Hepatic Encephalopathy in Cats - Page 1

My Pet: FREE Tools to Care for Your Pet and Connect with Others

Over 10,000 Vet Approved Articles Search All Articles

Hepatic Encephalopathy in Cats

By: Dr. Arnold Plotnick

Read By: Pet Lovers
Email To A Friend Print
Hepatic encephalopathy (HE) is a degenerative disease of the brain caused by severe hepatic insufficiency in advanced liver disease. It is characterized by abnormal mental status, an altered state of consciousness and impaired neurologic function.

The most common cause is a congenital abnormality present at birth called a portosystemic shunt. This is an anatomical defect that causes blood to be diverted around the liver instead of passing through the liver. The liver cannot detoxify the blood and the toxins reach the brain and cause the clinical syndrome. Patients with liver failure due to toxic or infectious causes can also exhibit signs of HE.

There is no age, sex, or breed predisposition for animals with toxic or infectious liver disease; however, animals with congenital portosystemic shunts are usually brought to the veterinarian within the first year of life.

What to Watch For

The clinical manifestations of HE can range from mild (unusual behavior) to severe (coma).

  • Hysteria
  • Unpredictable bouts of aggression
  • Staggering
  • Pacing
  • Compulsive circling
  • Pressing the head against a wall
  • Sudden apparent blindness
  • Tremors
  • Seizures
  • Coma-like state

    These unusual behavior changes are often more pronounced a short time after a meal.

    Also watch for:

  • Anorexia
  • Lethargy
  • Weight loss
  • Drinking a lot or urinating a lot
  • Nausea or hypersalivation (drooling)
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea

  • Comment & Share
    Email To A Friend Print
    Keep reading! This article has multiple pages.

    Cat Photos Enjoy hundreds of beautiful cat photos Let's Be Friends Follow Us On Facebook Follow Us On twitter


    Email to a Friend

    Article to eMail
    Hepatic Encephalopathy in Cats

    My Pet
    Coming Soon

    Tools to Care for Your Pet and
    Connect with Others!

    Be the First to Know.
    Notify Me