Cleo's Progress

One Cat's Struggle with Feline Hepatic Lipidosis



Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thanksgiving reflections on feline hepatic lipidosis

Since it's after midnight, it's technically Thanksgiving now. I am sitting here in bed with my laptop on my lap, my husband asleep beside me, and Cleo giving herself a tongue bath down by his feet. It's a nice reminder of how much I have to be thankful for.

More than three years ago now, shortly after my husband (then my boyfriend) and his dog moved in with me and the cats, Cleo became very ill with feline hepatic lipidosis, a.k.a. fatty liver disease. She had stopped eating when the dog moved in, and since cats' livers aren't made to process fat stores as energy, hers got clogged up with fat and failed.

Luckily I was able to find enough information online to know, even before I went to the vet, that feline hepatic lipidosis is curable — the key is giving the cat enough protein every day until its liver starts functioning again. The vet gave me special food for force feeding her and an IV bag and needles for giving her fluids intraveneously, and I force fed her for four weeks before she started eating on her own again.

I am very thankful to have Cleo with me still today. Feline hepatic lipidosis might be completely curable in most cases, but I still feel lucky... as I'm sure most people do after getting their cats through a bout of fatty liver disease. It's just not something you take for granted!

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