Feline Hyperparathyroidism: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment What Causes Feline Hyperparathyroidism and How To Treat It

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Feline hyperparathyroidism is a reasonably frequent endocrine condition in cats that is characterized by an excess of parathyroid hormone. In this article, we discuss this condition further.

Cats with feline hyperparathyroidism, a somewhat common endocrine condition, have one or more of their four parathyroid glands overproducing the hormone parathyroid hormone (PTH). Calcium is mobilized from the bones as a result of excessive PTH, which raises blood calcium levels and causes a number of clinical symptoms.

In order to arm cat owners with the knowledge they need to identify and treat their feline friends' hyperparathyroidism, this article will examine the causes, symptoms, diagnosis, and available treatments for this ailment.


The most typical causes of feline hyperparathyroidism are listed below:

  • Parathyroid adenoma: A benign tumor called an adenoma on one or more parathyroid glands is the most frequent cause of feline hyperparathyroidism. Hypercalcemia results from the gland(s) producing too much PTH as a result of the adenoma.

  • Chronic kidney disease: Cats with renal illness cannot efficiently remove extra phosphorus from their bodies, which causes the parathyroid glands to produce more PTH. This causes hypercalcemia and hyperparathyroidism.

  • Nutritional imbalances: Low calcium in cats can cause the parathyroid glands to release more PTH in order to keep blood calcium levels within normal range. Similarly, a high-phosphorus diet can trigger the same response, leading to hypercalcemia and hyperparathyroidism.

  • Parathyroid carcinoma: In rare cases, feline hyperparathyroidism can be caused by a malignant tumor (carcinoma) on the parathyroid gland(s). This can cause the gland(s) to produce excessive amounts of PTH, leading to hypercalcemia.

  • Idiopathic hypercalcemia: In some cases, feline hyperparathyroidism may occur without an obvious underlying cause. This is known as idiopathic hypercalcemia and is thought to be a result of genetic factors.

Symptoms of Calcium Deficiency in Cats

Symptoms of hyperparathyroidism in cats include:

  • Increased thirst and urination: Cats with hypercalcemia may drink more water and urinate more frequently, which results in more frequent trips to the bathroom.

  • Appetite loss and weight loss: Cats with hypercalcemia may have an appetite loss and weight loss, which may be brought on by digestive issues, dehydration, or sadness.

  • Vomiting: Cats with hypercalcemia may vomit regularly, which may be brought on by the high amounts of calcium in the blood irritating the stomach.

  • Lethargy and weakness: Hypercalcemia can make cats feel weak and lethargic, which makes them less active and more likely to nap for long periods of time.

  • Increased panting and breathing issues: Some cats with hypercalcemia may have trouble breathing or panting due to the respiratory discomfort that high calcium levels can induce.

  • Urinary tract problems: Cats with hypercalcemia may develop urinary tract problems, such as urinary stones or urinary tract infections.

  • Behavioral changes: Cats with hypercalcemia may display behavioral changes, such as restlessness, irritability, or depression.

Treatment of Hyperparathyroidism In Cats

The root cause and degree of hyperparathyroidism in cats determine the course of treatment and management. Here are some typical medical options for renal hyperparathyroidism :

  • Surgery: The most typical remedy for benign tumor-induced feline hyperparathyroidism is surgical excision of the afflicted gland(s). This can help to reduce the clinical symptoms linked to hypercalcemia and return blood calcium levels to normal.

  • Medical management: In some cases, medical management may be used to help control hypercalcemia. This can include the use of drugs that decrease PTH production, such as calcimimetics or bisphosphonates.

  • Nutritional management: Nutritional management is important in cats with hyperparathyroidism caused by a diet deficiency or imbalances. A balanced diet with appropriate amounts of calcium, vitamin D, and phosphorus can help to prevent hypercalcemia.

  • Management of chronic kidney disease: For cats with hyperparathyroidism caused by chronic kidney disease, management of the kidney disease is the primary goal. This may include dietary changes, medications to control blood pressure and proteinuria, and supportive care.

  • Regular monitoring: Regardless of the treatment option chosen, regular monitoring of blood calcium levels and clinical signs is important to ensure the effectiveness of treatment and to detect any complications or recurrence of hypercalcemia.

Prevention Strategies

Cat owners can use a number of preventative techniques to lower the risk of parathyroid in cats:

  • Regular veterinary check-ups: Regular veterinarian examinations can help discover any underlying medical issues that may contribute to the formation of hyperparathyroidism. The illness can be stopped from advancing to a more severe state with early discovery and treatment.

  • Balanced diet: Providing a wholesome diet with appropriate amounts of calcium, vitamin D, and phosphorus can help prevent the development of hypercalcemia due to dietary deficiencies or imbalances.

  • Hydration: It's crucial to give your cat access to clean, fresh water to keep them properly hydrated. Hypercalcemia and other medical issues can result from dehydration.

  • Avoiding certain medications: Hypercalcemia risk may be raised by some drugs, including vitamin D supplements. It's crucial to check with your veterinarian before giving your cat any medication to be sure it's safe for it to take.

  • Regular exercise: Regular exercise in the form of playing with toys can help prevent obesity and other health issues that may contribute to the development of hyperparathyroidism.

  • Preventing chronic kidney disease: Cats with chronic renal illness frequently develop hyperparathyroidism. Preventing renal illness through good feeding, hydration, and regular veterinarian treatment can lower the risk of hyperparathyroidism.

In conclusion, there are a number of ways to prevent feline hyperparathyroidism, including routine veterinary exams, a balanced diet, enough hydration, avoiding certain drugs, regular exercise, and guarding against chronic kidney illness. Cat owners can assist in lowering the risk of hyperparathyroidism and other health issues in their pets by putting these recommendations into practice.

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