FELINE HEPATIC LIPIDOSIS
Hepatic lipidosis, or fatty liver, is a common syndrome characterized by excess fat accumulation in the liver of cats. It can occur in cats of any age or breed and may affect more females than males. Hepatic lipidosis classically occurs after a period of anorexia of at least 2 weeks duration. When an additional disease state is found to be the cause of the anorexia, the hepatic lipidosis is defined as "secondary." This is both preventable as well as reversible if caught in time and treated.
Feline Hepatic Lipidosis, also known as Feline Fatty Liver Syndrome, is one of the most common forms of liver disease of cats. The disease officially has no known cause, or idiopathic, though obesity is known to increase the risk. The disease begins when the cat stops eating from a loss of appetite, forcing the liver to convert body fat into usable energy. If this process continues for too long, fat builds up in the cells of the liver, and the disease has officially onset. Prognosis varies depending on the stage of the disease, with both a high recovery and mortality rate at different stages. The disease is reversible through intense feeding. Most research suggests that there are no breed, sex, or age preferences for the development of hepatic lipidosis. One retrospective study suggested that female and middle-age cats are at greater risk. Obese or overweight cats that undergo a period of anorexia and weight loss may be particularly at risk. Anorexia often of several weeks duration, is the primary presenting complaint in cats with this syndrome. Observant owners may report jaundice. Other clinical findings are vomiting, weakness, weight loss, and diarrhea. Physical examination commonly reveals dehydration, cachexia, jaundice, and hepatomegaly. All of these findings are also reported in cats with other hepatobiliary