Chronic, Active Hepatitis in Cats
Long-term, ongoing inflammation of the liver, a medical condition referred to as hepatitis, is associated with an accumulation of inflammatory cells in the liver and progressive scarring or formation of excessive fibrous tissue in the liver (fibrosis). These biological changes lead to decreased functioning of the liver.
Symptoms and Types
- Lack of appetite
- Weight loss
- Excessive urination and excessive thirst
- Yellowish discoloration of the gums and moist tissues of the membranes
- Fluid build-up in the abdomen
- Poor body condition
- Nervous system signs - such as dullness or seizures caused by accumulation of ammonia in the system due to the liver's inability to rid the body of ammonia
- Infectious disease
- Immune-mediated disease
- Copper-storage disease
You will need to provide your veterinarian with a thorough history of your cat's health leading up to the onset of symptoms. Your veterinarian will perform a complete physical exam on your cat, including a blood chemical profile, a complete blood count, an electrolyte panel and a urinalysis. The bloodwork will enable your veterinarian to look for impaired kidney function.
The appearance of the liver will change in certain diseased states. Your veterinarian will use X-ray and ultrasound imaging to visually examine the liver and may use the opportunity to take a tissue sample for biopsy.