A degenerative disease affecting the kidneys or the liver, amyloidosis in cats is the cause of serious illnesses. In principle, it only affects wild cats, but there are some domestic cats that are also affected by this disease due to a lack of protein dissolution.
What is cat amyloidosis or amyloidosis?
Also known as amyloidosis, amyloidosis in cats is an inherited condition that is caused by the body’s poor breakdown of proteins, resulting in significant damage to the body. In fact, poorly dissolved proteins are transformed into amyloid substances composed of sugar, celluloid and polysaccharides. These deposits will cover the heart, kidneys, digestive tract or liver. These organs are then in danger as soon as these deposits accumulate around them.
In principle, cat amyloidosis affects black-footed cats originating from sub-Saharan Africa. In these wild breeds, a high rate of cases of amyloidosis has been observed by scientists, particularly within the population of cats in captivity. Certain domestic breeds have also been diagnosed as carriers of this disease, including the Somali, the Abyssinian, the Oriental and the Siamese, except that the latter are rather affected by secondary amyloidosis in the renal form.
The pathology appears following a triggering factor: malignant tumors, collagen diseases, an inflammatory process, an infection, autoimmune diseases, etc.
Symptoms And Diagnosis Of The Disease
As the disease affects the kidneys, the cat will start drinking a lot of water. This polydipsia will force the cat to urinate very often. This is called polyuria. Vomiting blood, weight loss or even anorexia and loss of appetite are the clinical symptoms. The latter make it difficult to recognize renal amyloidosis, hence the delay in diagnosis of this disease. The biological signs are creatinine and an increase in urea in the blood. Anemia and hyperphosphatemia also occur.
At the time of diagnosis, the practitioner will first note the hardness of the kidneys and notice the dehydration of the animal. Several devices are performed to highlight the disease: blood tests, urine and stool analyses, azotemia, ultrasound, etc. It is not really advisable to do a kidney biopsy, because if the cat is too weak, it may not tolerate general anesthesia.
Treatment And Prevention Solutions For Amyloidosis
Cat amyloidosis is a fatal disease that can kill the animal in a very short time. It appears in cats between 1 and 5 years old and evolves very quickly. For the cat to have a chance of survival, the diagnosis must have been made as soon as possible. A treatment of colchicine as well as anti-inflammatories will be carried out. The goal is to stem the development of amyloids. The cat must also follow a suitable diet, very low in protein.
For breeds at risk, it is preferable from the start to give them foods containing little protein, as a prevention.