Hepatic lipidosis in a cat

22 Hepatic lipidosis in a cat

Case contributed by Nicki Reed

Case history

The cat presented with an eight-day history of anorexia and rapid weight loss. The cat had also become very dull and lethargic and did not always appear to be aware of his surroundings. He had vomited brown fluid twice in the 24 hours prior to presentation. In addition, the owners reported that the cat seemed to make exaggerated swallowing/gulping motions. The cat’s defecation appeared normal.

In the 3 days prior to presentation the cat had become progressively quieter and less interactive with the owner. The owner felt the cat seemed weak, particularly on its hind limbs. No seizures were reported.

The cat had initially been presented to the referring veterinary surgeon 4 days previously who, unable to find anything specific wrong with the cat, had administered dexamethasone and long-acting penicillin (doses not known). When no improvement was seen after 48 hours, the penicillin injection was repeated and a blood sample obtained, but the results had not been received when referral was deemed necessary.

The cat had been in the owner’s possession since he was a kitten, was fully vaccinated (including against feline leukaemia virus) and wormed every 6 months with a combination of pyrantel and praziquantel.

He was the only cat in the household and had outdoor access via a cat flap. He was fed a complete dried diet ad lib. The cat had always eaten well and had been overweight at 7 kg when last weighed 3 months prior to presentation. The cat’s appetite had declined gradually for about a week prior to him becoming completely anorexic 8 days before presentation.

Although water was always available, the cat was rarely seen to drink and the owner assumed that the cat drank from the pond outside. Recently the cat had developed the habit of drinking out of the toilet. A litter tray was offered in the house, but was rarely used. In the week prior to presentation the cat had become reluctant to go outside and had used the litter tray daily. The owner did not notice any abnormalities in the cat’s urine.

Problem list and discussion of problems

This cat had an extensive problem list, namely: anorexia, weight loss, possible polydipsia, vomiting, exaggerated swallowing/ptyalism, altered mentation, weakness, lethargy, dental disease, dehydration, icterus, hepatomegaly, renal pain and bruising. Whilst some of these problems are non-specific, such as lethargy, others, such as dehydration and weakness, are likely to be a consequence of the disease process.

Differential diagnosis

Differential diagnoses lists were done for the anorexia, weight loss, vomiting, hepatomegaly, icterus, ptyalism, altered mentation, renal pain and ecchymoses. For the most significant problems in this cat these include:

Sep 22, 2016 | Posted by in SMALL ANIMAL | Comments Off on Hepatic lipidosis in a cat

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