One of the largest and most important organs in mammals is the liver. Scientists suggest that its functions are still not fully understood. It is the liver that is responsible for the neutralization of toxins that enter the blood from the portal vein coming from the liver, and many hormones are produced in it. The same organ plays the role of one of the largest and most important blood depots, preventing the development of arterial collapse in the event of massive blood loss. It is not surprising that any pathology severely affects the general condition of the body. An example is liver failure in cats.
Deciphering the concept
Firstly, there is no such disease. This is the name of a generalized complex of symptoms, which are manifestations of diseases that lead to a deterioration in liver functionality.
Why does it appear?
In general, acute liver failure in cats can occur due to any pathology that somehow affects this organ. In old cats, stones are a real hit. Especially often they appear in those animals that all their "conscious life" ate exclusively dry food. As an option, frequent feeding of fish, which, contrary to general misconception, is not a suitable food for cats. Such a diet sooner or later leads to a whole bunch of problems. Castrated cats have stones, as well as liver failure, often detected. Of course, in the vast majority of cases, neoplasms appear in the kidneys, but the liver is not safe from them either.
The second common cause of failure in cats is hepatic parasites. So: alveococcus, echinococcus, opisthorchus (cat fluke) and others. Firstly, these animals eat mice that carry (are secondary hosts) of the same echinococcus. Secondly, many owners insistently “push” in their pets the same raw fish, in which there are also often a lot of parasitic “gifts”. If you do not know how to feed your cat, consult with experienced breeders!
Again, because of their "addictions" to mice, cats are very prone to poisoning. Today, the fight against rodents lies mainly on the shoulders of the disinfestation services, which use many poisons in their work. As a result, toxic degeneration of the liver in cats. What other reasons are there? The thyroid gland may also be “involved” in the occurrence of liver failure. Hyperthyroidism in cats is not uncommon, and therefore, a syndrome of insufficient liver functionality in them is also very common. Note that the body of many animals for a long time can compensate for violations due to the high regenerative ability. But then something happens that is very stressful. For example, a cat became pregnant ... A hormonal surge leads to many unpleasant consequences, including liver failure.
By what signs can it be determined that the liver of your beloved domestic cat has failed? Alas, at first only the most common, non-specific symptoms appear:
- Loss of appetite.
- The cat loses weight.
- A strong, unquenchable thirst appears (indicating significant intoxication).
- Feces (most often) become paler than usual, but urine acquires a rich, orange color.
And only then the signs of liver failure in cats become more pronounced and "intelligible". Firstly, the volume of the abdomen increases significantly. Even if it’s a cat and is in no way threatened with pregnancy. This happens due to ascites (dropsy of the abdominal cavity). The mechanism of its development is simple: the volume of the liver decreases, the organ becomes more dense, the mouth of the portal vein is compressed, resulting in an effusion. If at this moment you click in the right hypochondrium, the animal will show all the signs of a strong pain reaction. At the same time, pronounced yellowness of the mucous membranes and skin develops. The general condition of the animal is difficult, the cat is constantly lying, he is apathetic and does not show any interest even in the most delicious food. If nothing is done, convulsions and other signs of damage to the nervous system appear.
As you can understand, treatment for this disease directly depends on the complex of reasons that caused its appearance. Therefore, we immediately turn to the owners of sick cats: if you notice any manifestations of the disease, similar to those described by us above, be sure to show your pet to a veterinarian! Only in his power is competent, professional diagnosis and the choice of treatment strategy. For example, with parasitic causes of liver failure, the animal will definitely not recover if it is treated for stones in the gallbladder ... If we talk about general measures, then the cat is prescribed drugs that relieve intoxication and jaundice, hepatoprotectors and means to maintain the heart muscle. A huge role in healing is played by proper feeding. What is the best food for cats with liver failure?
We could recommend industrially produced mixtures from cat food manufacturers specifically designed for animals with liver diseases. If you use them, you can be completely sure that your pet receives all the nutrients he needs in therapeutic doses. It is important to remember that in case of liver failure, feeding is done in small portions! Overfeeding is deadly.