Acute Liver Failure In Cats: An Overview

For cat owners, there are a number of illnesses that you may have never considered possible for your cat to experience. One such illness is acute liver failure, a medical emergency that requires quick treatment. Whether you think your cat is suffering from acute liver failure or you just want to learn more about it, read on for a general overview of the medical condition.

What Causes Acute Liver Failure in Felines?

Acute liver failure, also known as hepatic failure, is a medical emergency with a number of different causes.

Some of the most common causes of acute liver failure include ingestion of a toxin, prescription drugs, and excessive exposure to heat. Some causes, such as exposure to excessive heat, can be easily avoided, but others, such as an interaction with a veterinarian-prescribed drug, are unavoidable. However, there are a number of symptoms you can look out for to ensure that your cat receives prompt and proper care.

What are the Symptoms of Acute Liver Failure?

While felines may be good at hiding their illnesses, there are a number of obvious signs that your cat may be in liver failure and needs to see a veterinarian immediately.

Some obvious symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, and lethargy. While these can be indicative of a number of medical conditions, you will also likely notice a yellowish tint—known as jaundice—in the whites of your cat's eyes and in their gums. If the condition has gone on for a longer period of time, you will also notice a rapid drop in weight. Depending on the cause of the acute liver failure, your cat may also experience difficulty breathing, seizures, or unexplained neurological symptoms.

How is Acute Liver Failure Treated in Cats?

Fortunately, cats with acute liver failure can go on to lead normal lives if the condition is caught early enough.

After your cat's veterinarian has made the diagnosis, your cat will be hospitalized and provided with IV fluids and electrolytes. Your cat will likely be fed with the help of a feeding tube, which means your cat's nutrition will bypass the stomach and be delivered directly to the intestines. With the proper nutrients and hydration levels, as well as with the help of medications prescribed by the veterinarian, your cat can go on to make a full recovery.

If you suspect that your cat is suffering from acute liver failure, it's important that they be seen by a veterinarian immediately. For more information, contact local professionals like Pitts Veterinary Hospital PC.