Cleo's Progress

One Cat's Struggle with Feline Hepatic Lipidosis

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

I've become a nervous mommy

Since I started worrying a month or so ago that Cleo was coming down with feline hepatic lipidosis, or fatty liver disease, again, I have become a nervous mommy.

Cleo started eating a normal amount pretty quickly once I started giving her high-protein canned food. I don't know if she was really headed down that same path again, but the way she had dropped weight and stopped eating regularly, it certainly seems that she was.

For a couple of weeks now, I've been giving Cleo a can of wet food a day — the proper amount for her size. Although I don't want her to stop eating enough, I also don't want her to eat too much and become overweight again. Fat cats are more likely to get feline hepatic lipidosis, and I don't want to go through that again!

Feeding her wet food means that I can closely observe how much she is eating, but unfortunately, it also means that I can obsess about how much she is eating. Take yesterday, for example: I noticed that although Cleo seemed hungry and was begging for food, she wasn't eating much of what I gave her. She eventually ate most of the can, but keep in mind that most days, she'd go through the entire can before noon if I allowed her to.

Today seems to be the same — she's just not eating as much as she normally would. I'm a little worried about why, and though we're a long ways from another bout of fatty liver disease right now, I'm still going to keep a close eye on it.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Tips for preventing feline hepatic lipidosis

I realize that most people who come across this page probably already have a cat that is sick with feline hepatic lipidosis, or fatty liver disease. That's usually what makes someone decide to Google the term, right? Just in case, though, I want to list a few tips for preventing feline hepatic lipidosis.

1) Devise some way to keep tabs on how much your cat is eating.

This is difficult with cats, who eat frequent snacks throughout the day, rather than a couple of meals a day like dogs do. It's especially difficult any time you have more than one cat on the same food. However, if you are aware of how much your cats eat (total) on a daily basis, you will notice if they suddenly start eating less as a group. You might be able to then guess which cat has stopped eating by watching their behavior — or, if you have to, quarantine each cat in a separate room with food, water, and a litter box until you figure it out.

The important thing is to catch it before it turns into feline hepatic lipidosis. I've read that it can take as little as 3 weeks of eating about 2/3 the normal amount for fatty liver disease to develop.

2) Remove any obstacles that might prevent your cat from eating.

If you have dogs, make sure you keep your cat's food where the dogs can't get it... or prevent your cat from getting it. Make sure their food is available at all times, or at least at regular feeding times throughout the day.

3) Keep your cat indoors.

You probably have already heard that indoor cats live longer than outdoor cats. Keeping your cat indoors also helps prevent feline hepatic lipidosis, because one of the reasons why many cats stop eating is because of an injury. Typically, if a cat is hurt, it will instinctively crawl into a hiding place and stay there. After a couple of weeks of hiding and not eating, fatty liver disease will set in.

4) Take your cat to the vet for regular checkups and if you notice anything unusual (such as reduced appetite).

Getting sick with something else is another reason why cats sometimes stop eating. If you notice any uncharacteristic change in appetite, take your cat to the vet to have it checked out. Catching an illness and helping it to feel better quickly could prevent the onset of feline hepatic lipidosis — which is important, since you don't want to be trying to fight two illnesses at once.

You should always have the cat in for yearly checkups, just to make sure he or she appears to be healthy. In this case it's definitely better safe than sorry!

The best way to prevent feline hepatic lipidosis is pay attention to your cat: How much he or she eats, how often you refill the water, etc. The more closely you observe your cat's habits and bodily functions, the more likely you are to notice if something is wrong.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Picture: Complete recovery from feline hepatic lipidosis

I've been talking a lot about how I think we reently avoided a recurrence of feline hepatic lipidosis, but I've neglected to post any pictures lately.

I mentioned in my last post that Cleo eats on the kitchen table, so that the dogs don't bother her or eat her food. Here is a picture, taken this morning:

Complete recovery from feline hepatic lipidosis

Like I said yesterday, I know this grosses some people out — and admittedly, it's not ideal for me either — but I'll do whatever is necessary to keep my cat eating. I don't want to suffer through another case of feline hepatic lipidosis!

Another update on Cleo and feline hepatic lipidosis

I was worried not too long ago that my cat, Cleo, was going to have another bout with feline hepatic lipidosis, or fatty liver. She survived this type of feline liver failure back in November/December 2005, after about 4 weeks of force feeding her canned cat food and gave her intravenous fluids. You can read about our experience with feline hepatic lipidosis by using the November and December archive links for 2005.

Anyway, my mom came over today for the first time since we started worrying about another bout with fatty liver disease, several weeks ago. Immediately after petting Cleo, she commented that she could tell Cleo had lost weight. Cleo was a pretty hefty cat before she started losing weight a month or two ago, so suddenly dropping 3 pounds has made a big difference in the way she feels when you pet her.

Of course, I've had her eating her quota of canned food every day for at least a week now. I gave her some extra over a couple of days, because I'd like her to gain at least a little bit of weight back (although she doesn't need to be 13 pounds again!).

Except for now and when Cleo had hepatic lipidosis (fatty liver disease) last time, I've never really given my cats wet food. This is for a combination of 3 reasons:

1) My vet told me it rots their teeth more quickly than dry food.
2) It's more expensive than dry food.
3) It's more difficult to feed than dry food.

I suppose there's actually a fourth reason, too:

4) Cleo would eat it all, making her fatter — and Prince (my other cat) even skinnier than he already is.

However, right now we have a system that seems to work pretty well. Prince gets kitten food these days, even though he's now 11 or 12 years old, because he has such a difficult time keeping weight on. His bowl is on the buffet, so that the dogs don't get it, and so that we can keep an eye on it and make sure that Cleo doesn't eat it all, either.

Meanwhile, Cleo's bowl of wet food is on the kitchen table. (This freaks some people out, I know, but having the cats on the table has never bothered me. And anyway, it's the only place left where the dogs can't bother her or eat her food, and where we can keep Prince from eating all of her food.

I'm not sure if or when I'll try to switch the cats back to a more normal feeding routine — I'm worried about a recurrence of feline hepatic lipidosis. But even if I have to adjust to a completely new routine, I'm willing to do it for Cleo's sake!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Why I don't believe in euthanizing pets

My last blog post talked about how an ex-boyfriend of mine euthanized his cat after Charlie was diagnosed with lymphoma and what was probably feline hepatic lipidosis.

I indicated that I didn't agree with his decision to euthanize Charlie. Actually, I tend to disapprove of the entire practice of euthanizing animals. This post will discuss why.

Reason #1: I know from personal experience that not every serious illness in a pet's life is fatal.

The case in point here is Cleo, of course: Cleo fell ill with feline hepatic lipidosis, or fatty liver disease, in November 2005. I never even considered euthanizing her; I wouldn't even allow the vet to hospitalize her. Instead, I force-fed her myself. After about 4 weeks, she started eating on her own, and within a month had completely recovered from hepatic lipidosis.

This isn't my only example, though. When I was younger, my parents had a cat who got sick with — and eventually died from — kidney failure. However, if we had euthanized him when he first fell ill, he would have missed more than a year of happy, symptom-free life: All it took was a week of dialysis and a daily pill to stimulate his appetite, and he was fine for a little more than a year.

Reason #2: I don't agree with the moral reasoning behind euthanizing sick pets.

Philip Pullman put my reasoning into words better than I ever could. In one of the books of the "His Dark Materials" trilogy, the boy and girl come upon a sick or injured animal. The little girl suggests that maybe they should put it out of its misery, but the boy answers that since the animal can't tell them that it is suffering and would rather die, to kill it would be to make themselves feel better.

In other words, euthanizing pets is all about making the owner feel better by not having to watch the animal's health decline. In reality, we have no way of telling that the animal doesn't want to live anymore, so why should we make that decision?

Out of all the pets I've had, during both childhood and adulthood, the only one we've ever put to sleep was a guinea pig who had a golf ball-sized tumor around her kidney and was peeing blood. The rest — the cat with kidney failure, the rat who had tumors, and the gerbil, the mouse, and the guinea pigs who just got old — all died in their own time and in their own way.

And I think it was better that way. The cat got to enjoy cuddling on the couch with my mom for a few more nights, and died surrounded by the family who loved him. The mouse died in my hands, and the other animals all got to enjoy every possible moment they could still get with the people who loved them.

When it's my time to go, that's what I want — surrounded by my loved ones, and with the freedom to spend my last days in the ways that I love best. Why should an animal deserve any less?

Monday, April 14, 2008

I think this was feline hepatic lipidosis, too

Several years ago, before Cleo got sick the first time, an ex-boyfriend of mine put his cat to sleep because it had liver failure and lymphoma. In retrospect, I think the liver failure was probably feline hepatic lipidosis, just like what Cleo had.

This cat — whom we'll call Charlie — was a pretty big cat. I didn't think he was necessarily overweight, because he had a huge frame, but everyone was always telling his owner that he was. So his owner decided to put him on a diet.

Charlie started to lose weight slowly at first, then faster and faster, until (of course) he stopped eating. His owner took him into the vet, and they decided (for some reason I can't explain) to do surgery. Then they realized he also had cancer in his lymphatic system, and advised his owner to have the cat euthanized (which he did).

I can't help but wonder now about the decisions the vet — and Charlie's owner — made about poor Charlie's treatment. I have a feeling that the liver failure was actually feline hepatic lipidosis, or fatty liver disease — which is, remember, a reversible condition. The cause could have been the diet, or it could have been that he was feeling sick because of the lymphoma.

Either way, I'm not sure why the condition wouldn't immediately have been recognized as feline hepatic lipidosis, and why they would have needed to open the poor cat up.

Anyway, when Cleo developed fatty liver disease in late 2005, I told Charlie's owner. Remembering his own experience, I'm sure, he said to me, "I'm sorry to hear that," sounding as if Cleo were already dead. I told him I was force-feeding her, and tried to tell him the hepatic lipidosis is cureable, but I remember that he didn't seem to want to hear it.

Maybe seeing me do everything I could to save my cat made him feel guilty about his own decisions, or angry at me for doing something different — I don't know. Just don't make the same mistake that Charlie's owner made — fatty liver disease is a completely reversible condition, and although it's not easy, your cat IS worth the effort!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Another cat with liver failure

When Cleo first got sick with fatty liver, or feline hepatic lipidosis, in November 2005, all of the stuff I learned about the disease made me think about another cat I once knew with liver failure. Although at the time I never looked into what type of liver failure it was or whether she could have been saved, I've often wondered since learning about feline hepatic lipidosis if I could have done something differently.

This is Sahara's story.

Sahara: A cat with liver failure

My ex-boyfriend and I adopted Sahara in 2003. We found her in a cage at Petco, one of the cats that they were adopting via a contract with a local shelter. She was a petite, frightened marmelade cat, and we fell in love with her instantly.

She was skinny and shedding like crazy at the Petco, but we didn't think much of it at the time. We took her home, and she went under the bed almost first thing. We thought she was probably just upset by the change and that she'd warm up to our other cats eventually.

She didn't.

We had her for about a week, and during that time she went from hardly eating to eating nothing at all. My old vet offered us a free new pet exam; one look at her yellow skin, and he told us she had liver failure.

My old vet wasn't exactly a kindred spirit when it came to animals (which makes me wonder why he was a vet). He basically told us she didn't have much chance, and that it wouldn't be worth it to us since we had just adopted her. (Basically, what he was saying is that it's only worth it to keep a cat alive if you have a sentimental attachment to it.) He didn't say anything about feline hepatic lipidosis or fatty liver disease, which is too bad — if I had the same information about Sahara's condition as I had about Cleo's, I probably would have tried to save Sahara.

On the vet's advice, we returned Sahara to the shelter. They were going to have their vet take a look at her. I called back several days later to ask after her, and they claimed that she died over the weekend, before they could get the vet in.

I actually rather think they put her to sleep, since — according to what I know now about feline hepatic lipidosis (fatty liver disease), I don't think Sahara was that close to not making it at the time.

The rest of our ordeal with that shelter is what makes me think they probably euthanized the cat and lied to us about it. Because they didn't refund pet adoption fees, the shelter allowed us to pick out another cat. We picked out a kitten who wasn't yet old enough to be adopted, they said, since he had to be neutered first. The technician told us it would several weeks before he was old enough, yet a few days later someone else called us and said they had neutered him and he'd be ready for pickup soon. When we arrived to pick him up, someone completely different told us he hadn't survived the surgery (since, of course, he had been too young).

I was really upset, and started making a scene about how both of the cats we tried to adopt from them had died. (Another woman who had adopted from them through Petco found out her cat had cancer, so after our experience Petco ended their contract with the shelter.) The shelter refunded our money on the spot, I'm guessing to shut me up (because there was someone there interested in adopting, who was beginning to look rather concerned).

With a shelter like this, that has no compunctions about adopting out sick animals and putting 7-week-old kittens under the knife, I just wouldn't be surprised if they also euthanized Sahara and told us she had died on her own.

I think about Sahara sometimes, because I now know how easily reversible feline hepatic lipidosis, or fatty liver disease, is. I'm sure that's what she had, probably from the stress of being in a cage in a pet store. If I had known then what I know now, would I have been able to save her?

Maybe, or maybe not — but regardless I think it's better to try your best to save a cat with fatty liver disease, rather than to suffer the feelings of regret and second-guessing later on.

Cleo is eating a normal amount!

I recently became concerned that Cleo was developing hepatic lipidosis, or fatty liver, again. She had hepatic lipidosis once before, and I had to force feed her to get her well again — but you can read about all that in the first two months of archives on this blog.

Anyway, I decided that I had averted a full-blown case of fatty liver almost a week ago. I don't know what caused her to stop eating, but she lost a lot of weight very quickly, and I do think she would have gotten sick again if I hadn't noticed the signs earlier this time.

Thankfully, I got her eating again almost right away, but she still wasn't eating the normal amount for a cat her size until the last day or two. Now she is happily going through the full recommended amount listed on the back of the can, and would probably overeat if I allowed her to.

I'm thinking I'll keep her on canned cat food for now. I've never been a big fan of it, because I've been told (by vets) that it rots their teeth, but right now bad teeth are better than liver failure. Until I know what caused Cleo to stop eating her dry food and nearly develop feline hepatic lipidosis again, I'm keeping her on the food I know she'll eat.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Feline hepatic lipidosis: Links for more information

There are a lot of pages out there with good information on feline hepatic lipidosis. Here are a few good ones:

Feline Hepatic Lipidosis This article is written by a woman who has successfully nursed back to health four different cats with fatty liver disease, several of which were pretty far gone by the time she got them. She ignored the vets when they said the cats couldn't be saved, and nursed them anyways — and they all pulled through!

She does recommend herbal treatments, but I'm not so sure that's necessary. Getting enough protein into the cat is the key.

Pet Care Library: Feline Hepatic Lipidosis This is a nice, concise article on the symptoms and treatment of feline hepatic lipidosis.

Max's House: Feline Hepatic Lipidosis (Fatty Liver Syndrome) — I actually do NOT recommend this article, but I wanted to put the link here in order to state why. The author is obviously a big fan of hospitalization, and claims that force-feeding doesn't work. Beg to differ, bud!

He advocates tube feeding as an alternative. Somehow, though, I would think that having a tube surgically implanted would be much more stressful to an already-stressed cat than having someone they love and trust force-feeding them. Fatty Liver Disease in Cats A good, comprehensive article that stresses the importance of timeliness in treating feline hepatic lipidosis.

I hope these materials convey to you the reversibility of feline hepatic lipidosis, or fatty liver disease. Don't give up hope for your feline friend — you can get her well again!

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Feline hepatic lipidosis is CURABLE

When I had my old site, I always had a lot of people contact me to thank me for the information. Most people said they were very relieved to know that other cat owners were able to cure their pets of feline hepatic lipidosis.

I think it's important for people to know that fatty liver disease is CURABLE. There is no reason why you can't get your cat through this! It takes a lot of time and patience, and if you are too busy or otherwise unable to force feed your cat throughout the day you might have to hospitalize her for the time being... But it's better than losing one of your best friends.

A fatty liver will start working normally again once it gets enough protein running through it on a daily basis. At that point your cat's appetite will return and she will start eating on her own again — providing you also take care of whatever made her stop eating in the first place, of course. For Cleo, that was a safe place to live and eat, where the dog couldn't harass her. For your cat, it might be dental work or treating another disease that was making her feel sick.

Force-feeding has to be done frequently and in small quantities, or your cat will be more likely to throw up her meals. One of the effects of feline hepatic lipidosis is to make the cat feel extremely nauseous, which is why she doesn't eat on her own. This will also cause her to throw up if you give her too much at one time.

If your cat is not drinking on her own, you may need to also give her fluids intravenously. I had the vet give me an IV bag and a bunch of needles, and I gave her fluids myself — every night at first, then every other night, and finally every 3 nights or so. As she started feeling better, the first thing she did was to start drinking on her own, which was good because I hated giving her the IV.

The point here is that there is HOPE for your cat. Don't give up, don't put her to sleep because you think it's better than suffering. You can get her well again, and probably within only a month or two. Feline hepatic lipidosis is a completely reversible condition!

Friday, April 4, 2008

Causes of feline hepatic lipidosis, or fatty liver disease

My recent fears that Cleo could be developing feline hepatic lipidosis, or fatty liver disease, again have me thinking about what could have caused her to stop eating as much and lose weight like she has — about 3 pounds in a month or so.

The problem with hepatic lipidosis/fatty liver is that it can happen for just about any reason. No matter what causes the cat to stop eating, her liver gets bogged down when it tries to process her fat stores as energy. I read somewhere once that even eating two-thirds the usual amount of food over a period of several weeks can cause feline hepatic lipidosis.

Just about anything that causes a cat to stop eating can bring about feline hepatic lipidosis. She might stop eating because she's sick with another disease. She might not want to eat because her teeth hurt. The food you are feeding her might smell or taste bad to her. Or it might even be stress. Whatever the cause, it's bad news anytime your cat stops eating for a long period of time — especially if she is overweight, since fatty liver disease more commonly happens in cats that are overweight to start with.

Cleo's first bought of fatty liver disease happened because she was too afraid of the dog to get to her food. She probably stopped eating almost entirely, and within a month and a half, she'd become extremely sick.

This time around, I'm not sure what the cause was. I initially thought it was the dogs again, but Cleo doesn't seem as afraid of them as she used to be. I also have considered the possibility that her teeth are hurting her, since I've never had them cleaned. Finally, I've wondered if her previous bout with feline hepatic lipidosis weakened her other bodily systems, and as a result she's getting sick from a failure of some other bodily function.

All I know is, Cleo stopped eating her dry food as much a couple of months ago. For a while she seemed to be eating my other cat's kitten food instead (we have him on kitten food because he is always too skinny on regular food). We started getting on her about that, since she definitely didn't need the extra fat in the kitten food — she was about 13 pounds.

Unfortunately, she stopped eating the kitten food, but didn't go back to eating her own food. I'm not so sure it was us yelling at her that made her stop eating the kitten food, either — getting into trouble has never influenced her behavior before!

I definitely need to take her to the vet sometime soon.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Treating feline hepatic lipidosis: Force-feeding

Although it seems Cleo has avoided a full-blown case of hepatic lipidosis, I've still had to force-feed her a few times. I've therefore been thinking about different approaches and what works best.

When Cleo was first diagnosed with feline hepatic lipidosis, or fatty liver, in November of 2005, I remember doing some research online (which is, of course, what inspired me to put my own blog up). I found a website that recommended, as a method of force-feeding, rolling wet cat food into little balls and placing them in the back of the cat's mouth.

I never actually tried this method, but honestly I don't know how well it would work. You'd have to be sure to roll the balls of cat food small enough that they wouldn't choke the cat, for one thing. And you'd have to be really good and fast (or have a really tolerant cat) in order to pry the cat's mouth open, hold it, and get the ball of cat food into the right place.

When Cleo had hepatic lipidosis in 2005, I force-fed her using large plastic syringes. The vet gave me a type of moist cat food that had a very thin consistency, which I mixed with water in order to make a sort of cat food soup. I drew that up into the syringe, trying my best not to get any air bubbles in there.

To force Cleo's mouth open, I stuck the plastic tip of the syringe into the corner of her mouth. As soon as she opened her mouth, I depressed the plunger, a little at a time. I couldn't go too fast, or she'd throw up.

Actually, she threw up quite a bit, and I wonder now if it was partly from all the air in the syringe. It might have upset her stomach.

This time around, when I was concerned about a repeat case of feline hepatic lipidosis, I used regular cat food and a spoon to force feed her. I mixed the cat food with water, just enough so that it would slide off the spoon easily, but not so much as to dilute the protein concentration too much.

To force-feed her using the spoon, I wrapped her up in a towel and held her in my lap like a baby, just like before — but this time I reached around with the arm that held her and used that hand to get her mouth open. Then with my free hand, I could spoon a little cat food into her mouth. I let go of her mouth and let her swallow (growling at me the entire time, of course), and then force-fed her another bite.

I only had to do that a few times this time around, though. Let's hope she continues eating on her own.


Wednesday, April 2, 2008

A near-fatty liver experience

Cleo is eating better now, so I'm thinking we have averted a full-blown case of feline fatty liver disease.

This morning when I got up her bowl was licked clean, and she went immediately over to it to ask for more. She didn't eat very much when I gave it to her, but she still is showing that she has some appetite.

I'm still wondering what caused her to stop eating and lose weight like crazy. I've wondered if her teeth are bothering her, although that does seem unlikely at 6 years of age. She's still technically a young cat.

I've also wondered if her previous bout with feline fatty liver disease put stress on her other systems, and caused something else to fail.

I guess there's nothing for it — I'll have to spend the $100 or so for a vet check and blood panel.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Possible causes

I've been trying to figure out what could have caused Cleo to stop eating, and I think I might have figured something out — at least, this could have caused the fact that she completely stopped eating the last couple of days.

Toward the end of last week, Michael mentioned to me that our toilet water has been pretty gross looking. Sure enough, it has had a slight yellowish tinge.

I didn't think much of it until I ran a bath yesterday, and the water had that same yellowish tinge — except much worse, since it was deeper. I also noticed that my bath smelled like a pool.

After we talked to our neighbors about it and found out that we were both experiencing the same thing, they called the water plant. Afterward they called us back to let us know what they found out: Evidently they've been putting lots of chlorine in the water, in order to counteract a high level of manganese.

After finding that out last night, we went out and got bottled water for ourselves and for the pets' water dishes. We were still making their dinners with tap water, though.

This morning I found Cleo's bowl licked clean. I gave her more wet food, mixing it with a little tap water that I heated in the electric tea kettle. (I've been concerned that her teeth might be bothering her.)

She sniffed it and wouldn't touch it, so on a whim I gave her some food without tap water in it. And guess what? She ate some!

She only ate a little, but hopefully the lack of over-chlorinated manganese water will help bring at least a little of her appetite back. It's not the cause, because she started losing weight and eating less long before the water problems surfaced, but it definitely wasn't helping things any!

My suspicions of hepatic lipidosis (fatty liver)

I mentioned that I am afraid Cleo might be coming down with hepatic lipidosis, or fatty liver, again. Some of the symptoms are the same as last time, some aren't.

Symptoms that are the same as last time:

* She has lost a lot of weight in a short amount of time — 3 pounds in about a month, compared to 4 pounds in a month last time

* She has very little appetite

* She gagged once when presented with her food, just as she used to do when she had fatty liver disease in 2005 — the liver failure causes nausea, which is what makes them stop eating entirely

Symptoms that are different from last time:

* She does have a little appetite — I've only force-fed her three times in the past three days

* She doesn't hide all the time or sit in the same place for hours on end — I think it was sheer lack of energy and not feeling well that made her do that before

What does this mean?

I don't know if this means she has feline hepatic lipidosis again, and we just caught it earlier this time, or if she has something else wrong with her. Also, I don't know what would have made her stop eating this time. Last time it was that a dog had moved in with us; although we have two dogs now, both of whom harass her from time to time, she has been dealing with it just fine.

For the time being, I'm feeding Cleo wet food, in an attempt to head off another case of fatty liver (if that is indeed what it is). If she doesn't snap out of it soon, I'll take her to the vet.

Is it hepatic lipidosis again?

Back in the fall of 2005, my cat Cleo had a major bout of hepatic lipidosis, or fatty liver. Within about a month, she dropped from probably around 12 pounds, down to about 8. I didn't notice that she was sick until she'd already stopped eating and drinking.

It took about a month of force-feeding and numerous vet visits, but Cleo kicked hepatic lipidosis in the butt! Before long, she was back up to around 13 pounds. Too heavy, I knew, but there's not much I can do when my other cat hardly eats at all — to put her on a diet would be to starve him!

Recently it seems that Cleo may be fighting a second bout of fatty liver. She has lost weight again — about 3 pounds in a month, I think — and her appetite is weak (though thankfully not completely gone).

The fresh scare inspired me to start this blog. During Cleo's last bought with hepatic lipidosis, I kept track of her progress in web pages on my own site. As soon as I can, I'm going to transport all of those pages into this blog.

Since starting Cleo's pages in late 2005, I have had many emails from other cat owners, whose pets were sick with hepatic lipidosis. Most of them have thanked me for giving them hope that their cats could recover from the disease. I hope Cleo's new site will continue to help other cat owners dealing with fatty liver disease!