Hepatomegaly in cats: causes, symptoms, treatment

Does your feline have an enlarged liver? Let’s see together what are the causes and symptoms associated with hepatomegaly in cats.

During their life our furry friends can contract various types of diseases, including those related to the liver of our beloved feline.

Just the latter, can cause an enlarged liver in the cat, that is a hepatomegaly. In this article we will see what are the diseases that can cause this condition and what are the symptoms associated with an enlarged liver that we should not underestimate.

Hepatomegaly in cats: causes and symptoms

Hepatomegaly in cats consists of an enlargement of the animal’s liver.

This condition can be found above all in elderly cats, as small cats already in nature have the largest organ compared to their body mass and compared to adult cats.

The causes of liver enlargement in our furry friend can be many and depending on the cause the liver can enlarge completely, for example if it is hit by an infection, or it can only enlarge part of the organ, for example in the presence of a tumor or cyst.

The main causes of hepatomegaly in cats are:

  • Hepatitis in cats
  • Cirrhosis
  • Heartworm in cats
  • Cysts of the liver
  • Feline hepatic lipidosis
  • Liver abscess
  • Cancer of the pancreas
  • Diaphragmatic hernia in cats
  • Heart disease in cats

Considering that the causes of hepatomegaly in cats can be many, consequently the symptoms can also be different. Among the most common, in addition to the obvious enlargement of the abdomen, are:

  • Behavioral changes
  • Abdominal pain
  • Soft stools
  • Frequent urination
  • Jaundice in cats
  • Weight loss in the feline
  • Convulsions.

Enlarged liver in cats: diagnosis and treatment

In the event that your four-legged friend has one or more of the symptoms listed in the previous paragraph, it is advisable to contact the veterinarian.

The latter will perform a thorough physical examination of your furry friend. In addition, the specialist will carry out the following tests and analyzes:

  • Blood analysis
  • Blood exam completed
  • Urine analysis
  • Heartworm test
  • Abdomen radiography
  • Abdomen ultrasound

The specialist may also do a chest x-ray to highlight any tumor metastases or the presence of heart or lung disease. In case of cancer, the vet may perform a biopsy.

As for the treatment, the latter will depend exclusively on the cause that caused the hepatomegaly in the feline.

In case of infections, the specialist could prescribe antibiotics. If, on the other hand, the cause was linked to a tumor, abscess or cyst, the vet might consider a possible surgery.

It may also be necessary to administer fluids intravenously to normalize the fluid levels in the cat’s body which can drop due to feline dehydration. The vet may also administer vitamin supplements to replenish the vitamins in the cat’s body.

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