The liver is an important organ as it helps eliminate harmful bacteria and toxins from a cat’s blood and having a cat wellness plan can very likely help you identify the early stages of liver disease in cats. If the liver is no longer working properly, it can lead to cats getting extremely ill. Fortunately, it is possible to treat and manage kidney disease when caught early enough. Let’s dive into what liver disease means and how you can keep your kitty happy and healthy.
What Is Feline Liver Disease?
Live disease in cats is when the liver stops working properly and a cat’s general health can begin to suffer greatly. There are two types of feline liver failure, primary liver disease and secondary liver disease.
Primary Liver Disease
Primary liver disease in cats happens when something attacks the liver, which all sorts of reasons can cause. Most commonly, Hepatic Lipidosis is due to an excessive accumulation of fat within the liver, which leads to liver failure.
Immune-system diseases are quite a common reason for liver issues in cats, and Lymphocytic Cholangitis can be one of them. Though this type is generally one of the more rare disorders, it is a chronic disease where symptoms can sometimes be overlooked, leading it to go undiagnosed. This is why a cat wellness plan is so important. Routine exams help your vet spot these illnesses sooner than later, before too much damage is done.
Bacterial infections are also a common cause of liver disease in cats. These bacterial infections will often attack a cat’s liver, gallbladder, bile duct, and other body systems closely related. Cholangiohepatitis is a common disease leading to feline liver failure. It causes inflammation of the liver and the biliary system.
Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP) is a viral disease in cats that can affect the liver. It is often found in the gastrointestinal tract and can also begin to alter the cat’s biological behavior. This can result in a lot of inflammation and affect the liver, kidneys, and other organs, including the brain. Thankfully there is a vaccine for FIP that a Wagmo cat wellness plan can help cover.
Other causes of primary cat liver disease include:
- Fatty liver disease (linked to obesity)
Secondary Liver Disease
Secondary liver disease is when feline liver disease occurs due to another condition. It is usually an unfortunate side effect of intense medications or very harmful diseases, such as:
- Diabetes Mellitus
- Heart disease, etc.
Signs Of Feline Liver Disease & Failure
When a cat suffers from feline liver disease, it will usually show some obvious signs of illness. The cause of these symptoms won’t be clear until you bring them to the vet for proper routine testing and examinations. Some of the most common signs of liver disease in cats include:
- Not eating
- Drinking more water
- Weight loss
- Energy loss
- Swollen abdomen
- And more.
These symptoms can mean almost anything and are very common signs your cat is sick. Whenever your cat shows any of the above signs, it is important to take them to the veterinarian for a check-up.
How To Prevent & Treat Failing Kidneys
One of the best ways to prevent the above disease and liver disease in cats is to keep them on a preventative care plan. This is what a cat wellness plan is. While pet insurance for cats is important, a cat wellness plan actively keeps your cat healthy. Some of the tops ways in which liver disease in cats can be diagnosed includes:
Routine Bloodwork: If your vet is running routine bloodwork such as hematology or a biochemistry profile, they can often see signs of liver disease. This is because they can examine and compare liver enzymes, electrolytes, and bilirubin. Your vet might also run tests to rule out other common diseases in cats, such as FeLV, FIV, and thyroid conditions.
Routine Urinalysis: Urine exams will likely also be conducted, helping the vet get a better overall view of the liver function. Typically a simple feline urine exam can quickly show that a cat is not at its peak health.
Diagnostics: If your vet is quite concerned about your cat’s urinalysis and bloodwork status, they might then order x-rays and ultrasounds to get a better look. These diagnostics can be pretty expensive but are covered by Wagmo’s pet insurance for cats.
If your cat has been diagnosed with acute feline liver disease, your vet might prescribe a few different ways of treatment. Usually, when caught early enough, the vet will be trying to improve the liver’s role in the body’s metabolism. To do this, they might prescribe:
- Highly digestible carbohydrates
- Supplements (vitamin K, antioxidants)
- Bile acid modifying supplements
- Feeding tube (to help restore nutrients)
If your cat’s liver disease is caused by a bacterial infection or an immune-related attack, your vet will prescribe antibiotics and anti-inflammatory medication. This type of medication is covered by pet insurance for cats.
Thankfully, with the proper preventative pet care, a vet will diagnose liver disease quite quickly. The life expectancy of a cat with liver disease does not always affect the diagnosis. The cat often lives a happy and long life with routine care provided by a cat wellness plan and pet insurance for cats. It ensures the proper medication and regular check-ups.
If you're interested in preventative pet care to help ensure diseases are caught right away, check out our Wagmo wellness plans. Cat wellness plans cover routine vet exams, bloodwork, urinalysis, fecal exams, flea & tick medication, heartworm care, and more! Pet insurance for cats is also worth looking into if your cat does ever need prescription medicines or diagnostics.
At Wagmo, we aim to make pet insurance and pet wellness for cats and dogs as simple as possible. With our flexible coverage and white-glove customer service, we help you and your pet Wagmo and worry less.