Facts You Need To Know About Enlarged Liver In Cats


Because of some diseases and illnesses, which may either indirectly or directly affect the ability of the liver in functioning, the organ might increase its size –this is what they medically call hepatomegaly. This, in particular is what we are going to discuss in this article. So if you want to learn more about enlarged liver in cats and many more, give this article a read!

Enlarged Liver in Cats: What is this feline malady?

If you happen to notice that a cat is acting somewhat lethargic, has lost its appetite, or having an abdominal distress, it must be seen by a vet as prompt as possible. As a matter of fact, if appropriate treatment isn’t received, it might lead to a full liver failure that might be distressing to you and the cat.

A liver that’s enlarged indicates that the liver is, obviously –swollen. Moreover, a variety of primary causes may lead to this particular condition that is known medically as hepatomegaly. Further, if you get to notice that a cat has an enlarged abdomen, then you need to have the cat examine, in order to see what the causal issue is. Additionally, a swollen or enlarged liver may cause parts of the liver to fail in functioning properly.

Causes of Cat Enlarged Liver

A swollen or enlarged liver in cats might be due to a number of primary causes. Below are a few of the more common causes of enlarged liver in cats:

  • Toxic liver mutilation may result in an enlarged liver in cats that might be the result of treatments, which the cat has ingested.
  • Liver cancer and several other kinds of cancer may cause a swollen liver.
  • Portosystemic jolts happen if the blood in the cat’s body circumvents the liver. This particular miscommunication is what prevents the blood from getting rinsed of toxins in the cat’s system.
  • Hepatic Lipidosis happens when the fat accrues into the liver and slowly weakens the functionality of the liver.
  • Cholangiohepatitis or Cholangitis are two inflammatory bacterial infections that affects the bile ducts, which find their own way through the liver.

Symptoms of Cat Enlarged Liver

In the event that the cat is suffering from an enlarged or swollen liver, the following are the more common symptoms that you can see. Some of which might be much harder to see, so if you happen to notice any combination of these, take the cat to the vet immediately:

  • Increased urination and thirst
  • Jaundice
  • Weight loss
  • Loss of appetite
  • Pain and discomfort when moved
  • Inactivity and lethargy
  • An enlarged abdomen

Prognosis of Cat Enlarged Liver

When the cat is ill, it is not recommended that you diagnose the illness yourself. A wrong diagnosis may actually cause even more harm to the cat, when it comes to a swollen or enlarged liver. Most especially if the underlying cause needs an immediate treatment. Below are some of the examinations the vet might use in the prognosis of the cat:

  • If the concern is cancer, a liver biopsy might be taken to be examined
  • Take a CBC to measure the number of the red and white blood cells in the body
  • Test the thyroid of the cat, in order to make sure it is really functioning as it should
  • Perform a urinalysis, in order to check for any ammonium biurate crystals
  • Check the cat’s billirubin  levels through a blood sample, in order to see if they’re elevated
  • Check the cat’s cholesterol and glucose levels
  • Take an ultrasound in making sure that there really are no obstructions, which block the pathway through the liver
  • Check for any changes on the AST, GGT, ALP, and ALT enzyme levels. Testing all the enzymes may need a blood test
  • Take an x-ray, in order to determine how really large the liver is

Treatments for Cat Enlarged Liver

The treatments for enlarged liver in cats might vary based on the findings of the underlying cause of the enlarged liver. Below is a breakdown of the possible treatments of some of the more common causes:

Cholangiohepatitis and Cholangitis

Antibiotics , as well as some other drugs might be prescribed. Further, intravenous fluids may most likely be essential in keeping the cat hydrated, as well as their nutritional intake may be monitored. If the cat’s vomiting, then the vet might prescribe antacids to help. Moreover, the recovery might just take a day or two, unless the chronic Cholangitis is an issue, then it might need additional treatment and therapy.

Hepatic Lipidosis

When the cat is suffering from the disease, they commonly abstain from eating. This may cause a fat failure, which is eaten to break down. Up until the cause for the anorexia-like behavior of the cat is identified, the greatest way in treating them is to make sure that they’re eating. In most instances, this actually means that a feeding tube is needed. The sooner the cat starts eating on its own, the faster they’ll recover. 

Liver Cancer               

If a cancer is present in the liver, it’s often recommendable that the affected lobe be detached. Chemotherapy may be originated in slowing the progress of the cancer in cats. This particualr treatment is every so often operative, yet cancer, which is situated in more than just one lobe often deals an outlook that’s poor.


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