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Causes, Diagnosis And Treatment Of Liver Tumor in Cats

The liver is an important organ of the detoxification system in the body. Every human being and pet is exposed to carcinogens. These carcinogens are substances that cause cancer. The liver purifies these carcinogens to a large extent, keeping the toxicity levels down.

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But in cats, the fungi that appear on spoiled cat food, specific pesticides and food additives, dyes, plants, and animal tissue, become toxic only after being metabolized by the liver. These substances can therefore potentially cause feline cancer in the liver in cats.

Primary liver tumors are rare in cats and most of the times liver cancer in cats appears as a result of metastasis from other cancers. Primary liver tumors can be benign or malignant.

Benign tumors do not cause much trouble to the cat unless they grow big enough to encroach upon other organs that are close by. In certain cases benign tumors in the liver may result in lowering blood sugar levels in the cat.

A malignant liver tumor can also metastasize and affect other parts of the body. The most disturbing aspect of malignant tumors is that they are usually in an advanced stage by the time they are diagnosed. The basic reason behind this is that the symptoms of liver cancer in dogs and cats are not unique. They can relate to many other conditions, which make diagnosis a difficult proposition.

Some conditions of the liver that produce symptoms similar to liver cancer are:

  • Inflammation of the liver and the surrounding organs.
  • Pus filled abscesses in the liver similar to the ones that often appear on the skin of the cat.
  • An injury or rupturing of the liver that causes blood to clot and form hematomas.

If you notice symptoms like vomiting without reason, loosing weight, not eating properly, a bloated stomach, or jaundice, it is better to get your cat checked for a liver tumor.

History and a physical examination prove helpful in diagnosis. Some laboratory tests, x-rays or an ultrasound of the abdominal region may be recommended by your veterinarian. Since a healthy liver is crucial to clotting of the blood, laboratory tests may include a coagulation profile to determine whether surgery is advisable or not. A biopsy of the liver is the ultimate procedure that establishes prevalence of a tumor beyond doubt.

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Malignant liver tumor is a fast-growing disease, and it’s hard to predict its course. The treatment depends mostly on the type of tumor. Surgery is done only if it is unavoidable. An intravenous transfusion of fluids and blood is needed to stabilize the animal’s body before any invasive tests or treatment can be performed. This also takes care of any dehydration that may have been caused by liver tumors. Use of chemotherapy is a doubtful mode of treatment as primary malignant tumors are somehow immune to the chemo drugs.

As with other types of cancer in dogs and cats, liver tumor is also a serious condition that needs strict adherence to follow-up instructions after treatment. The prognoses of a benign tumors are highly encouraging if they are surgically removed. Malignant tumors, if removed, usually result in the death of the cat within a year. A proper monitoring and follow-up may extend that period by a couple of years.

Reference:
Feline Cancer Resources — Overview

Article Courtesy of PetAlive.

Emily Harris
 

Hi Guys, Girls, and Cats:-p I am Emily Harris, and you can see in above pic. She loves me I swear. I saved her from a dumpster a few weeks back.

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