Cat recovering from hepatic lipidosis

Dtm1966-2

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I have 12 year old cat that got an URI and stopped eating. She then developed hepatic lipidosis. After 3 days of force feeding weds through Fri she ate exclusively on her own yesterday. Friday she ate half the time on her own and half force fed. Yesterday she seemed very hungry and ate well. Today she is eating ok but not as well as yesterday. We are also still giving her things she likes. So today by 3 pm. She has eaten a few bites of canned cat food, about 1-2 Tbsp dry cat food, 12ish temptation treats and 1.6 oz (wt) of boiled chicken breast. Is this enough. Of couse we will continue to feed her the rest of the day. She really really like chicken breast and eventually we will need to wean her off it. Looking for advise on this transition period back to normal feeding. Don’t want to do it too soon
 
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Dtm1966-2

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I called it hepatic lipidosis because that’s what the vet called it. I looked it up and it’s also called fatty liver. She was also jaundiced
 

fionasmom

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When you say forced feeding, do you mean that a feeding tube was used? Was there an underlying cause of the condition? You mention that the cat had a URI and stopped eating but there can be other conditions which predispose a cat to it. Pancreatitis and IBD, for example, were ruled out?

Given how important nutritional support is for cats recovering from this, I would say that she needs more and, in this case I would not put cat treats very high on the list of supportive foods. Was she given an appetite stimulant like mirtazapine?
 
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Dtm1966-2

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She does not have pancreatitis or kidney issues. I don’t know what IBD is. Force feeding was giving her I/D food with a large syringe. She is getting mirtazapine transdurmally plus a pill for nausea and B12. I was giving her fluids under skin but today she is not dehydrated and is drinking well. She is more alert I see no yellow in her third eye or gums anymore.
 
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Dtm1966-2

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I have more I/D food and can do the syringe thing more. But she really doesn’t like it and now she is feeling better is starting to fight it harder. Where as at first she didn’t fight it.
 

fionasmom

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So you are making progress if the jaundice seems to be gone and the B12 and nausea med are good. I think that she does need to eat more though and you need to monitor her intake of food and keep the vet informed if she does not return to normal or stops eating again. I would try to give her regular food, or whatever might have been prescribed, and see if she will eat without the syringe being used. At this point, the chicken is fine, but it is incomplete as far as what she needs, so if she does not transition to a more balanced diet I would contact the vet.
 

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If the vet didn't give you restrictions on what she can eat at this point, I would try anything and everything - leaning toward whatever she favors the most. The more she eats on her own, and less she is syringed fed the better - they syringe feeding can backfire, especially once she starts to fight you (although that is a good sign in terms of her feeling better). You mentioned I/D food - what about A/D food (Hill's Prescription Diet® a/d® Canine/Feline Critical Care)? Kitten food? Both of these would be nutritionally complete.

Adding things like baby food meats (Gerber Stage 2 or Beechnut), lickable treats, toppers, gravies, broths including bone broths, to any of the above - or other - cat foods might be an option to get more calories in her and/or encourage her to eat more on her own.

It sounds like you are making headway, but from all that I understand about hepatic lipidosis, it is a very slow turn around to normal. The very fact that you (so far) haven't needed to have a feeding tube inserted is a very positive thing!
 
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Dtm1966-2

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Sorry it was A/D food. She has never been a fan of wet food. And now when she smells the A/D wet food she runs thinking I am going to syringe feed her. Right now She is sitting on my lap and I offer her two kibbles every 3-5 minutes from my hand. She will eat 1 or 2 of them. Every 10-12 or so she refuses and then I give her a temptation treat. I have gotten another 2 Tbsp dry food down her. Will just keep this up all evening. Plus she ate another 0.4-ish oz of chicken breast. I guess slow and steady is the goal.
 
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