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Does my cat have hepatic lipidosis?

July 1st, 2005, 10:25 PM
(I have no idea if I spelled that properly).

I have been struggling with this issue, as some of you are aware, since the beginning of June. After regaining her appetite briefly, Maya's declined...she seems fairly alert but less energetic, and I could tell she was getting skinnier, so I took her back to the vet on Tuesday.

Sure enough, she's lost another pound since the 11th, which makes a total of 2 pounds since the beginning of June...about 20% of her body weight (she was just over 10 pounds and now she's just over 8). They have run several blood tests...glucose, electrolytes, and white blood count all within normal limits. The only elevations she had on this most recent test was a "slight" elevation on her liver enzymes. Both the vets at the hospital have mentioned hepatic lipidosis but have said that her blood tests so far are not conclusive in this regard. They've done blood tests for cancer, diabetes, hyperthyroidism, and Addison's, and nothing's coming up. They've said there's not much more they can do, testing-wise, without something more invasive like a biopsy.

At their instruction, I'm giving her Prednisone morning and evening as an appetite stimulant, and have gone back to the canned food. She's no longer interested in the prescription stuff from the vet...right now, the only thing that will tempt her is the Iams Chicken, and even then she's not eating a whole lot. However, tonight she seems to have more energy than she has for a while...she jumped up on top of the kitchen cabinets (floor to counter to cabinets) for the first time in weeks.

I wondered about hepatic lipidosis is, so did an Internet search and of course scared myself silly. A lot of it fits Maya...that the cat behaves as if hungry and approaches food, then turns away or seems nauseous (she turns away a lot but Fancy Feast was the only thing she gagged at), that they appear healthy and alert in many ways, and that it's often secondary to some other condition. Though the data I read was primarily anecdotal, several of the owners had to feed their cats through stomach tubes for weeks before the cat returned to normal eating habits. I remember going through this with my cat Leia, and it was absolutely heartbreaking when she died.

If anyone has had experience with this, I would certainly appreciate hearing about it, and would appreciate hearing from any of the vets, too. I have gone to the vet every time I have noticed Maya was "off" (we all know when our babies are not well), but it seems she'll eat one thing for a while and then not be interested.

I have another appointment with the vet next week to check her weight and see how she's doing, but I'm frightened that if whatever this condition goes on too long without being identified, it will be too late to get proper treatment. Help!

July 2nd, 2005, 05:11 PM
Look into an Internet search " prednisone-side effects" under or other search engine. there are other safer appetite stimulants your vet can prescribe . As for hepatic lipidosis- pm me.

July 2nd, 2005, 09:29 PM
I know...the website where I found the info about the HL also said steroids should be a last resort, and it isn't working anyway. I'm planning to take Maya to the vet on Tuesday (they're not open on Sundays and Monday is a holiday). She wasn't interested in anything today, so I syringe-fed her a dilution of the prescription food. That seemed to help.

July 3rd, 2005, 08:17 AM
WKnight,I am really sorry about Maya and hoping under your loving care,she'll somehow recover...
I am a little perplexed with so many instances on this Forum where the vet have no idea what's wrong with the animals :pawprint:

July 3rd, 2005, 08:00 PM
Chico2, thank you so much for your good thoughts. It's so frustrating right now, because there's just about nothing I can do. I've bought a half dozen types of cat food and meat baby food (no onions!) and am hoping one of them might tempt her. Yesterday and today, I've been syringe-feeding her just to get some food into her. I called the vet today and will likely be taking her to get more tests and possibly a feeding tube later this week.

Apparently, from the little I've read, it's pretty hard to detect whether or not a cat has this condition because it doesn't show up in most blood tests. Like Maya, there may be a slight elevation in the liver enzymes, but it's hard to be sure. And we still have to figure out what's causing it in the first place.

So I'm sending up little cat prayers. I appreciate the support so much,