Natural remedies abound for treating common diseases in people and pets, but what exact role they should play remains undetermined. This study looked specifically at the use of milk thistle for helping pets with liver disease.
Feline hepatic lipidosis (HL), a syndrome characterized by hepatocellular accumulation of lipid, intrahepatic cholestasis and hepatic dysfunction, is one of the most common liver disorders of the domestic cat accounting for approximately 50% of biopsy diagnoses. It may be a primary (idiopathic) condition or secondary to another disease process. Despite widespread interest and the numerous studies performed since HL was first described in the veterinary literature in 1977, the causes and pathogenic mechanisms of the disease are still largely unknown.
Inflammatory disease has been reported to be the second most common category of liver disease in cats in the US (after hepatic lipidosis). However, within this category, there are a number of different pathologic patterns that may represent different stages of disease or even potentially separate disease conditions.
Icterus is a term used to describe the clinical appearance of hyperbilirubinemia. While reference values may vary, in most instances a serum bilrubin > 1 mg/dl is considered abnormal but clinically detectable icterus usually does not occur until the bilirubin is > 3 mg/dl.