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Cat liver cancer

Cat Liver Cancer

Cat liver cancer is also known as Hepatic Neoplasia and is generally due to cancer that spreads from other parts of the body.

Liver cancer can be due to a primary tumor, or metastatic cancer or hemolymphatic cancer (from the blood cells or lymph tissue). Metastatic cancer is the most common form. Primary liver cancer usually occurs in cats that are over 10 years old. The most common primary liver tumors in cats are either hepatocellular adenomas or hepatomas (benign tumors) or hepatocellular carcinomas (malignant tumors).

Male cats have a higher risk factor of benign tumors as compared to female ones. Unfortunately, most liver tumors are diagnosed when the cancer is in the late stages. The most common tumor type found in the liver is Lymphoma. Tumors found in the intestines and stomach is called Lymphosarcoma.

Mast cell tumor, leukemia and multiple myleoma are other diseases that can be seen at the same time as cat liver cancer.

A physical examination by your vet and various tests will be needed to diagnose the cancer. Tests include laboratory tests, an ultrasound and maybe an x-ray of the abdomen. A blood test will be done to check the liver enzymes and the cat’s blood count. A coagulation profile may be done before surgery is performed. A biopsy will be carried out during surgery if need be.

Cat liver cancer treatment

If a tumor is found, then it can be removed during surgery. If however, the tumor has infected a large part of the liver (the prognosis is not good in these cases), then other treatment will be given. One is chemotherapy. However this form of treatment is expensive and not very practical for pets.  It is effective in treating lymphoma, hemangiosarcoma or mastocytosis. Cats may require blood transfusions and intravenous fluids at times. Ensure that you follow the course of treatment as prescribed.

Cat liver cancer symptoms

  • Jaundice - as the liver is not processing bile properly. The whites of the eyes and white skin appear yellow.
  • Weight loss
  • Periodic vomiting and diarrhea
  • Increased drinking and urination
  • Orange urine - due to the increased amounts of bilirubin in the urine
  • Lethargy and sluggishness - the cat does not want to go out to play or for a walk
  • Abdominal effusion
  • Seizures
  • Bad Breath
  • Pale grey feces - instead of the normal brown color, this occurs as once again bile production is not being done properly.


  Submitted on May 7, 2010  

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