If you find out that your cat may be suffering from liver disease and the vet has indeed diagnosed the problem, the first thing you'd want to find out is how you to make your pet comfortable and prolong their lives for as long as possible. Once the vet has identified the underlying cause and recommended the right type of treatment, the next step is to sort out a diet that would suit your cat's condition and which will play a crucial role in their survival rate.
Understanding the role of the liver is important because when things go wrong, your pet's health will be affected quite dramatically. In the body, the liver has various functions which includes the following:
When a cat suffers a liver disorder, this will and can ultimately damage the organ which in turn affects its function. There are various liver disorders that cats suffer from which include the following:
The majority of liver disorders seen in cats are progressive which means over time the condition gets worse. If liver dysfunction and failure eventually occur, toxins will build up in the liver which then affects a cat's nervous system and digestive tract. There would be a notable reduction of protein synthesis which results in blood vessels leaking, fluid build-up and subsequently blood clotting problems. The cat will also have very low blood sugar levels.
Studies have shown that diet plays a crucial role in cats suffering with liver disorders. The correct diet will help reduce the risk of any further damage to the liver by doing the following:
It is crucial that the diet is formulated to meet all of the above criteria which means it could be worth discussing it with the vet who is treating your cat. A vet would be able to either advise on the type of diet you would need to feed them or they may put you in touch with a nutritionist. Very often owners are advised to prepare the meals for their cats rather than buy any cat food so that it contains all the necessary vitamins, minerals, nutrients and proteins. However, a typical healthy diet for cats with liver disease includes the following:
Any change in your cat's diet needs to be introduced very slowly so they accept the changes without any problem. It is important to remember that by nature cats do not like changes in their routines and this includes any alteration to their diets. Should your cat refuse to eat anything, then you may need to discuss the situation with your vet because a feeding tube may be needed in order for your pet to keep its strength up. If a cat becomes too weak this could lead to their condition worsening which could prove fatal.
If the vet finds that hepatic encephalopathy is the underlying cause of the problem, then a diet that is low in protein will help slow down the production of harmful ammonia. If fluid is being retained in the abdomen then cutting out sodium intake will help reduce the chances of the condition getting worse. If your cat is suffering from a liver disorder, you would have to work closely with your vet once they have diagnosed the problem so that a correct diet can be set in place. When fed a specifically formulated diet in conjunction with a recommended veterinary treatment, cats with liver disease can live out a happy and comfortable life for as long as possible.