Practical Approach to the Cat with Elevated Liver Enzymes
The feline liver is susceptible to disease as it has limited conjugation capabilities. It can only conjugate to cholic acid with taurine. Also, due to deficiencies in glucuronyl transferase, the feline liver performs limited glucoronide conjugation, the major route for elimination of salicylates, morphine derivatives, diazepam derivatives, phenols, pyrethroids and benzoic acids.
Additionally, the feline liver has high activity of hepatic transaminases and deaminases, requiring a high dietary protein requirement. Cats are unable to down regulate these enzymes in times of limited protein intake (e.g. starvation or reduced appetite), predisposing to the development of diseases such as hepatic lipidosis (HL).
Anatomically, the major pancreatic duct joins the common bile duct from the liver before entering the duodenum, predisposing to ascending infection from the gastrointestinal tract...
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