Cholangiohepatitis in cats: symptoms and remedies of the disease

Cholangiohepatitis in cats is a fairly common liver disease in cats. Here are the symptoms to recognize and which are the remedies.

Prevention is essential for the treatment of the various pathologies that can affect our four-legged friend. But when it is not enough, it is important to learn to recognize the symptoms of a less than optimal state of health; here are what are those of cholangiohepatitis in cats , and what are the remedies to be adopted.

Cholangiohepatitis in cats: what it is

Cholangiohepatitis is a liver disease, which consists of an inflammation of the biliary tract. It is a rather common pathology in the small feline. There are various types of cholangiohepatitis in cats:

  • Suppurative cholangiohepatitis : also called acute, it is characterized by aggression, both for what concerns the virulence of the symptoms and for the rapid appearance of the same, and in fact it can lead to death to the cat. Normally this form of cholangiohepatitis has bacterial origin;
  • Non-suppurative cholangiohepatitis: this form of cholangiohepatitis is chronic: the symptoms are muted and it is not easy to understand that the cat is sick. Often, the strength of the symptoms increases only weeks (or months) after the onset of the disease. The pathology can be the consequence of others, such as gallstones, cholecystitis, feline pancreatitis ;
  • Biliary cirrhosis : it is the most severe form of cholangiohepatitis, and very often it is the final stage of the other two forms of the disease.

What are the symptoms

The symptomatology of cholangiohepatitis in cats is quite varied, and is substantially common to the different forms of the disease; the difference is to be found in the timing of onset of symptoms and the force with which they affect the little feline. Here are the most common:

  • Vomiting 
  • Diarrhea 
  • Lethargy 
  • Weight loss
  • Feline ascites
  • Disorientation 
  • Excessive salivation 
  • Dehydration 
  • Blindness 

Therapeutic treatment

It is not easy to understand from the appearance of the clinical signs described that it is cholangiohepatitis in cats; on the other hand, these are rather common symptoms, and which may indicate the presence of other pathologies. Obviously, the little feline will present, much more likely, only a few of them.

In any case, it is advisable to immediately contact your trusted veterinarian, so that he can proceed with the diagnosis, for which tests will be carried out aimed at excluding the existence of other pathologies; it being understood that it will be necessary to perform a liver biopsy.

The timeliness of the intervention is essential to save the life of the cat, which could be endangered especially by the onset of the acute form of the disease.

Therapeutic treatment will differ, depending on the stage of the disease and the form in which cholangiohepatitis occurred in the cat. In the case of suppurative cholangiohepatitis, the most aggressive form of the disease, hospitalization and supportive therapy (fluid therapy) may be required, especially where the cat is dehydrated.

Once the little feline has been stabilized, antibiotic therapy is normally carried out. If the cat has symptoms of ascites, diuretics will also be required. For non-suppurative cholangiohepatitis, immunoregulatory drugs are used, possibly to support the treatment of any other pathologies of which it is a consequence.

The vet will also prescribe the necessary change of diet for the sick cat , which will affect the intake of proteins in the little feline.

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