Office Hours

 

Monday and Thursday

7am-8pm

 

Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday 

7am-6pm

 

Saturday

8am-Noon

 

Boarding Pickup Only:

Sunday 5-5:30pm

 

Emergency Service until 10:00 pm every night

 

Join Us On Facebook

Liver Disease

 

The liver is the largest organ in the body.  It is located in the abdominal cavity and lies just in front of the stomach next to the diaphragm. The liver is the body’s “detoxifier.” All of the blood absorbed from the intestine circulates through the liver to be filtered and cleaned before returning to the heart. Liver disease can present itself very quickly or can occur very slowly over many months. 

 

CAUSES of liver disease include infections, consumption or exposure to poisons, abnormal blood flow (usually a birth defect), and hereditary disorders. Cats can also develop liver disease (fatty liver) from just not eating for a few days, regardless of the cause of the poor appetite. Liver disease can result in inflammation of the liver, gall stones, decreased production of enzymes aiding digestion, and cirrhosis.

 

SIGNS of Liver Disease:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Depression
  • Vomiting
  • Jaundice (yellowish discoloration of the lips or eyes)
  • Increased thirst
  • Discoloration of the urine or stool
  • Bloating of the abdomen due to fluid build-up
  • Bruises on the gums or belly due to poor blood clotting ability

 

DIAGNOSIS of the specific type of liver disease is confirmed by physical examination, blood tests, ultrasound testing, radiographs (x-rays), and sometimes biopsy.

 

TREATMENT OF LIVER DISEASE:

The liver has a tremendous ability to regenerate and heal. Prescription diets are an important component of successful treatment. Prescription diets contain specific nutrients most easily digested minimizing the work-load on the diseased liver while allowing for optimum nutrition to aid the healing process. Many pets with liver disease will recover and live normal lives. Your pet’s treatment may include:

 

  • Antibiotics to prevent or eliminate bacterial infection.

 

  • Medications to help prevent a build-up of fatty deposits in the liver.

 

  • Steroids or other anti-inflammatory drugs to counteract severe inflammation of the liver.

 

  • IV fluids and nutritional supplementation in advanced cases.

 

  • Pain medications.

 

  • Anti-nausea drugs for vomiting and cramping.

 

  • Drugs to decrease the acid secretion into the stomach causing vomiting.

 

  • DIET:  Feed several small meals/day instead of 1-2 larger meals.  

 

Once we have diagnosed liver disease in your pet we will want to periodically monitor blood work to evaluate how things are going.  Fortunately, many liver diseases can be cured or at least kept under control with proper treatment and occassional surgery.

 

Print Print | Sitemap Recommend this page Recommend this page
© Catoosa Small Animal Hospital, 2012