Feline Acromegaly: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment What To Know About Acromegaly In Cats and How To Manage It

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A rare and frequently disregarded hormonal condition that affects cats is called feline acromegaly. In this article, we discuss this hormone disorder further.

Acromegaly Definition in Cats

Feline Acromegaly is a rare and often overlooked disorder that affects cats. The pituitary gland's overproduction of growth hormone, which causes the overgrowth of bones and tissues in many sections of the body, is the hormonal disease that it is responsible for. While being a relatively uncommon illness, feline acromegaly can significantly affect a cat's health and well-being.

This article will discuss the prognosis of feline acromegaly, as well as its causes, symptoms, diagnosis, and available treatments. It will also offer guidance on how to treat a cat that is afflicted with this condition.


Acromegaly in cats is brought on by the pituitary gland's excessive secretion of growth hormone (GH). The existence of a pituitary adenoma, a benign growth on the pituitary gland, is typically the cause of excessive GH production. The adenoma secretes an excessive amount of GH, which causes aberrant growth in a number of bodily tissues. Although the precise etiology of pituitary adenomas is unknown, it is thought that a combination of hereditary and environmental factors may contribute to their development. Rarely, tumors or other conditions affecting the pancreas can also result in feline acromegaly.

Acromegaly in Cats Symptoms

Characteristics of acromegaly can be subtle and may develop gradually over time. Some known symptoms of acromegaly include:

  • Enlargement of the head and facial features

  • Enlargement of the paws and limbs

  • Increasing skin thickness

  • A wider gap between the teeth

  • Alterations in facial expressions, such as a persistent "grumpy" look

  • Lethargy and weakness

  • Excessive urination and thirst

  • Appetite loss

  • Weight gain

  • Diabetes mellitus

Gigantism vs Acromegaly

Acromegaly and gigantism are uncommon illnesses in cats, and they may not appear clinically the same way as they do in people. Yet, these disorders are brought on by excessive growth hormone (GH) synthesis, just like in people.

Gigantism in cats is a syndrome that develops when there is an excess of GH before the epiphyseal growth plates close. This causes the bones to grow excessively long, which causes an unnaturally tall stature, big paws, and an elongated head.

Contrarily, increased GH production after the closure of the epiphyseal growth plates results in acromegaly in cats. This causes the body's soft tissues and bones to thicken, which in turn produces an increase in the size of the head, paws, and facial features.

Treatment Options

The treatment options for feline acromegaly aim to minimize the production of growth hormones and manage the symptoms of the disease. The most widely used treatment options for acromegaly in cats include:

  • Surgery: The recommended method of treating feline acromegaly is frequently surgical excision of the pituitary adenoma. Nevertheless, this procedure is not appropriate for many cats, and it can be rather expensive.

  • Radiation Therapy: Radiation therapy can be used to shrink the size of the pituitary adenoma, but it may take a number of months before any improvements in symptoms are seen.

  • Medications: Medications such as somatostatin analogs or dopamine agonists can be used to reduce the production of growth hormones. These drugs can be used to treat illness symptoms and can be given orally or intravenously.

  • Dietary management: Managing a cat's diet can help manage the signs of feline acromegaly, especially if the cat has developed diabetes mellitus. A low-carbohydrate, high-protein diet can help control blood sugar levels and reduce weight gain.

Preventive Tips

Sadly, there are no recognized treatments or preventions for feline acromegaly. However, there are several actions cat owners may take to maintain their cat's health and lower the chance of disease-related complications:

  • Routine veterinary check-ups: Frequent check-ups with a veterinarian can help catch any potential health issues early, including feline acromegaly.

  • Monitor your cat's behavior and appearance: Be aware of any adjustments in your cat's behavior or appearance, such as unusual thirst, weight gain, or changes to the features of the face.

  • Maintain a healthy weight: Obesity can increase the risk of developing feline acromegaly, as well as other health problems. Feeding a high-quality, balanced diet and providing regular exercise can help maintain a healthy weight for your cat.

  • Check blood sugar levels: Since cats with feline acromegaly can develop diabetes mellitus, monitoring blood sugar levels can help detect any possible issues early.

  • Observe the medical advice given by your veterinarian: Following your veterinarian's treatment plan and going to routine checkups are crucial if your cat has feline acromegaly in order to make sure the disease is properly handled.

For your cat to properly recover from acromegaly, you must follow the above management and preventive measures.

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