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Thread: Saving a cat with fatty liver syndrome (Feline Hepatic Lipidosis)

  1. #1
    Super Moderator twitchy2.0's Avatar
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    Default Saving a cat with fatty liver syndrome (Feline Hepatic Lipidosis)

    So I'm force feeding an anorexic cat again and thought I'd share in case anyone else ever finds themselves in a similar situation.

    Cat's livers do not metabolize fat very well. So if a cat stops eating for whatever reason and the body sends the fat cells to the liver for processing in order to get energy, the liver fails and the cat will die.

    The first time this happened, we didn't know what was up and, after noticing that the cat was losing weight, took her to the vet. They said she was dehydrated, put her on a drip, kept her until we'd spent $600 then just shrugged. So we took her home to die. Then I decided to look into the disease and even though the internet was in its infancy, I found that all I had to do was keep the cat alive long enough for her appetite to kick back in. I was really pissed off at the vet for not telling us that. We have a new vet now.

    First, see your vet. Once you know that the weight loss is due to fatty liver and not a symptom of some other disease, it's not difficult to keep the cat alive. If the cat can be tempted at all, add a bit of chicken broth to their water, drizzle a wee bit of tuna juice over their food, warm the food to body temperature to make the aromas more appetizing to the cat. If not, force feeding is needed.

    So, I make a slurry of a soft cat food(I'm using Lick Your Chops Chicken and Brown Rice Dinner at the moment), some baby food(Beech Nut chicken and broth because it doesn't have salt unlike that other brand-make sure the food does not contain onions) and some low sodium chicken broth(real not cubes obviously!) or water. Warm to body temperature, stir and gently dribble in the side of the cat's mouth using a syringe. Near the beginning of this process, I add a bit of milk thistle tincture as well to improve liver function. The cat will have to be wrapped in a towel like a mummy, will struggle like mad and will have to be re-wrapped several times during a feeding. It's a victory if I can get 20ccs of slurry down the cat in a sitting and extreme patience is required. The food has to go in the side of the mouth and very slowly so the cat does not breathe it in or choke. It's messy, it needs to be done several times a day and it's going to be several weeks before she starts eating again. I'm hauling her ass into the vet every other day to borrow their scale to keep tabs on her weight.

    What fun.
    As Canadian as possible under the circumstances

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    "What's traitors, precious?" -- President Gollum

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    Elite Member sputnik's Avatar
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    aww twitchy, it's awesome that you're doing that for your cat. good luck and keep us posted.
    do they know what causes a cat to just stop eating?
    I'm open to everything. When you start to criticise the times you live in, your time is over. - Karl Lagerfeld

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    Elite Member MohandasKGanja's Avatar
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    So, you started out by inadvertently making kitty cat foie gras......

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    Elite Member dexter7's Avatar
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    oh, my heart skipped a beat when i read the title of this thread. one of my beloved kitties died from this initial complication. stopped eating due to stress, but we didn't notice at first cuz we have three cats. we force fed him for six months, in the end his kidneys ended up failing him. bless you, and i hope your baby starts eating normal again. but yes, this is a very serious problem with cats, this fatty liver disease.

    agree on the whole mummy wrapping process, the forcing of the food to the back side of the mouth, the mess, the joy of 20 cc's, we were able to get him up to 60 cc's, but the mess!

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    Super Moderator twitchy2.0's Avatar
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    The causes are totally unknown Sput. Though it can be a side effect of other diseases like cancer, quite often it just happens. Once they get dehydrated, that just kills the appetite and the vicious circle begins.

    Sorry to hear about your kitty Dexter. It's heartbreaking.

    This is the third time I've done this and the second time with this cat. She's 12 so I hope she's tough enough to pull through this time.
    As Canadian as possible under the circumstances

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    "What's traitors, precious?" -- President Gollum

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    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    It's always the kidneys with cats...
    I am from the American CIA and I have a radio in my head. I am going to kill you.

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    Elite Member sputnik's Avatar
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    i hope your kitty gets better, twitch.
    *hugs*
    I'm open to everything. When you start to criticise the times you live in, your time is over. - Karl Lagerfeld

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    Super Moderator twitchy2.0's Avatar
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    Thumbs up she's stuffing her gob!

    Whoa! Just checking back to see just how long this was going on and I am totally stunned. That was longer than I thought! And longer than she's ever done this before. She started eating on her own four days ago and is looking better already because she doesn't have dried catfood slurry in her fur. We got her up to 60 ml a day shortly after we started then she threw up all over and we had to scale back to 20 then start ramping it up again. She indicated her displeasure with the whole process by thinking outside the box for a couple of days when it came to pooping. Fortunately, due to the dehydration, it wasn't messy. Dried nuggets. Then she settled into the whole routine and didn't struggle as much when wrapped in her towel. Food would still get everywhere and she was quite stinky. I was her least favourite person in the world for quite a time because of the force feeding and would hide when she saw me coming. She's perking up and in a week or two I can haul her butt back to Toronto. (she's my daughter's cat - took her because projects, studying, exams, etc meant kitty got sick at the worst possible time)

    All done. Yay!
    As Canadian as possible under the circumstances

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    "What's traitors, precious?" -- President Gollum

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    Elite Member sputnik's Avatar
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    that's great, twitch! and i hope your daughter builds a shrine to twitchy to thank you for being such an awesome mum.
    I'm open to everything. When you start to criticise the times you live in, your time is over. - Karl Lagerfeld

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    Elite Member McJag's Avatar
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    I am just finding this, so thank goodness the bad part is over.
    My BIL & sister tend a flock of homeless cats ( extended family of their two house kitties) Anyway, a couple of times a week, my BIL gets a rotisserie chicken and gets all the meat off the bone, takes off skin first. Its cheap & the cats are crazy over it. Maybe that could help?
    I didn't start out to collect diamonds, but somehow they just kept piling up.-Mae West

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    Super Moderator twitchy2.0's Avatar
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    Sadly when she's in the midst of one of these episodes, NOTHING will tempt her.
    As Canadian as possible under the circumstances

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    "What's traitors, precious?" -- President Gollum

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    Hit By Ban Bus! AliceInWonderland's Avatar
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    wow I'm dealing with My 7 year old's kidney/urinary issues too; he has struvite crystals in his urine for some reason and now has to be on a special diet the rest of his life and fed a certain way (a few times throughout the day w/ water mixed in with the already wet-food.) i guess I won't be traveling while he's alive, but he's my best buddy and I can't imagine my life w/o him

    twitch

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    Super Moderator twitchy2.0's Avatar
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    Ugh. Urine crystals. I feel your pain. I blame the shit they put in the food. Every make cat I've had in the past 12 years has had to have his urethra roto-rooted. That never used to happen.
    As Canadian as possible under the circumstances

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    "What's traitors, precious?" -- President Gollum

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    Hit By Ban Bus! AliceInWonderland's Avatar
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    so what do you do now? What kind of food are they all on now?

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    Elite Member SuriCruise's Avatar
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    Glad your cat is doing better! Mine got fatty liver when she was about 14 or 15 and the bastard vet basically said she wouldn't live past a few more days so don't bother trying anything and he wasn't going to bother either. So I cussed him out, picked up my baby, and went home to google. We put her on a strict diet of tinned mackerel and had to tempt her into eating it. This really worked and she got a lot better and lived another year or two. I'll never forget how the cunt vet just rolled her eyes back with no warning whatsoever and they were bright yellow. We found a new vet who was great and was the one who put her to sleep when she got sick again.
    And so, I will keep fighting to make the US a more progressive, multi-cultural country, and my fight starts on GossipRocks - mikesandy

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