Hypercalcemia is a condition that develops when there is excess calcium in the blood. This can potentially become a serious problems since having excess calcium circulating around can have a negative effect on the organs. Serious damage can occur if it lasts for too long.
Vets often can’t find an official reason for why feline hypercalcemia develops in cats. However, there are certain health problems that can lead to too much calcium being in the blood. These include renal failure, Addison’s disease, and hyperthyroidism. Bone diseases can also be the underlying cause, as well as an overactive parathyroid gland.
One of the main problems with dealing with hypercalcemia in cats is that they don’t usually show many symptoms, especially early in the condition. Vets typically spot the excessive calcium with routine blood tests. When symptoms do appear, they usually start with loss of weight or appetite or weakness.
As mentioned previously, feline hypercalcemia can cause damage to various systems. Constipation, diarrhea, and vomiting are signs when the gastrointestinal system is affected. Twitching and even seizures may occur also. Bladder stones can also develop due to calcium buildup which can make urination a bit difficult.
In order to diagnose hypercalcemia in cats, the vet will conduct a physical exam, a variety of blood tests, and a urinalysis. This will hopefully help narrow down what is causing the calcium level to spike. An ultrasound or x-ray may be necessary to take a closer look at certain organs to see if something is wrong with them that’s causing the problem.
If a cause of feline hypercalcemia can be found, it will be treated appropriately. To treat the calcium level, simple causes may be resolved with something as simple as a diet change. It would be a good idea to feed foods that have low calcium while providing more fiber
Increased thirst and urination are two side effects of hypercalcemia in cats that can quickly lead to dehydration. To treat or prevent this, fluid therapy using an IV can help. There are also medications cats can be given to help excrete the excess calcium from the kidneys. However, cats can’t be dehydrated in order to use that type of medication.
One of the possible causes of feline hypercalcemia is a malfunctioning parathyroid gland. One way to get rid of the problem is to have the gland removed entirely surgically. Another option would be to have the gland destroyed using an alcohol injection.