Q. After sudden weight gain & impaired energy levels/mobility, our vet indicated she has fatty liver disease. Any oral meds we can use?
DR. CHRISTIE LONG, D.V.M., C.V.A.
A. I'd like to add that since hepatic lipidosis (fatty liver disease) typically occurs after rapid weight LOSS, not gain, I'm a little confused by this diagnosis. If your vet suspects this disease (and the only way to definitely diagnose it is with a liver biopsy, but typically we assume the diagnosis when an obese cat stops eating and rapidly loses weight) I strongly encourage you to seek the primary diagnosis, such as diabetes. Anything that causes rapid decrease in caloric intake predisposes them to HL. Mr. Alvarado is correct - this disease typically cannot be treated at home with solely oral meds, as the mainstays of therapy are fluid support and nutrition, typically supplied via stomach tube.
A. An exam and bloodwork should be performed to determine the underlying cause. If your cat is not eating, the main treatment is to get her eating again. She may require hospitalization and supportive care until she recovers. There are liver friendly supplements that may help. Discuss treatment options with your vet. Do not attempt to treat this serious condition on your own at home.