Bob, affectionately known as Blob, is a very
fat cat. Not to mince words, she is obese and despite years
of dieting she remains obstinately obese and utterly oblivious
to the danger this poses.
One morning Bob's food was put down for her and she turned
away and left it uneaten. This was unprecedented but did not
immediately alarm her owner, after all Bob was not going to
waste away for want of a meal or two was she? Bob didn't eat
her tea that night and she didn't even appear for breakfast
the following morning. She was found collapsed on the upstairs
landing, panting and staggering when she tried to get up.
On examination at the surgery her gums were terribly pale,
her heart was racing and, even through all the abdomenal fat,
we could feel that her liver was enlarged and tender. A blood
sample was taken and tested immediately in our in-house laboratory.
These tests confirmed that she was severely anaemic and had
suffered extensive liver damage.
There are, however, many possible causes of both liver damage
and of anaemia which cannot necessarily be distinguished by
blood testing alone. These include bacterial, viral and parasitic
infections, poisons, cancers of various sorts and disorders
of the immune system. We sent off further blood samples to
an outside laboratory to check for, or rule out, some of these
causes. Meanwhile we homed in on what had to be the most likely
diagnosis in this particular cat. That is hepatic lipidosis
or fatty liver disease.