Cleo's Progress

One Cat's Struggle with Feline Hepatic Lipidosis

Friday, October 24, 2008

Googling feline hepatic lipidosis

It is three years ago this month that Cleo first became ill with feline hepatic lipidosis, a.k.a. fatty liver disease. My husband and his dog moved in with us at the very end of September 2005, and unbeknownst to us, Cleo stopped eating. We think it was because she felt she couldn't access her food with the dog always hovering over her, checking her out.

I started keeping a website about Cleo's condition almost immediately after she was diagnosed. Later I transferred everything into a blog with its own URL, as it was easier to maintain and update, not to mention easier for visitors to find and interact with. I've received many comments and emails since I transferred everything to this blog — I only wish I had done it sooner!

One thing I have noticed is that most people find my blog at a certain point in their cat's illness — usually when they have reached the pinnacle of frustration and hopelessness. So the good news is, if your cat has feline hepatic lipidosis and you have found this blog, things are probably the worst they are going to get — it's all uphill from here.

Even once you start providing treatment — i.e., force feeding and giving fluids intraveneously — there is a short period in the beginning where your cat will seem to get worse before s/he starts improving. I saw it with Cleo, and I've heard about it from others: At first, you'll have a difficult time getting your cat to keep food down after you force-feed him or her, and you'll start feeling like your cat is never going to get through this.

I remember holding Cleo and sobbing, and all I could think was, "My kitty is dying." Another reader said pretty much the same thing: "I had to hold her while she heaved because she was getting fluids, all the while crying and telling her I was not giving up, and she couldn't either."

So if you have found this blog, chances are it's because you are feeling so hopeless about how the treatment is going that you felt compelled to seek out additional information on how other cat owners coped with feline hepatic lipidosis. If you are anywhere from a few days to a couple of weeks into the force-feeding, I would say that you are probably right now at the worst part, and soon you will start noticing improvements. So don't give up hope!


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