Hepatic Lipidosis. Sounds scary, huh? Well, it’s the medical term for a condition in cats after they stop eating. Whether they stop eating due to illness, stress, anxiety, injury, or liver disease, hepatic lipidosis can actually be life threatening. Since it’s the medical tern for fatty liver, it’s often associated with liver disease.
As fat fills the liver, it acts as a road block and ends up destroying liver tissue. As a result, cats may lose weight, they may vomit, and consequently fail to eat. If the cat is still unable to eat, in certain instances a feeding tube is necessary to provide it with proper nutrition and end the cycle of hepatic lipidosis.
Additionally, in the case of hepatic lipidosis, your cat may be dehydrated. Plus, the cat may be jaundiced, a condition which the pet owner may not even be able to detect. By looking closely at the eyes, a jaundiced cat with hepatic lipidosis usually equates to eyes which are more yellow than white. Blood tests may also be able to determine liver failure or liver disease by your veterinarian.
In fact, hepatic lipidosis is one of the most common causes of liver failure in cats. As such, fat deposits towards the liver and your cat can’t handle it. Luckily, there are treatment options for hepatic lipidosis. One of which equates to a high protein diet. Essentially your cat’s metabolic starvation rate needs to change to the opposite end of the spectrum. One scenario is force-feeding. Similar to giving the pat a pill, food can be fed this way. Another situation as it relates to feeding cats who have hepatic lipidosis relates to a feeding tube. The feeding tube may be passed through the nose and into the stomach, thereby creating a liquid diet for your cat. In addition, there are possibilities for stomach tubes, esophagostomy tubes and more. Your veterinarian will have specific treatment options for your cat. For instance, some cats become docile and are open to the tube whereas others will be more feisty so it’s not uncommon for one of their paws to knock out one of the tubes.
For more information about hepatic lipidosis please consult your veternarian.