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
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
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