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Hepatic Lipidosis

Hepatic Lipidosis / Liver Disease

Herbal feline and canine liver disease remedies for treatment of liver problems in cats and dogs.

The liver is a complex organ that interacts with most other organs in the body, including the intestinal tract, cardiovascular system, kidneys, and autonomic nervous system and herbal remedies provide support to the  liver and gallbladder, support liver metabolism, bile production and flow, hepatic circulation and immune function, kidney rehabilitation and support of the bladder and gall bladder.

The liver has a host of functions in your pet’s body and it is responsible for building and breaking down fats, carbohydrates and proteins as well as storing vitamins, minerals, glycogen (a form of glucose) and triglycerides (the building blocks of fat). It plays a vital role in the production of red blood cells and produces factors important for the normal clotting of blood.

Additionally, it is an essential part of the immune system; it assists in digestion by producing bile and is essential for detoxification of a variety of toxic compounds that your pet’s body system encounters every day.

This is indeed an impressive list of functions, all of which are important in maintaining your pet’s health. However, in performing these functions the liver may be subjected to damage with resultant poor functioning. When your pet’s liver is not functioning properly, toxins will build up, digestion will be affected and there may be a shortage of essential substances such as glucose, vitamins and minerals.

Liver disease, also known as hepatitis is a broad term for describing a number of conditions affecting the liver. These may include bacterial infections, tumors, blockage of the bile ducts from the gall bladder, circulation disorders of the liver, viral diseases such as infectious canine hepatitis and a variety of toxins that may damage the cells of the liver.

This is the most common cause of liver disease in cats. It is especially common in overweight cats. Your cat or dog is at risk of developing this condition if he/she becomes anorexic (does not eat) for more than a few days. Cats stop eating for a multitude of reasons: they may dislike the food provided, they may be in pain, ill or might suffer from environmental stress or anxiety.

All pets can succumb to liver disease but certain breeds are genetically predisposed.

Purebred dogs such as Miniature Schnauzers, Yorkshire Terriers, Cairn Terriers, Maltese, Scottish Terriers, Pugs, Irish Wolfhounds, Golden Retrievers, Labradors, German Shepherds and Poodles have a higher incidence of liver disease. Conversely, in cats, mixed breeds are more predisposed, although among the purebred cats, Persians and Himalayans do develop liver problems.

Your pet may be born with a liver disorder. The most common disorder of this type is known as a portosystemic shunt and is the condition where blood flow is diverted away from the liver. As a result, the liver cannot remove toxins from the blood and classic symptoms of liver disease will appear.

Young pets affected in this way will usually start showing symptoms between 6 months and 1 year of age.

Liver tumors tend to occur in older pets, with most animals with liver cancer being diagnosed after the age of 10 years.

What are the symptoms of liver disease?

The onset of the symptoms of liver disease may be very rapid in the case of a poisoning or may take some time to show if the liver is affected by a slow growing tumor. The symptoms that your pet might show include:

Vomiting

Anorexia

Diarrhea

Stomach ulcers

Nervous signs

Fever

Blood clotting disorders

Jaundice (yellow gums and eyes)

Fluid build up in the abdomen

Excessive thirst and urination

Weight loss

Dementia

Seizures

Coma

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The nervous signs may include circling, head pressing, aimless wandering, weakness, staggering gait, blindness, aggression, dementia and coma. Your vet may refer to these signs as hepatic encephalopathy.

These signs are due to the build up of toxins in your pet’s brain, especially ammonia which is normally broken down into harmless components by the liver. On blood tests, your pet may have too few red blood cells (anemia) and your vet will probably detect elevated liver enzymes.

The causes of liver disease are numerous and include:

Viral infections

Bacterial infections

Toxins such as pesticides

Certain drugs such as corticosteroids

Anorexia in cats (causes Feline Hepatic Lipidosis)

Leptospirosis

Obstructions of the gall bladder

Other diseases ex. Diabetes, Cushings and Hyperthyroidism

Tumors, cancer

Other reasons animals stop eating related to hepatic lipidosis:

28% had inflammatory bowel disease

20% had a second type of liver disease (usually cholangiohepatitis)

14% had cancer

11% had pancreatitis

5% had social problems (new cat, new home, threatening other pet or person at home)

4% had some kind of respiratory disease

2% were diabetic

If your cat goes without food for more than 3 days, there may be an excessive build up of fat within the cells of the liver. This is referred to as lipidosis. This is the body’s normal response to a spell of anorexia but the effects on the liver can be devastating. The fat that builds up in the liver cells prevents the bile produced in the liver cells from leaving the cells. This build up of bile is toxic and causes marked damage to the liver cells, resulting in liver disease and failure.

Lipidosis is considered as a cause or contributing cause of liver failure when a cat or dog that was once overweight loses weight too quickly. Often the owner is not aware that such a thing is dangerous and is pleased to see the obese cat trimming down. By the time the cat actually stops eating and is clearly sick, the disease is well underway and will require more aggressive support to reverse.

Herbal Remedies:

Herbal remedies provide natural and alternative therapies to alleviate symptoms of liver disease, to support, rehabilitate and repair proper liver function, metabolism, bile production and flow; to normalize and regenerate liver cells, to detoxify the liver, kidneys and gall bladder and support healthy immunity.

Hepa Protect – (learn more) supports proper liver function, metabolism, bile production and flow, rehabilitates the performance, health and repair of the liver, kidneys, bladder and gall bladder, detoxifies the kidneys and liver, tones and balances the connective tissue of the liver, kidneys and bladder, normalizes liver enzyme levels, regulates kidney acid/alkaline levels, for all types of stones and gravel of the liver, kidneys, bladder and gallbladder, reduces uric acid, for gall bladder inflammation, gall stones and gallbladder infections, for renal colic and renal calculi.

Stix & Stones – (learn more) promotes kidney function, helps to break up kidney, liver, gallbladder and bladder stones and gravel (active stones, crystals and as a preventative), helps to safely remove stones from the body; treats urinary infections, for kidney and liver disease, tones and balances kidney, liver, intestine, pancreas, gall bladder function and health, reduces uric acid levels in urine, increases urination, blocks the formation of calcium oxalate, provides pH modulation, for urinary system disorders and pathologies and for hepatic insufficiency.

Love Your Liver - (learn more) promotes the performance, health and repair of the liver, kidneys and bladder, facilitates rental and digestive excretions, provides protection and detoxification from insecticides, toxins, vaccinations, an inappropriate diet and an excess of food, relieves symptoms such as pressure, stomach pain, nausea, vomiting and flatulence, regulates kidney acid/alkaline levels, for hepatic lipidosis, Fatty Liver Disease (FLD),  Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease (FLUTD), Feline Urological Syndrome (FUS) and Feline cholangiohepatitis.

Ensure regular, adequate exercise

Do not feed your pet chocolate

Avoid unnecessary use of pesticides, herbicides and flea collars

Don’t smoke around your pet (in fact don’t smoke at all)

Feed a balanced, organic diet that is free of preservatives and colorants

Ensure that your pet always has plenty of fresh, filtered water

Take time out to have fun with your pet, it’s a great way to relieve stress

Visit your vet once a year for your pet’s annual health check

Related Products:

Natural homeopathic remedy improves liver, pancreas & gallbladder health in cats and dogs

I’m Allergic to Needles! – (learn more) is used for proper pancreatic support, health and function, charged with producing proper insulin levels, for all types of diabetes I and II, to reduce glucose levels in blood and for insulin resistance, to improve the glycemic index in pets with diabetes, to regulate metabolic stress, and maintain proper liver metabolism, circulation, bile production and flow, for hepatic immune function, useful in regulating excess weight and fatty deposits.

Probiotic Lean Machine - (learn more) contains healthy fatty Omega 3 acids used to support healthy body weight, used in the treatment of skin conditions and to promote healthy skin and coat, to support and tone the lymphatic system, to balance glandular activities including the thyroid, adrenal and pituitary glands, to support and maintain healthy thyroid function and to soothe the thyroid and endocrine system, for allergies, alopecia, allergic dermatitis, moist dermatitis (hot spots), to stimulate tissue repair and for all types of arthritis.

Conventional Remedies:

A diagnosis will be based on a history of not eating as well as the clinical symptoms of weight loss, jaundice and lethargy. Blood tests will confirm the diagnosis although additional tests such as an ultrasound or biopsy of the liver may be needed.

It is important to distinguish tests of liver damage (like enzymes) versus tests of liver function (like bile acids). The enzymes ALT and AST are normally held inside liver cells; when their presence is detected free in the bloodstream, this is an indicator of liver cell death. A liver can have damage without any decrease in its overall function.

Treatment is purely supportive with the aim of providing nutrition until your cat starts eating on its own again. If the cause for the anorexia can be determined this must be treated e.g. a course of antibiotics for an infection. It may be necessary to force feed a high calorie diet and your vet might need to put a feeding tube into your cat’s stomach. It may also be necessary to put your cat onto intravenous fluids.

As a conscientious pet owner you obviously wish to do all you can to restore your pet to health and vitality. Seeing your cat so ill will be very distressing and certainly all options for treatment should be investigated.

Depending on the cause of the liver disease, treatment may or may not be possible. Treatment options might include:

Intravenous fluids

Antibiotics

Laxatives

Blood transfusions

Corticosteroids

Ursodeoxycholic acid

Colchicine

Vitamin and mineral supplements

Force feeding a high calorie diet

Chemotherapy

Because the liver is such an important organ in your pet’s body, it is important that any treatment that is undertaken is done at an early stage of the disease process. The liver has a remarkable capacity for regeneration but care must be taken to not do further damage to the liver during the treatment process.

By adopting a holistic approach to the healing of your pet and acknowledging the importance of a balanced natural diet for optimizing healing, your pet’s liver will be given the best chance of repairing and regenerating itself.

Over the last few years, natural and alternative therapy has become more and more popular amongst pet owners, especially as unlike conventional drug therapies, natural therapies are side effect free.

Natural and alternative therapies to alleviate symptoms of liver disease include:

Herbal medicines (naturopathy)

Homeopathy

Acupuncture

A combination of herbal and homeopathic remedies such as Silybum marianus, Arctium lappa, Chelidonium majus, Kali mur, Nat phos and Nat sulph can be used to promote a healthy liver. Herbal and homeopathic remedies may also be used alongside conventional treatment for liver disease, but remember to discuss this with your veterinarian.

Ensure regular, adequate exercise

Do not feed your pet chocolate

Avoid unnecessary use of pesticides, herbicides and flea collars

Don’t smoke around your pet (in fact don’t smoke at all)

Feed a balanced, organic diet that is free of preservatives and colorants

Ensure that your pet always has plenty of fresh, filtered water

Take time out to have fun with your pet, it’s a great way to relieve stress

Visit your vet once a year for your pet’s annual health check

Related Products:

Natural homeopathic remedy improves liver, pancreas & gallbladder health in cats and dogs

Immunity and Liver Support™

Herbal remedy for cats and dogs to promote a healthy immune system and liver functioning

 

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