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Parathyroid Disorders in Cats

Nutritional Secondary Hyperparathyroidism continued...

Osteoporosis is the adult form of this disease. It occurs in older cats who receive large quantities of meat at the expense of other nutrients. Other feeding practices that can lead to osteoporosis include vegetarian diets, dog food diets, and diets that consist primarily of table scraps and leftovers.

Since adult calcium requirements are lower than those for kittens and adult cats have more calcium in their bones to draw out, bone demineralization takes longer (5 to 13 months). The first sign of demineralization is thinning of the jaw bones with exposure of the roots of the teeth. The loose teeth are then expelled.

Treatment: Dietary correction is required. Calcium and vitamin D supplements should not be given to kittens unless prescribed by a veterinarian for a specific deficiency. Oversupplementation can be just as dangerous as deficiencies.

Kittens with nutritional secondary hyperparathyroidism should be kept quiet and confined to prevent bone fractures while their diet is adjusted. Bone deformities tend to be permanent, so early recognition and treatment is important.



WebMD Veterinary Reference from "Cat Owner's Home Veterinary Handbook"

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