Hepatic Lipidosis – Tiramisu

My “favorite” cat Misu has been diagnosed with feline hepatic lipidosis (fatty liver).

A month ago, he weighed in at 13 lbs. He slowly but suddenly started to lose weight. After we returned from Hawaii, he looked visibly skinnier and when you rub his back, you can feel his spine and hip bones. In the beginning I thought it was just the diet food we were feeding him so we switched to their previous food and he was eating a bit more. But on observing him for a few days, he didn’t really eat or drink that much water and all he wanted to do was sit on your lap and be petted and/or sleep.

I had a nightmare about Misu so Ron took him to the emergency vet hospital the next morning. Upon their examination, they wanted him to stay overnight for fluids and to start tube feeds. They had performed quite a few tests, like blood work, an ultrasound, and a liver aspiration. The doctor was worried because he looked jaundiced (you look inside his ear which we didn’t realize) and he weighed in at only 8.8 lbs

So Ron checked him into the hospital. He started at the San Francisco SPCA but there they said they send out to San Francisco Veterinary Specialists so Ron decided to take Misu there instead. SPCA diagnosis would’ve taken 48-72 hours. SFVS said 24-48 hours.

SFVS treats your animal like a real patient with visiting hours and discharge teaching. You can always call them and they always try to answer your questions. If there’s something they cannot answer right away, they promise to get back to you ASAP. I’m waiting for them to send us Misu’s blood and cytology results so we’ll see if they follow through.

So on the first night, we visited Misu around 8:30pm but we could only visit for about 15 minutes since he was getting IV fluids. Poor guy had gone under sedation for a nasogastric (NG) tube placement and his liver aspiration. The blue bandage is where his IV is in place, he really didn’t want to move that arm. The cone is around his head to prevent him from scratching at the NG tube.

It was sad to leave him there but he was in capable hands. He was to start tube feed that evening to see how well he would tolerate it.

Thank goodness he was able to tolerate the feeds well and it didn’t look like he had anything additionally wrong with him besides the hepatic lipidosis so the veterinarian said he could come home. I went to get tube feeding training and discharge medications and instructions. Cats get the same drugs as humans:

1. Famotidine 5mg NG Q12hrs x 10 days
2. Metoclopramide 1mg/ml NG TID
3. Cyproheptadine 2mg NG BID to stimulate appetite for 3-4 days, discontinue if not working

We also had instructions for the tube feed titration, starting at 30 ml per feeding on the first evening, increasing to 40 ml per feeding on the 2nd day, to the goal of 50 ml per feeding on the 3rd day. He’s fed 4 times a day and should be encouraged to eat regular cat food if interested.

It’s been quite the experience learning how to do this but Misu is worth it. I think Misu was glad to get home on the first night as he was exploring home until settling down after a meal.

He has a green bandage where his IV used to be.

Taking his nap and trying to find a comfortable position in his familiar chair:

Poor guy has trouble sleeping with the cone around his neck but we can’t take it off or else he might yank out his NG tube.

Ron & I giving Misu his nutrition. He’s very good with it, he usually will just sit and let you feed him. If he feels uncomfortable, we stop and he walks it off usually. This was our first attempt when we brought him home… I was a bit sad (and scared he wouldn’t be take it well but he was a trooper).

He’s at his goal amount of food but still not taking much through mouth yet. His food is Feline/Canine Clinicare Liquid Diet for now but Ron did buy a bunch of soft cat food to see if he’d be interested but so far not really. The first day, he loved to eat these Feline Greenies I got at Pet Food Express but hasn’t been interested today. He perked up when I was eating a chicken sandwich and was excited when I gave him a small bite so he seems to really like chicken. Ron bought mostly seafood soft cat food so I’m going to try to buy some chicken soft cat food tomorrow to see if he’ll be more interested.

Will update more as he heals. I feel guilty for not taking him to the vet sooner, I didn’t think it’d be something as serious as this. I hope we brought him in soon enough so that he can still recover. If you love cats, please keep him in your thoughts.

San Francisco Veterinary Specialists
600 Alabama St

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