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Gallstones in Cats

3 min read



There is disagreement over whether attempts should be made to medically dissolve the stones if an animal does not seem to be in danger. If intravenous (IV) treatment is indicated, your cat will need to be hospitalized until it is stable. In some cases, exploratory surgery will be the treatment chosen. If this is a chronic problem for your cat, new stones may form even after surgery has been performed to remove the existing ones.


Medications that can be used to treat the stones, and any related complications, will be those that can help to dissolve the stones. Vitamin K1 will be given intravenously if the patient is jaundiced; vitamin E will be prescribed if high liver enzymes or inflammation in the liver and bile duct are diagnosed; and S-Adenosylmethionine (SAMe) may be prescribed to improve liver function and bile production. Antibiotics may also be warranted for treating associated infections, bacterial complications, or for the prevention of an infection when outside intervention is necessary (e.g., IV, surgery, or any treatment that necessitates going into the body).


Living and Management


If your cat had surgery, physical examinations and testing will need to continue every two to four weeks for as long as your veterinarian recommends it. Periodic ultrasound exams to evaluate the ongoing functioning of the liver and bile system will also be called for. In addition, you will need to watch for sudden onset of fever, abdominal pain, or weakness, since it may indicate infection. A fat-restricted, high protein diet is most likely to be prescribed for the long term.

Image: Kat Snowden via Shutterstock


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