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What pain medication can you give your cat in liver failure.

Customer Question
I've been using a small...
What pain medication can you give your cat in liver failure. I've been using a small dose of Rimadyl, 1/4 of a scored pill to help with my cat's pain. Is it unusual for a cat in liver failure to drool at the mouth?
Submitted: 7 years ago.Category: Cat Veterinary
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5/3/2011
Cat Veterinarian: Denver ER Doc, Veterinarian replied 7 years ago
Denver ER Doc
Denver ER Doc, Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 1,495
Experience: Small Animal Medicine and Surgery internship, Veterinary Acupuncture trained, Wildlife and Exotics
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Hi there,

Sorry to hear about your cat.

Rimadyl is not a good drug to use in this situation for two reasons. First, it can worsen the liver disease, and the lack of functioning liver can make the drug build up to toxic levels in the body very quickly. Second, cats tend to be very sensitive to it, so adverse effects are common.

One of the best pain medications for use in cats is called buprenorphine. It is an injectable derivative of morphine that cats can take orally. it usually lasts 8-12 hours and is well tolerated.

Drooling is a sign of nausea and is fairly common in liver disease. The rimadyl may also be causing some of it by causing irritation to the lining of the stomach.

Hope that helps. Please let me know if you have any other questions.

Thanks,
Dr. Paul
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Customer reply replied 7 years ago
Can you tell me if I need to put him down? I'm having a very difficult time because he is my baby. He has a great appetite, I am feeding him regular tuna, chicken, and salmon. He doesn't have good mobility, tends to fall, but he is so young. Is there anything I can do to help improve his life? He had his gall bladder removed in December. It was the size of a softball. He is still jaundice, but not as jaundice as he was. Please give me any alternatives to putting him down if you can, unless that is the only option. He and I are very close.
Cat Veterinarian: Denver ER Doc, Veterinarian replied 7 years ago
What is his diagnosis?
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Customer reply replied 7 years ago
My vet told me that when she did his surgery in Dec., she noted his liver was very small, abnormally small for an adult male cat. It's hypohepatic? She had to remove his gallbladder due to its enlarged size. I'm assuming liver failure. At first we thought it was hyperbilirubinemia because of his jaundice which he still has some jaundice, but it did improve after his surgery. He only weighs 6 lbs. 8 ozs at my last visit to my vet about 2 weeks ago. He is a happy cat, unless he is in pain. I will definately try the morphine derivitive you mentioned and eliminate the Rimadyl.
Cat Veterinarian: Denver ER Doc, Veterinarian replied 7 years ago
OK, thanks for the information.

Unfortunately, without examining him and seeing his labwork, that is not a call that I can make for you. That is a better question for the veterinarian that diagnosed and has been treating him.

That said, it is good news is that he is eating. That is one of the biggest challenges in cats with liver disease is that they often stop eating, which makes the problem worse. As long as he is eating without vomiting and his jaundice is improving, I would probably keep trying. The liver has amazing ability to regenerate and is also very redundant. My hope would be that by removing the enlarged gall bladder that the jaundice will continue to improve. Sounds like maybe he had either a blocked bile duct or a gallbladder mucoceole?

You might want to ask your veterinarian about some liver support agents like silymarin (milkthistle) and S-adenosylmethionine (SAM-E). These both help support liver functions and reduce free radical damage to the liver. I put most of my liver failure or severe liver disease patients on them.

Hope that helps. Good luck!
Dr. Paul
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Customer reply replied 7 years ago
He did have a blocked bile duct. She had a very difficult time w it.
Cat Veterinarian: Denver ER Doc, Veterinarian replied 7 years ago
With the gall bladder removed, the jaundice should resolve. I would look into some liver support (above), but sounds like you are on the right track, particularly if he is eating.

Dr. Paul
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Customer reply replied 6 years ago

To Denver ER Doc: Sadly, my Cheetoh passed away from complications due to a common bile duct obstruction and sepsis. He died the Sunday before our tornado in Joplin. I miss him terribly.

Detail Required: LOW; Urgency: LOW
Cat Veterinarian: Denver ER Doc, Veterinarian replied 6 years ago
I am so sorry to hear that. I hadn't heard from you in quite a while, and so I hoped that everything was going OK. My condolences.

Dr. Paul
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