I thought going in that all Joplin had was a hairball that she couldn't pass. The vet was gentle with her examination, did a thorough job, then turned to me and said that she was really sure that she had FLD. I asked what could be done and she told me the following:
1. That she needed multiple tests that needed to be done
2. That she needed to be checked into their "hospital"
3. That it was going to cost upwards of $1500
4. That she only had a 50% chance of living even with the treatment
5. That if it was her cat SHE would do everything she could to help it get better.
6. That she would most likely die if I tried to take care of her at home
As I'm sure you can guess I ended up in tears assuming that my cat was going to die because there was no way I could afford such a large sum of money. I had the tests done to make sure ( it was all I could afford and it cost $170) and I took Joplin home.
I was inconsolable and told Steph what the vet had said. I took her word as absolute truth. Steph, being the wonderful man that he is, flew into action searching for hours on the web to check stats, home remedies and symptoms. As it turns out FLD is pretty common among cats and that THERE IS HOME TREATMENT THAT CAN BE VERY SUCCESSFUL IF CAUGHT EARLY ENOUGH, 90% successful in fact.
Using all of this information we created our own at home remedy. I've put all the info below to help anyone who is going through the same thing. One thing I will say is that this remedy requires quite a bit of time and persistence, but obviously it is worth it in the end.
FATTY LIVER TREATMENT AT HOME
Joplin's Symptoms in Order of Appearance
- Didn't finish normal amount of food in the morning
- Increasing lethargy
- Wouldn't come greet us
- Completely avoided us
- Noticed yellowing of ears, eye membrane, and skin just in from of ear. (This can also be seen in gums)
I believe that Joplin getting into the garbage was the main cause of this. Also I was starting to pack for a move, which couldn't have helped.
Its possible that by eating some rotten meat out of the garbage can she developed pancreatitis or even simple some sort of stomach issue that caused her to stop eating.
By way of evolution the domestication of cats causes them to be unable to convert fats back into energy. So when a cat stops eating their liver works overtime trying to convert fats to keep them alive and begins to fail in a sense. (This is a very general idea of what is happening)
Food Preparation *
- 1 can of Wellness Brand cat food- this one is great because it is a pate which is very fine and so it will not get stuck in the syringe, also is very high quality
- 2.5 cat vitamins
- 1/4 cup warm water
I used a wide mouth syringe that the dentist will usually give to someone when they have their wisdom teeth removed.
I separated the mix into 6 servings and served them in 2h intervals throughout the day: 8am, 10am, 12pm, 2pm, 4pm, 6pm.
Make sure to warm up the food to body temperature at each feeding. Cold or hot food with cause them to throw up.
I found that putting Joplin into a pillow case from the neck down was the best way to do this since she is not declawed and I needed to keep her still. Also I put her on the kitchen counter. The diagram above helps to show how to hold the cat. Wrap your arm around them holding their body still and their legs down. Now, slide that same arm upwards once you're ready to feed. Now your arm should be fully wrapped around and your hand free, use that hand to hold their head and chin up and in place.
The best place to insert the syringe is right behind the canine , if you push very slightly there with the tip then they well open their mouth. With the mouth open squeeze a very small amount onto the back of their tongue, DO NOT PUT IN TOO MUCH AS THEY WILL CHOKE AND THROW IT UP. Let them swallow this and then repeat until full syringe is done, or until you have completed the portion.
Now this is simply what worked for me, it all depends on your cat and their temperament. If you absolutely cannot calm them down then you might have to work directly with a vet, however the first time is the hardest so give it a few tries.
After the feeding is done, clean them up a little bit and sit and pet them for a while to calm them down.
For each day as of Day 2 I'd try and coax them to eat their first portion by themselves. If they eat the full portion then try with the 2nd portion etc etc...
Joplin was eating on her own by Day 7!
I will warn people that this is a VERY messing job and you will smell like cat food for that whole time, but it gets easier each feeding.
Now I am no expert, vet or anything like that but this system worked well for me twice. If you have any questions please email me :)
* This was the correct amount for my cat who is quite small, these proportions may need to be changed depending on how much your cat eats a day.
Picture 1 taken from:
Picture 2 taken from:
yikes can't find the pic, but I got it from google!