Chinese Herbal Medicine Treatment for Idiopathic Hepatic Lipidosis in a Cat
by Anthony Chu
A two year-old neutered female Domestic Long Hair cat was examined after her owner reported weight loss and anorexia. Clinical examination revealed marked jaundice. Subsequent conventional diagnostic tests by a feline veterinary specialist confirmed the cat was suffering from idiopathic hepatic lipidosis (HL). Although HL is the most common type of liver disease of North American cats, it is much less common in Australia. The cat was placed on a Chinese herbal formula known as Wei Ling Tang (Calm the Stomach and Poria Decoction) and she responded within three days and started eating again. The treatment was continued for a total of eight weeks. Follow-up laboratory blood profile has revealed complete resolution of her hepatobiliary disease.TCM diagnosis poses new challenges. As vets, we are used to gathering information indirectly through asking questions of owners, through observation with our eyes, listening with a stethoscope, and even smelling greasy yeasty ears. We also routinely use palpation to feel enlarged or painful abdominal organs, to detect the heat of acute inflammation or pyrexia, or the soft fluctuant swelling of abscesses. However since beginning to learn TCM several years ago, I’ve had to modify my skills.
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