Cat Nutrition – Feeding a cat with liver failure


What is Liver Failure in Cats?

Liver Disease refers to any condition which may affect the function of the liver. The Liver is involved in digestion & the use of nutrients, the removal of toxins from the blood, and storage of vitamins and minerals. If the liver is not functioning correctly then toxins will build up in the blood stream making the animal very ill. Liver disease can be caused by a number of things, such as; viruses and bacteria, tumours, damage caused by drugs and chemicals (overworking to eliminate them). Age can contribute to the likelihood of liver diseases – young animals may inherit liver disorders, and in older animals liver disease can be common. Some breeds are more pre-disposed to liver disorders, such as; Siamese cats. Unfortunately almost 70% of the liver needs to be affected before symptoms will show, and the symptoms are not specific and can appear to be similar to other complaints so blood tests, ultrasound scans and biopsies may be suggested by your vet to confirm liver failure in cats.

Symptoms of kidney disease in cats include;

  • Reduced appetite
  • Unusual behaviour
  • Depressed
  • Vomiting & Diarrhoea
  • Weight loss
  • Increased thirst
  • Jaundice
  • Abdominal swelling 

If your pet is displaying any of these signs then make an appointment to see your veterinary surgeon

What diet should I feed my cat with kidney failure?

If the liver becomes inflamed this is known as hepatitis, if this is left untreated the liver cells will be replaced with scar tissue, but the liver can regenerate and repair itself providing the causes of the problem are eliminated or reduced. The correct nutrition can help to reduce the amount of toxins produced and therefore the workload; it will improve the efficiency and help the liver to recover. The diet provided must be highly palatable and energy dense as appetite is often impaired, there should be reduced protein to avoid excess waste being produced from its breakdown, the protein that is provided should be of high quality, it should be low in copper and the energy source should be obtained from a controlled provision of fat and digestible carbohydrates, and high in fibre.

Diets recommended for cats with Liver disease:

Hills Feline Prescription Diet LD

Doxion is a feed supplement that helps maintain glutathione levels as well as providing other nutrients which help promote liver health. It is available in 100mg, 225mg and 425mg SAMe tablets. Doxion contains S-Adenosyl-L-methionine (SAMe) a substance naturally produced by a healthy pet. The SAMe in Doxion is absorbed through the small intestine and is then metabolised to glutathione, an oxygen free radical scavenger. Each tablet is enteric coated to prevent the SAMe from being degraded by stomach acids. For this reason Doxion tablets should be administered whole and unbroken. Doxion also contains Milk Thistle another antioxidant, which has effects on iron chelation and hypatotoxins as well as glutathione concentration and a range of other micronutrients designed for liver support such as; Vitamin B complex, Zinc and Amino acids.

Hepatosyl is a nutritional supplement for cats and dogs containing a stable, pure and absorbable form of S-adenosylmethionine (SAMe). In additon to SAMe, Hepatosyl also contains a unique combination of Vitamin E, Vitamin K and Magnesium. Hepatosyl is available in 50mg, 100mg and 200mg strengths.

Give daily for 2-3 months and then every other day or third day for maintenance.

The number of capsules can be gradually reduced or may be increased at any time depending on the pet`s specific needs. Capsules to be given orally or broken open and mixed with food.

Samylin is a `next generation` nutraceutical to maintain a healthy liver containing 4 key ingredients to help maintain natural antioxidant levels which in turn help with secondary changes in hepatic function.

Cats and Dogs under 5kg 1 sachet daily Dogs 5-10kg 2 sachets daily.

Zentonil is a nutritional supplement that may serve as an aid in all cases where the liver is under stress.

Recently re-branded as the UK's FIRST palatable and divisible tablet range of S-adenosyl-methionine (SAMe) supplementation.

Zentonil ADVANCE -contains pure SAMe plus silybin Zentonil PLUS- contains pure SAMe only.

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