with a starvation mode for too long. Furthermore, avoidance of food or poor diet can quickly turn a cat’s body into starvation mode. When a cat is in starvation mode, the body uses stored fat to compensate and survive. However, processing fat for a longer period becomes difficult and the liver starts to accumulate it or stores fat in the surrounded tissues. In this way, the liver becomes quickly low functioning unable to process additional quantities of fat. This condition is known as fatty liver disease. If it went unnoticed, fatty liver disease develops fast into a serious condition that may have fatal consequences. For that reason, we should act quickly when a cat begins to refuse to eat. To find out more about additional symptoms of fatty liver disease in cats, the article “Hepatic Lipidosis in Cats” lists the following.

Fatty Liver Disease in Cats

– Prolonged anorexia – often of several week duration
– Rapid weight loss
– Vomiting
– Diarrhea
– Constipation
– Muscle wasting
– Depression
– Downward flexion of head and neck
– Jaundice (e.g., yellowing of eyes)
– Drooling of saliva
– Cat may collapse in later stages
– Other symptoms will be related to concurrent, underlying disease

Frequently, cats with fatty liver disease or hepatic lipidosis are hospitalized. They usually need fluid therapy that has to replenish nutritional resources of a cat’s body and help them stabilize. When we discover the illness early, it might be that home treatment will be enough. We should follow instructions from a vet carefully and thoroughly. Often, we will need to feed a cat with a syringe or feeding tube. After three or four days, cats will be able to eat by themselves. The full recovery is possible after three to six weeks. Feline hepatic lipidosis occurs as a result of another illness such as hyperthyroidism, diabetes, heart disease, kidney problem, and so on. However, more than 50 percent of cats do not show any sign of illness. For many of them, the cause of fatty liver disease remains secret.

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