Abby is a 15 year old spayed female domestic shorthair cat who is owned by a retired couple and is absolutely adored by their granddaughter.  We started seeing Abby as a kitten and have been treating her for Hyperthyroidism since 2010, which is a condition where growths in the thyroid gland produce excessive amounts of thyroid hormone.  But last month she began developing other symptoms, including poor appetite, lethargy, and lost almost half of her body weight.  Blood work was performed and Abby was admitted to our hospital to get supportive treatment started while we waited for the results.  When they came back, the blood work results showed that her thyroid hormone level was actually low and values related to her liver were abnormally high.  This indicated that Abby’s current symptoms were not because of her hyperthyroidism, but were being caused by liver disease.

Abby’s treatment in the hospital initially included intravenous fluids, an appetite stimulant, medications for nausea, a liver support supplement, and B vitamins.  Her hyperthyroid medication was temporarily discontinued.  Abby’s condition initially remained stable the first two days without any real improvement, as she would only eat small amounts and still showed some subtle signs of nausea.  But on the third day she seemed to decline and appeared uncomfortable, so she was given pain medication in addition to her existing treatments and her blood work was repeated.  The results showed that all of her elevated liver values had gotten worse.  Also, Abby began to experience profound side effects from the pain medication, likely because her liver was unable to metabolize it.  These changes prompted us to use a reversal agent to counteract the effects from the pain medication and modify her treatment plan by adding a potent combination of antibiotics as well as another liver support supplement.

By the next morning, Abby was eating better and was brighter than she had been since before this all started.  Throughout that day she continued to do well, was transitioned over from injectable medications to oral ones, and by the next day was well enough to go home; Abby was in the hospital for an entire work-week, she came in on Monday and went home on Friday.  Throughout this month, Abby has been seen for several follow-up visits since being in the hospital to make sure that her liver disease is improving and to re-adjust her hyperthyroid medication.  So far, Abby has gained weight, all of her blood work values are either improving or completely back to normal, and she appears to be well on her way to recovery!  Abby has shown what resilient animals cats can be, even though it wasn’t easy.  And along the way, she made one granddaughter, two grandparents, and an entire veterinary hospital very happy!