Feline Hepatic Lipidosis

Feline Hepatic Lipidosis (feline fatty liver syndrome)

This is a common form of liver disease that happens when a cat’s has a loss of appetite which then forces the liver to convert the cat’s body fat to usable energy. If this process is allowed to continue then fat will build up in the cells of the liver. This disease has an early stage and a late stage which will detail the severity of the disease.

Early Stage Symptoms

  • Anorexia: caused by loss of appetite and refusal to eat
  • Loss of appetite
  • Vomiting

Late Stage Symptoms

  • Jaundice: Yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes
  • Seizures
  • Drooling
  • Coma

Causes

There is no known cause. Although, it is believed through studies that obesity may be a cause of this disease. This disease is triggered by the cat not eating so some of the common causes may be separation anxiety or pro-longed boarding especially if the facility boarding the cat doesn’t know to watch the cat’s weight or symptoms of this disease.

Preventative Treatment

Make sure that the cat has plenty of exercise. Follow feeding instructions given by your vet. Ensuring that the cat maintains a healthy weight can go a long way in preventing this cat illness.

Treatment

If this cat disease is left untreated the mortality rate for the cat is upwards of 90%. If the cat’s illness is caught in the early stages then the recovery rate is around 80-90%. The vet will use aggressive feeding techniques on the cat for treatment. The cat’s liver is very regenerative as long as permanent damage has not been done. It is important to be aware that the symptoms of this particular disease are very similar to other types of liver diseases and other cat illnesses; therefore, it is critical to get the cat to the vet as soon as possible upon observation of any symptoms from any illness.