what causes liver damage in cats

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What Causes Liver Damage in Cats

August 14, 2016

Cats, like humans too, may have serious disease in the vital organs which needs to be treated as soon as possible. Among many internal organs, liver is one of them which can be easily damaged by several causes.

Liver is the largest vital organ inside the body and it’s supposed to succeed the detoxification, functional, and metabolic process in the body. Liver is located under the diaphragm, in the abdomen. Yes, liver is also the only internal organ which can rejuvenate itself.

The functions of the liver include immune regulation, metabolism, elimination of waste products as well as toxins, regulating protein metabolism as well as energy, producing synthetic proteins and hormones, and aiding digestion

Liver is very vulnerable of poisons and toxic injuries that are consumed. It’s because those substances go directly to liver and liver is also responsible to eliminate them.

Unlike humans, cats are more prone in having liver damage because of toxic intake because cats lack of metabolic pathways that should have to deal with those dangerous substances.

Signs of Liver Damage

And as the liver gets more troubled, the more advanced symptoms may happen, such as, abdominal effusion, jaundice, bad breath, seizures, vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, liver enlargement or even small liver, and increased thirst and increased urination.

The Causes

causes liver damage in cats

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What causes liver damage in cats? First, it can be toxin or poison. As stated before, cats have lack of metabolic pathways to the liver. Thus, the harmful substances can go right through the liver.

This way, the liver will suffer from damage. Be careful, toxins cannot only come from foods or any kind of object chewed by the cats, it can be also be from medications.

Hepatic lipidosis. This can be caused by anorexia in cats. The poor condition of cat’s body can lead to liver disease. So, be careful when your cat loses its appetite. It’s better to change the foods or even consult to the vet rather than let it starve and eat just when it needs it.

Bacteria can also play an important part. Bacterial infection can cause inflammation. Bacteria can move through the bile duct and right to the liver from the small intestines. When the liver has been disturbed by bacteria, it can be damaged.

Abnormality in immune system can lead to non-inflammatory liver disease. This condition is also known as lymphocytic cholangitis, where the liver gets enlarged. Another cause is when a large number of fats stored in the liver cells. This can cause swelling can lead to chronic dysfunction. This can be mostly seen in an overweight cat.

Liver tumours can also be the cause. Yes, tumours can stay inside the liver. It can be primary liver tumour (affecting only the liver) and secondary liver tumour (spread to other organs). Tumours like this can soon lead to cancer, and unfortunately has bad prognosis.

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