Liver Failure in Cats
Cholangiohepatitis is the second most common liver disease of
cats. This disease involves inflammation of the liver and the bile ducts. Bile
is the product of the gallbladder and is important in managing fats and
collecting toxins to be removed from the blood. When bacteria from the duodenum
(small intestine) come up the bile duct (instead of bile going down), they can
gain access to the gallbladder and the liver. This liver infection is often
associated with inflammatory bowel disease and/or pancreatitis.
Some cats will become acutely ill, but many simply show
anorexia and possibly jaundice and an enlarged liver. Some cats will have vomiting,
diarrhea, depression, and
Treatment: Treatment requires supportive care, including fluids
and nutritional support-maybe even a feeding tube placed by your veterinarian.
important, as this is a bacterial infection. Antibiotics may be needed for
three to six months. SAMe and vitamin E are useful antioxidants that can help
the liver heal, and milk thistle is an herb with liver-protectant qualities. If
inflammatory bowel disease is also involved, the cat may need immunosuppressive
drugs such as prednisone.