What are normal liver enzyme levels in cats
Liver enzyme levels are usually normal in healthy cats.
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What are potential causes of liver failure?
The causes of liver failure vary greatly. Some cases may be due to viral or parasitic infections, or to an obstruction of bile that is causing liver damage. Some cases may be due to dietary or nutritional deficiencies, or to immune disorders. Some cases may have no obvious cause.
What signs and symptoms should I watch for?
Liver failure in a cat can occur gradually or suddenly. Usually the first sign of liver failure is loss of appetite and weight loss. Other signs and symptoms that may occur include diarrhea, bloating, vomiting, and dark or tarry stools. In severe cases, vomiting can make the cat dehydrated, and can lead to liver failure if the cat is not kept hydrated. Fever may be a sign of infection. In some cases, however, fever can be a sign of liver failure.
How is liver failure diagnosed?
Liver failure has several different causes, and may be diagnosed by a combination of testing.
What is the treatment for liver failure?
The treatment of choice for liver disease is liver transplantation. Deciding whether or not to perform a liver transplant is a very personal decision.
What are the chances of recovery after a liver transplant?
Many cats who receive a liver transplant are able to lead relatively normal lives. Some cats will have complications (such as the need for medication or a feeding tube), but most do well.
I have a friend who has just had a liver transplant for the same type of liver disease that my cat has. What should I do?
While it is a great comfort to know that your friend has been successfully treated for liver failure, please keep in mind that it is impossible to predict how your cat will respond to treatment. The treatment for liver failure for cats is very different from the treatment for humans. Liver failure in cats is a very serious situation, and it is important that you discuss the situation with the veterinarian who will be treating your cat and with your veterinarian.
Is there a cure for liver failure?
The answer to this question depends on the cause of liver failure. If the cause is an autoimmune disease, such as FIP, the liver will eventually regenerate and the cat will recover. Most cases of FIP have no symptoms and are diagnosed only when the cat is dying. Most FIP cases are mild, and most FIP cases can be cured. Treatment can include the use of anti-inflammatory drugs to eliminate the symptoms of FIP or anti-viral drugs.
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