Cholangiohepatitis

Audrey DurninAudrey Durnin Member Posts: 936
edited 24 August, 2010 in Cat Health
Our vet suspects Tim has this disease. Does anyone here have any first hand experience with battling the disease? He is on an aggressive round of steroids, antibiotics, and liver protectant. I'm reading as much as I can, but would love to hear some personal stories if you have them!

Comments

  • Lisa ProvostLisa Provost Member Posts: 4,486
    edited 21 August, 2010
    Hi there, my Alex had fatty liver disease. Technically she had Triaditis which is IBD, fatty liver and pancreatitis. You can read up more on fatty liver on my website dedicated to her: http://ibdkitties.net/fattyliver.html. I'm sorry to hear Tim has cholangiohepatitis. Any inflammation of the liver is dangerous but can be treated successfully. What else are you on for medications? There are some natural things you can do to help the liver also. If you'd like to talk about any of them let me know! I hope Tim feels better soon. =;
  • Audrey DurninAudrey Durnin Member Posts: 936
    edited 21 August, 2010
    Thanks Alex for the well wishes. You wouldn't know Tim was even sick if his balance wasn't off by about mile! He purrs loudly, wants tons of love, and is even batting at shoelaces as I write! Poor guy. He's in such good spirits. He is on Amoxicillin,Prednisone, and I believe Dysatol (don't remember the name exactly). What are the natural things to do? My biggest worry is his appetite. He is lapping up the juice from his wet food but not eating the chunks. He's also pretty picky. I'm going to try some tuna before bed. Hoping his steroid boosts his appetite. I've been reading on the disease. I hope we caught it in time so he can make a full recovery. I'll keep you posted!:)
  • Teresa HawkinsTeresa Hawkins McHenryMember Posts: 415
    edited 21 August, 2010
    Steroids probably will boost his appetite. It's very important to make sure Tim does eat so his liver heals. Check his food, organ meats are very hard on the liver so no liver or chicken hearts. If he's just licking the juice off his food, you can buy a product at pet stores called Nutri-gravy, and it has all the nutrients a kitty needs in it. When I have a picky kitty I add it to some strained chicken baby food (chicken only, no onion, read the label) and they will usually eat that. SAM-e and milk thistle are great natrual liver support supplements. They are available at any drugstore or mass retailer like Walmart. Good luck! Oliver has had hepatic lipidosis twice and I've successfully nursed two foster kittes through it too.
  • Dawn HarmanDawn Harman SpeedwellMember Posts: 1,079
    edited 21 August, 2010
    I am so glad your Meowma caught this early. She lost a kitty who looked just like me from that about 22 years ago now. Defiantly find something you like and keep eating to get better. We will send you lots of purrs for healing.Please keep us all informed to how you are doing. |:| |:| |:| |:|
  • edited 22 August, 2010
    Hello Tim, Back in the summer of '08, after a long ordeal of sickness and testing, I was finally diagnosed with cholangiohepatitis. You can read about my early experiences in my ALT thread (link). Also, you can read the whole story in my diary (link). In the beginning, we fought the bacteria aggressively with several rounds of antibiotics. Though we seem to have won that battle, I am still on a regimen of Prednisolone, Ursodiol, Milk Thistle, and Sam-e for liver support and healing. The thing is, the steroid can act as an anti-inflammatory, but over time, it can actually damage the liver more... I am on a very minimum dosage, and have gone from daily to twice a week. Sam-e is a tricky one... it's very important to include Vitamin B complex with it. Sam-e can cause a build-up of a certain chemical/enzyme/something-or-other-that-I-can't-remember-now around the heart, and the vitamin B will help break it down. Milk Thistle is very gentle, and there is no known toxicity level as far as dosage goes. Mom gets her vitamins from an online store called Whole Health Products. She likes their "no unnecessary fillers or additives" philosophy. They also have very good detailed explanations about the supplements and how they should be used. Even if you don't buy from them, it's worth just looking stuff up for the info. It's been a tedious war, but we take it one battle at a time. It's been 2 years, and I'm back to pretty darn good health in spite of it all. :D
  • Audrey DurninAudrey Durnin Member Posts: 936
    edited 22 August, 2010
    Thank you everyone for your wealth of information! To my utter delight, Tim is eating the tuna!!!;c; I am adding tons of water to it as well. He seems to be feeling better this morning, getting his balance back. The other medicine he is on is Denosyl. I successfully gave him 3 pills this morning, 2 left for the day! I'm very glad to hear most of you have had good outcomes with this disease. I do know it will be a long process, and I really do hope he makes it through. Tim certainly is a fighter. He left for about 3 days (uncommon for him), and we feared the worst. Low and behold there he was stumbling in around 9 on the final night looking like he had just narrowly escaped a concentration camp. So he definitely needs all the positive vibes he can get right now. I will keep everyone updated on his recovery!!! :)
  • Lisa ProvostLisa Provost Member Posts: 4,486
    edited 22 August, 2010
    Denosyl is great! That's one I was going to suggest. I would be careful about using a B complex with folic acid in it as too much folic acid can cause cancer cells to grow. There's a bunch of studies out about that. There are some without it you can easily get. But I would suggest asking your vet to do B12 injections. B12 is almost always depleted with any kind of GI disease and those injections not only bypass the stomach and go straight to the bloodstream but help to absorb nutrients and other vitamins. B12 deficiency is present with malabsorption syndrome which is usually present with GI diseases. Ursodiol is a good medicine and I wish I'd had the chance to give it to Alex. I wouldn't give too much tuna though because of mercury so try to find something else grain free for him. Make sure anything natural you're giving him has no sweeteners, sugars or additives in it because his liver has to filter all of that out also and those things are known to aggrevate their systems and cause diarrhea. Glad to hear he's doing better! Keep us posted!
  • edited 22 August, 2010
    Just an FYI, Tim.... Sam-e = Denosyl Milk Thistle = Marin for real. There is no need for you to spend extra monies on the vet prescription. The vet prescription of Marin was only 9mg when I was taking it, and it didn\'t do a darn thing. My ALTs didn\'t start falling until Mom switched me to a 100mg dosage of Milk Thistle. The difference was so dramatic, Mom recommends Milk Thistle for anyone who might have liver issues. She\'s even put it in her own vitamin regimen (healthy liver = healthy skin). Sam-e has also become a more mainstream supplement, and can be readily found in most pharmacy or vitamin stores (even Costco!). The vitamin B is usually built in, just like the vet prescription version. Mom gets hers w/o vit. B, because we get quite a bit extra from our diet. We are glad you are feeling better. I did the same thing, going through several \"up\" and \"down\" phases. Kept Mom on her toes, I did (pins & needles, she might say).
  • Audrey DurninAudrey Durnin Member Posts: 936
    edited 22 August, 2010
    Thanks Alex and Pippin! He will be going back for blood testing in a few weeks so I will mention the B12 test you suggested. Also, glad to hear there is an equally good but cheaper way to boost his liver. I think we paid 20 bucks for 14 days, and she told us he would need to be on it for months. From what I've been reading, most people always give their cat a liver protectant, so I definitely want to look into the milk thistle! I know too much tuna can be bad, but she told me to feed him whatever he would eat for now, even if it was ice cream since he's so thin and weak. I'm hoping that he will get his taste for cat food back in the next couple days, but tuna it is for now. He is laying next to me on the couch as I type. He was very upset when I wouldn't let him outside. Apparently, he needed to go to the bathroom and prefers to do that outside. It looked good though, no diarrhea so far. I read through your posts Pippin. You had a rough time with the disease. Glad you're doing much better these days:) I'll continue to post as it's only the beginning of our journey. Thanks again for all the help!!!:)
  • Lisa ProvostLisa Provost Member Posts: 4,486
    edited 22 August, 2010
    I'm sorry but that's extremely strange to me for a vet to suggest feeding anything, even ice cream! The liver has to filter everything out and is going to have to work even harder to filter out so much fat. Even with tuna which is full of mercury, that's just as bad. I don't think my vet would personally ever suggest feeding those things. There are plenty of other ways to get her to eat! B12 not only helps with absorption but is a natural appetite stimulant. You can also get Eaglepack Transition Solution which is a chicken flavored powder with probiotics in it. You sprinkle it on the food and they go crazy for the taste and you're giving them healthy bacteria at the same time.
  • edited 23 August, 2010
    The thing is, Alex, there comes a point where it\'s more important to get food into the system... any food... for the body to continue the fight. Yes, there may be some stress on the liver, but with the medications giving it a boost, there\'s an offset. At a certain point it just becomes important to EAT... and deal with the aftermath when the rest of the body strengthens. That is not to say I don\'t think there might be better alternatives than tuna and ice cream, Tim... I know it might seem extreme to some folks, but try some slivers of raw meat such as chicken - slivers covered with a bit of canned food (do NOT mix raw meat with kibble). It might sound scary, but just treat it as if you were to cook it for yourself (fresh & clean). It was the one thing that Pippin was actually able to keep down. Raw meat is actually very easy on a cat\'s digestive system when introduced slowly, in small amounts; and the nutrients from raw meat are more easily absorbed, having not been altered by any kind of cooking process. It might be worth a try.
  • Audrey DurninAudrey Durnin Member Posts: 936
    edited 23 August, 2010
    Alex, I understand your thinking, but as Pippin explained, he needs any nutrients he can get. She used an extreme example in order to get across the point that food is vital for his recovery. The prednisone is stimulating his appetite. He has had some tuna, but I gave him wet cat food this morning. I do want to look into the gravy someone suggested as he is doing a lot more licking of the cat food and actually eating the tuna. I will not be feeding him tuna for the long term, just for right now off and on to put the pounds back on him. I have tried giving him raw meat before as I have fed a raw diet for my dogs, but he would not touch it. I have some probiotics in the fridge that I can bust and put in his food. Thanks for the concern!:)
  • Lisa ProvostLisa Provost Member Posts: 4,486
    edited 23 August, 2010
    Have you two seen my website? I am the one person of anyone who understands how important it is to get them to eat at all costs! I LOST my girl and I tried everything, believe me! But I do believe there are other ways to do it that are safer. I'm sorry, I just don't agree and I've been studying and working with vets about IBD for over 3 years now. And yes, a little tuna here and there is fine but there are better ways. Just thought I'd offer some help as you did ask for it. But I am far from someone who doesn't understand how to get them to eat or how important it is. It was my life 24/7 for 2 years.
  • edited 23 August, 2010
    Alex, please don't take it so personally. I HAVE been to your website, and it is an excellent resource. BUT IBD is not at all the same as cholangiohepatits.
  • Arlye DruryArlye Drury DartmouthMember Posts: 826
    edited 23 August, 2010
    I have been dealing with cholangiohepatitis (actually triaditis) since November 2009 (probably actually longer than that in reality. I actually had hepatic lipidosis and was extremely sick! I had a cholecystoduodenostomy in Nov. because my bile duct was thickened and obstructed. Fortunately all of the biopsies (liver, bile duct, pancreas, and bowel) came back clean. I was tube fed from then until Feb. The feedings were gradually reduced as I started eating on my own. I am now maintaining my weight at around 11 pounds. It might be a good idea for you to get a baby scale to keep track of your weight. In the beginning Mumma weighed me daily and I learned to get on the scale all by myself. Now I get weighed weekly. My most recent episode was about 3 weeks ago. My vet immediately put me on antibiotics (Clavamox)for 3 weeks and mumma continued with Denosyl and ursodiol, as well as pepcid. The first night mumma only forced water (cats need approximately 200 cc of fluid a day) and the next day we began force feeding Hill's Max/cal (about 10cc every hour and a half. Mumma has learned to keep a can of this just in case. Mumma only had to force feed me for one day (this time)because I began eating fairly well on my own. Mumma doesn't offer me milk products because they often cause diarrhea which is loss of fluid, and tuna is given rarely a tiny treat (I do love shrimp though!). Cats with cholangiohepatitis are usually nauseous, and pepcid (5mg or even 10mg) helps. Mumma has given me up to 20mg /day. Give it at least 1 hr before feeding. Feeding frequent small meals helps too. Dehydration can contribute to nausea so, you may need to force fluids also. Initially, when mumma started tube feeding me, I didn't drink on my own and she made sure I got at least 150cc of water/day - given in between feedings. Giving a quality food that meets your daily metabolic needs is much better than feeding foods that have "empty" calories and fats that are hard to digest. We wish good luck - this can be a long hard (and expensive) road to travel! Alex - thank you for being an invaluable resource! I promise to update Purrcy's page as soon as I can.
  • Lisa ProvostLisa Provost Member Posts: 4,486
    edited 23 August, 2010
    I know what cholangiohepatits is! I died from Triaditis, the same thing Purrcy has. My liver was in terrible shape and I know all about these diseases. I've been studying them almost 24/7 for several years now. I am well versed in all diseases that affect the feline intestines, believe me! We should all be speaking to each other on these forums with respect, not trying to out-do one another or tell someone they don't know anything about the very diseases they write about day in and day out. That's insulting! I'm done here now, I hope this kitty gets the help they need! I really do. And thank you Purrcy, we love you very much you sweet boy and your wonderful momma too!
  • edited 24 August, 2010
    Alex, I think you are misinterpreting things here. We are all simply offering our own individual perspectives. Just because one person\'s perspective is different doesn\'t necessarily invalidate another\'s. I\'m sorry if you feel that has been the case, but I honestly don\'t see it. Ultimately, it is up to the person who is dealing with the issue to make their own decisions.
  • Audrey DurninAudrey Durnin Member Posts: 936
    edited 24 August, 2010
    Yikes! I didn't mean for this thread to go in the direction it has. Alex, I understand this is a very sensitive subject for you, and want you to know that I empathize greatly. I have taken great things from all of you that have posted. I'm not as well-versed with cats as I am with dogs, so this was very beneficial to me. The important thing here is Tim. He is responding very well to the medications. Cleaning himself, eating like a madman, and meowing constantly to get outside! He appears to be feeling much better. His vet office is calling and checking up on him during the two weeks. That's comforting to me. We just moved, and this was the first vet I called, so far so good! Even though we all may disagree on the "best" way, we can all agree that we love our cats and want them healthy. Not only do I come here seeking advice, but support. That's also equally important to me, and I believe that I have received it!:) Big Thanks!!!
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