Hepatic lipidosis (force-feeding)

Your pet was diagnosed with hepatic lipidosis. This condition occurs when an animal stops eating for whatever reason. Then the animal is without an available source of energy, aside from the fat tissues. In order to supply the energy that is necessary to the varioust organs, the fat must be transformed by the liver. When the demand is too great, the liver cannot respond. It becomes saturated with fat and stops functioning partially or completely. It can no longer detoxify the body and therefore, the metabolic waste accumulates in the blood. Your pet therefore, has less and less of an appetite and becomes very weak. Furthermore, the skin inside of his mouth, on his ears and eyes becomes yellowish (icterus). He may start to vomit and become dehydrated.

The goal of treatment is to eliminate, if possible, the primary cause (that is to say, the reason that initially caused your pet to stop eating) and to provide support while his liver regenerates itself, with a good caloric intake (this stops the destruction of the fat tissue) among other things.

Following the recommendations of your veterinarian, you will have to force feed him. We begin by giving very small amounts at a time and often. Then we gradually increase in order to attain the amount that is necessary to meet his daily energy needs. Make sure that your pet always has his usual food available as well as the A/D diet. You may also offer him a buffet of different kinds of foods.

Force-feeding procedure:

  • Place a small amount of A/D diet into a bowl. Add a very small amount of hot water in order to slightly dilute the A/D. Mix until smooth.
  • Immerse the syringe onto the mixture and pull back on the piston to fill the syringe. In addition to food, air will enter the syringe. It is important to evacuate the air. To do this, invert the syringe and tap it a few times on the table. The food will go to the bottom and the air will rise to the surface. By pushing against the piston, the air willbe released. Repeat this procedure until you have obtained the desired amount.
  • To feed your pet, raise his head a bit at about a 45 degree angle. Place the tip of the syringe at the edge of his lips and insist a bit so that he opens his mouth. At this point, push a small amount of food by directing the syringe towards the back of the mouth. Avoid putting food on the tip of his tongue because he risks spitting it out rather than swallowing it. Give him time to properly swallow his mouthful before giving him the rest of the syringe (in small amounts at a time).
  • If your cat vomits when you force feed him, stop and try again a little bit later with a smaller amount of food. If he vomits every time (or almost) when you force feed him, call us for further information.

Good luck !