When your cat develops a yellow color to mucus membranes and other body tissue, then it is likely that your cat is jaundiced. This is the result of elevated levels of bilirubin. Bilirubin is the material that comes from red blood cells that have broken down.
Jaundice is not normal. The first place an owner may notice it is in the whites of their cats eyes. It will also be noticeable on the abdomen, gums and at the base of their cat’s ear.
If the condition is “prehepatic” it is occurring before the blood enters the liver.
• Blood parasites
• Cat may have it as a result of accidentally eating onions
• Reaction to a blood transfusion
• Hemangiosarcoma or other blood vessel tumor
This is the result of Cat Liver Disease and other liver disorders and can be caused by:
• Hepatitis, cholangitis (disease of the bile duct system) or both
• Toxins being ingested, such as heavy metals, certain chemicals
• Drugs such as Phenobarbital, corticosteroids, chemotherapy
• Viral, protozoal or bacterial infections
• Cirrhosis that is end stage
• Disease of the pancreas, gall bladder or bile duct
• Intestinal disorders that cause blockage of the bile duct
Signs and Symptoms
Obvious symptoms include a yellow tint to the whites of the eyes, skin and gums. Your cat will have Cat Lethargy and have a Cat Loss of Appetite. This will cause a Cat Loss of Weight and a poor condition of your cat’s body and coat. There can be a Cat Swollen Abdomen visible.
Your veterinarian will perform standard laboratory studies such as CBC, chemical profile, urinalysis and liver profile. There will also be tests that evaluate protein level, blood sugar, electrolytes, ph of the urine.
From that point and after a complete medical history, your veterinarian may choose to do the following:
• X-rays of the abdomen and chest will enable your vet to see any masses and evaluate the potential enlargement of body organs
• Ultrasound will assess the size and shape of the organs of the abdomen with emphasis on the liver
• Serology will test for any infectious diseases that attack the liver or cause the destruction of red blood cells
• Clotting profiles will also be done. Abnormal clotting is possible with severe disease of the liver
• Liver biopsy if it is determined that the liver is diseased
• Coombs test evaluates for the destruction of RBC’s by the immune system
• If necessary your veterinarian may choose to do an exploratory surgery of the abdomen. This is done if the tests performed are inconclusive.
During the testing period your vet will discontinue any new therapies that were in progress before jaundice. Your cat will be encouraged to rest and not be exposed to stressful situations. If the cat is suffering with Cat Dehydration, intravenous fluids along with electrolytes will be administered. If anemia is profound, blood transfusions will be done.
Once you get your cat home, palliative steps need to be taken, such as with Cat Palliative Cancer Care. You should administer any medications ordered by your vet and remove any other drugs or materials that may be toxic.
Additional Cat Cancer Pages
Cat Cancer | Cat Skin Cancer | Cat Lung Cancer | Cat Pancreatic Cancer | Cat Cancer Prevention | Cat Cancer Diagnosis | Cat Gastric Cancer | Cat Lymphoma Cancer | Cat Squamous Cell Carcinoma | Cat Mouth Cancer | Cat Brain Tumor | Cat Palliative Cancer Care