Hepatitis in Cats – Causes, Symptoms and Treatment
The liver is one of the largest organs and is considered as the great laboratory and warehouse of the organism. It synthesizes several enzymes , proteins, etc., being the largest organ of detoxification, storing glycogen (essential for the glucose balance), etc.
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Hepatitis is defined as the inflammation of the liver tissue and therefore the liver. Although it is not as frequent a condition in the cat as in the dog, it should always be taken into account when diagnosing for nonspecific and general symptoms, such as weight loss, anorexia, apathy and fever. There are also more specific symptoms, such as jaundice .
In this article of YourCatCareguide we give you some tips to analyze the cause of hepatitis in catsas well as the symptoms and treatment of the disease .
Causes of Feline Hepatitis
The inflammation of the liver can have several origins, then we will show you the most common and frequent causes :
- Viral Hepatitis : It has nothing to do with human hepatitis. There are certain cat-specific viruses that can lead to hepatitis among many other symptoms. Thus viruses that cause diseases of feline leukemia and feline infectious peritonitis can lead to hepatitis, since viruses destroy liver tissue. These pathogens do not destroy only the liver tissue, so they will also affect other organs of the cat’s organism.
- Bacterial hepatitis : More frequent in the dog, it is exceptional in the cat. The causative agent is leptospira.
- Parasitic hepatitis : The most frequent is caused by toxoplasmosis (protozoan) or filariasis (parasite of the blood).
- Toxic Hepatitis : Caused by the ingestion of different toxins, it is also very unusual in the cat due to its eating behavior. It is usually due to the accumulation of copper in the feline liver.
- Congenital hepatitis : It is also very uncommon and is usually diagnosed accidentally, looking for other conditions, in the case of congenital hepatic cysts.
- Neoplasms (tumors): These are more common in older cats. The tumor tissue destroys the liver. Most of the time they are not primary tumors, being metastases of tumors generated in other organs.
Most frequent symptoms of feline hepatitis
Hepatitis usually causes different symptoms depending on whether it manifests itself in an acute or chronic form. A malfunction of the liver usually gives rise to sudden symptoms.
The most common symptom is usually loss of appetite and lethargy . The accumulation of toxins in the body affects the nervous system, and associated symptoms (changes in behavior, abnormal walking and even seizures), known as hepatic encephalopathy can be observed. Inactivity and a state of sadness are common.
Another symptom would be jaundice . It is a more specific symptom in liver disease and consists of the accumulation of bilirubin (yellow pigment) in the tissues. In the case of chronic hepatitis, weight loss and ascites (accumulation of fluid at the abdominal level) are observed.
Treatment of feline hepatitis
Treatment of hepatitis is usually associated with its origin, but because it is mostly unknown (idiopathic) or caused by viruses and tumors, symptomatic treatment and nutritional management are done .
Nutritional management consists of changing the diet of the cat (and that will result in an additional problem, because it is not so simple to perform), adjusting it to the disease. It is based on reducing the total amount of protein in the diet and increasing its quality.
This article is purely informative, in YourCatCareguide.com.br we do not have the capacity to prescribe veterinary treatments nor to make any type of diagnosis. We suggest you bring your pet to the veterinarian in case of any type of condition or malaise.
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