liver disease in cats and how to treat it


Liver Disease in Cats and How to Treat It

August 9, 2016

You definitely need to know about liver disease in cats if you have a cat and you’re really worried about your cat suffering from said disease. The disease is undeniably very dangerous since it attacks the liver of a cat suffering from it. The liver is, of course, one of the most important parts of a cat’s body.

A cat’s liver is his or her body’s largest internal organ and it’s responsible for various functional, detoxification, and metabolic process. It’s undeniably a very important part of a cat and it’s something that needs to always be in a healthy condition.

A cat’s liver is located in his or her abdomen, under his or her diaphragm. There is something special you might need to know about this specific organ. The liver is considered the only organ in a cat’s body which is able to rejuvenate itself.

The organ is undeniably very interesting on top of playing a very important role in supporting a cat’s life. Consider taking notes of the functions of the liver below if you’re curious about this organ.

The Functions of the Liver

functions of the liver in cats


The liver has various functions and one of them is cleaning the blood. The liver cleans the blood, removes medications, and removes toxins. It’s an organ that can protect a cat’s body from toxins and medications that may jeopardize the cat’s life.

Aside from cleaning the blood, removing medications, and removing toxin, the liver also regulates chemicals in a cat’s blood. In addition to regulating the chemicals in a cat’s blood, a cat’s liver also produces and secretes bile. Bile aids fat digestion and absorption and thus, it’s something important to a cat’s body.

What is called bile is a fluid that is greenish-yellow in color and consists of waste products and bile acids. Bilirubin is among the things bile consists of. Bile is made by the liver and it’s stored in what’s called the gall bladder.

The liver, aside from producing bile, also breaks down haemoglobin, thus, creating metabolites which are added to bile as bilirubin or pigment. Another thing the liver does is producing specific engines that help in digesting food. The liver also plays a role in food digestion and this shows that it’s without doubt a very important organ.

The liver also converts most of the sugars in a cat’s body into glycerine that is stored up as glycogen until the time comes when it’s needed. Without a doubt, converting sugars into glycerine is something important to do because sugars are things that are very important in mammals.

The liver also stores fat soluble vitamins including Vitamin A, Vitamin D, Vitamin E, and Vitamin K. These vitamins need bile to be absorbed by a cat’s body and the liver stores these vitamins. Aside from storing these important vitamins, the liver also plays a role in producing blood clotting factors. Of course, this isn’t the last thing the liver plays a role in.

Another thing the liver plays a role in is the manufacture of certain hormones. Aside from playing a role in manufacturing certain hormones, the liver also changes ammonia into urea, which is then excreted in a cat’s urine.

Those are various liver functions you have to add to your notes if you have a cat and you care a lot about your beloved feline friend.

Things You Have to Know about the Liver

things you have to know about the liver in cats


A cat’s liver is something that’s divided into sections which are called lobes. These sections have varied things inside them and each of them consists of thousands of functional structural units. These functional structural units are called hepatic lobules.

Note that there are two blood vessels entering the liver. The first one is the hepatic portal vein, which contains de-oxygenated blood that comes from the digestive system, the pancreas, and the spleen. The second one is the hepatic artery, which contains blood that is rich in oxygen, blood that comes from the lungs.

Cats’ Liver Disease

cats’ liver disease


Liver disease is something that occurs when the liver gets damaged and then the damage results in loss of function. Liver disease can be acute or chronic. When it’s chronic, it’s slow and progressive.

Liver disease in felines can be caused by several things. Here are some of them:

The Causes of Liver Disease in Felines

What You Might Need to Know about Liver Disease in Felines

what you might need to know about liver disease in felines


It’s important for you to know that liver disease can actually happen to cats of any age. However, in younger cats, the disease is usually caused by a toxic hepatopathy or portosystemic shunt. If you wonder what toxic hepatopathy is, it’s the ingestion of drugs or toxins.

The Signs of Liver Disease in Felines

signs of liver disease in felines


The symptoms of liver disease in felines can vary since there are various things that can cause the disease. Oftentimes, the symptoms can even be non specific and vague.

Here are two of the early symptoms that cat owners may notice:

When your cat’s liver’s more damaged, there will be further symptoms including:

The Diagnosis of Liver Disease in Cats

diagnosis of liver disease in cats


The diagnosis of liver disease in felines involves a veterinarian performing a physical examination of the cat. The veterinarian will try to run some tests including a biochemical profile.

The Treatment for Liver Disease in Cats

treatment for liver disease in cats


The treatment for liver disease in felines depends on the causes. If the cause is hepatic lipidosis, the treatment that can be done includes intensive nutritional support. If the cat is dehydrated, the treatment that can be done is a fluid and electrolyte therapy.

If the cause if cholangitis or cholangiohepatitis complex, the treatment that can be done includes supportive care with IV. If this is the cause, the treatment can be done also includes the prescription of antibiotics if the cause is bacterial.

If damage caused by toxins is the cause, the treatment that can be done includes stopping the toxins immediately, removing the toxins from the body using activated charcoal, and supportive care.

If the cause is portosystemic shunt, the treatment that can be done includes surgical ligation if financially and physically possible, supportive care if necessary, and a prescription diet that’s restricted in protein.

Those are some of the treatment options available for cat owners with cat who suffer from liver disease. Write them down if you are in need of knowledge on liver disease in felines.

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