The first described clinical case of feline hepatic lipidosis was published in 1977. Today it is one of the most commonly reported liver diseases in the domestic cat. Some of the symptoms include a period of non-eating in a previously overweight or obese cat. The cat will begin Vomiting, have jaundice, or some sort of brain symptoms (inability to control movement). Clinical indications include elevation of serum bile concentrations and liver enzymes. Confirmation of this disease is done by biopsy, as several other feline diseases present with similar symptoms. The pathologic mechanism of this disease is related to the release of fat stores within the animal, and the liver being unable to secrete enough very low density lipoprotein, leading to lipid accumulation in the liver.<\p>

The cause of this disease is unknown. It is reported that the disease begins after stressful conditions such as the changes of household habits (owner goes on vacation, getting a dog, etc) but some cats have been reported to come down with the disease after eating commercial dog food. <\p>

The prognosis for cats not seen by a veterinarian in the first few days after the onset of symptoms is poor. The cat must have its needed caloric intake or else face death through liver failure.<\p>

A standard course of action for this disease is to stabilize the cat by introducing IV fluids to combat dehydration. The cat is fitted with a stomach tube, and is given a high protein meal several times a day. The tube feeding is continued until the cat is able to eat on his own, sometimes for as long as a few months.<\p>

It seems that the only way to prevent this disease is to monitor the cat’s weight, and not allowing it to become obese. No vaccination or medicine will change the course of this disease.<\p>

For Cooper, who is just waking up from having his stomach tube placed.<\small><\p>

Compiled from:
J.Anim. Physiol. A. Anim. Nutr. 88(2004),73-87
J. Nutr. 128(1998),2747S-2750S
And discussions with my vet<\p>