Background: Liver pathology in cats represents a frequent clinical condition occurring in animals of any age. Dietary supplementation with hepatoprotective and antioxidant products could represent a beneficial strategy to prevent and treat these disorders. We evaluated the tolerability and efficacy of long-term treatment with a multi-component, dietary supplement containing functional natural ingredients with recognized hepatoprotective properties in cats suffering from liver diseases
Methods: 20 European domestic cats of either gender, 10 with hepatic lipidosis and 10 with cholangitis received for 180 consecutive days a multi-component formulation based on the silibinin-phosphatidylcholine complex as paste or tablet. Clinical assessment and blood and urine parameters were evaluated at T0 (inclusion time) and after 7, 28, 60, 90 and 180 days from the initiation of the study.
Results: The oral supplementation with the silibinin-phosphatidylcholine complex significantly reduced the activity of liver enzymes in serum (alanine aminotransferase, aspartate aminotransferase, alkaline phosphatase, γ -glutamyl transferase) and the content of total bilirubin, albumin, pre- and post- bile acids, in cats with hepatic lipidosis or cholangitis, normalizing their liver function parameters. Moreover, following the supplementation, the appetite was restored in all cats and the frequent episodes of diarrhea and vomit reported at inclusion almost disappeared.
Discussion: Dietary supplementation with the silibinin-phosphatidylcholine complex containing functional natural ingredients with recognized hepatoprotective and antioxidant actions might represent an effective strategy to improve the conditions of liver dysfunction, such as hepatitis lipidosis and cholangitis, in cats.