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Hepatic Neoplasia (Liver Tumors) in Cats

By: Dr. Erika De Papp

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Optimal treatment for your pet requires a combination of home and professional veterinary care. Follow-up can be critical, especially if your pet does not rapidly improve.

  • Administer all prescribed medications as directed. Alert your veterinarian if you are experiencing problems treating your pet. This applies to all forms of hepatic neoplasia, as there are no home treatments for primary hepatic neoplasia.

  • If your pet has a benign liver tumor or a tumor that can be surgically removed, the long-term prognosis is good. Cats with hepatocellular carcinoma have an average survival time of slightly more than one year following surgery. Many cats will live several years. Following surgery your pet should be monitored for recurrence of the signs that alerted you to a problem in the first place. These may include anorexia, lethargy, weakness, pale gums, vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal distension.

  • Follow-up care with your veterinarian following surgery may include a CBC and biochemical profile to look for normalization of liver enzymes and resolution of a previous anemia or elevation in the white blood cell count. In patients with a diagnosis of malignant liver tumors, serial thoracic radiographs and abdominal ultrasound may be indicated to look for evidence of metastatic disease.

  • Malignant tumors that cannot be surgically removed due to severe involvement of the liver and/or metastatic spread to other sites carry a very poor prognosis.

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