Cholangiohepatitis is one of the four main causes of liver disease in cats, along with fatty liver disease, lymphoma cancer, and feline infectious peritonitis. Other animals that also suffer from this disease include dogs and horses, for example. The disease can lead to the inflammation of the liver. There are a variety of treatments for the condition. This could include antibiotics, choloretics, and antioxidants, for example. There are also alternative approaches as well, such as milk thistle.
The causal agents of cholangiohepatitis are the bacterial species that normally inhabit the small intestine. In the case of the disease these bacteria find their way through the bile duct to the liver. There are several symptoms of cholangiohepatitis in cats, with the main ones being the inflammation of the liver and the bile ducts. Fortunately, this is not an infectious disease, so there is no problem of transmission to consider.
In cats there are a number of other diseases that appear along with cholangiohepatitis. In over three quarters of cases the cats also suffer from inflammatory bowel disease. In half of all cases pancreatitis is also present. Cat anatomy being what it is the pancreas is also likely to be infected by the roving bacteria as well as the liver, because of a common gateway.
There are several possible treatments for cholangiohepatitis in cats. Liver disease caused by cholangiohepatitis is serious enough for the afflicted cat to require hospital care. This could involve provision of fluids and nutritional support, for example. Perhaps somewhat surprisingly, immune suppression may be required in some cases. This can be used to reduce inflammation, allowing the gastrointestinal tract to get back to normal, and generally decreasing the population of bacteria that are unwanted in the liver and in the pancreas.
Antibiotics are another possible type of treatment, as they thin out the population of bacteria in the liver. Choleretics, such as ursodiol, can be used to increase the liquidity of the bile. S-adenosylmethionine can be used as an antioxidant. Those of an alternative persuasion may choose to provide milk thistle to their cat, for example. This herbal medication contains silymarin, which is an active ingredient that is thought to help the liver. Overall though this is very much a treatable condition, as long as the condition is recognised in time and treatment for it sought. The treatment could be long-term though, as there is the possibility of a relapse.