Endocrine diseases in cats

Endocrine Diseases In Cats

Our cats are increasingly affected by endocrinopathies. These diseases of the endocrine glands can lead to various symptoms that disrupt the life of the animal and some of them can even, in the absence of treatment, prove to be fatal. Let’s discover in a few words what an endocrine disease is and give a spotlight on those most frequently diagnosed in cats.

What Is An Endocrine Disease?

An endocrine disease is a pathology that affects the endocrine system. This is made up of hormone-secreting glands Or endocrine glands. I’ pituitary is the main one, which is why it is considered a true conductor of the metabolism.

An endocrine disease can therefore affect humans as well as animals. In any living being, the slightest disruption of the hormonal system leads to a whole set of symptoms, and must be taken care of as quickly as possible by a health professional.

In the cat, the endocrine-type metabolic diseases the most common are:

    • hyperthyroidism,
    • hypothyroidism,
    • Diabetes,
    • Cushing’s Syndrome,
    • Cushing’s disease.

Much more rarely, a cat can be affected by acromegaly, another endocrine disease.

Hyperthyroidism In Cats

This endocrine disease can be deadly in the absence of treatment. Its process is a adenomatous hyperplasia, i.e. a benign adenoma. It is mainly cats aged at least 10 years who are affected, the risk increasing with age. Disease affects the metabolism and is manifested by the production of a large amount of hormones, far beyond the norm.

The cat suffering from hyperthyroidism suddenly becomes restless and anxious and while he was meek as a lamb, he shows himself aggressive. It is therefore very important to consult the veterinarian as soon as you notice a flagrant metamorphosis in the animal’s character. This change can be so significant that the master sometimes no longer recognizes his little companion. But the cat presents in addition to other symptoms For example :

    • An increase in appetite and weight loss despite everything,
    • Dullness of the coat,
    • A heart murmur,
    • Vomitings,
    • Diarrhea,
    • A nodule in the neck,
    • Intense thirst and increased volume of urine due to the cat drinking more than usual.
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Hypothyroidism In Cats

Hypothyroidism in cats occurs when the thyroid no longer produces enough hormones, either because of a malfunction or because of its destruction. There are in fact two distinct cases:

    • I’ idiopathic atrophy due to the replacement, by fat cells, of thyroid cells,
    • There lymphocytic thyroiditis due to the destruction of thyroid cells because the body begins to produce antibodies against its own cells.

In a cat with hypothyroidism, there are upheavals at different levels since the metabolism East poorly regulated. Insufficient secretion of thyroid hormones leads to variable symptoms from one cat to another, such as:

    • Significant fatigue (lethargy),
    • muscle weakness,
    • Difficulty tolerating low temperatures,
    • weight gain,
    • Hairs that become dull and fall out,
    • facial edema,
    • Behavioral disorders.

These are mainly the cats aged 2 to 6 years who are affected by this endocrine disease, regardless of gender and race. We must be vigilant because the manifestations whose origin is a thyroid hormone deficiency appear gradually, which can therefore go unnoticed.

Diabetes Mellitus

It is quite common in cats. It manifests itself by a increased blood glucose levels. The operation of the pancreas being disturbed, this gland no longer produces enough insulin so that the sugar drawn from food ends up accumulating, which is very serious for the cat. It is essential that diabetes mellitus be diagnosed as early as possible so that the animal benefits from follow-up. The master who observes a weight loss unexplained in his cat must consult as soon as possible.

The symptoms of diabetes mellitus are:

    • An increase in hunger, thirst, and consequently the cat urinates more frequently and the volume of urine increases,
    • Weight loss despite increased food intake,
    • Increased sensitivity to urinary problems,
    • The dulling of the fur,
    • Hair fall.
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Some of these symptoms may be due to other health problems, if in doubt a consultation is necessary.

Cushing’s syndrome in cats, to distinguish from Cushing’s disease

THE Cushing’s syndrome occurs when there is a disorder in the adrenal glands located above each kidney. It can be an adenoma or an adenocarcinoma (cancer). This leads to a increased cortisol secretion (stress hormone) from which arise 15% of cases of hyper coticism affecting mainly diabetic cats aged from 7 to 12 years old. This hypersecretion has a direct impact on the functioning of the pituitary which suddenly produces fewer hormones.

About the Cushing’s disease it is caused by a secondary hypersecretion due, in 9 cases out of 10, to a pituitary adenoma which disrupts the functioning of this endocrine gland, namely the pituitary gland.

THE most common symptom in Cushing’s case is a extreme skin fragility. The skin can tear very easily if the cat is seized by the neck, and the damage thus caused is irreversible. The skin having become extremely thin no longer heals or heals badly, so much so that by licking itself, the cat can cause wounds.

It should be noted, however, that in extremely rare cases, Cushing’s disease may be due to a lung tumorbut then the cause is non-endocrine.

Acromegaly In Cats

Less frequent than the other endocrine diseases detailed above, acromegaly can also manifest itself in our little felines. It is due to a excessive secretion by the pituitary gland, growth hormone.

This pathology has primary cause a pituitary gland tumor or pituitary. It is generally diagnosed in cats which present at the same time a insulin-resistant diabetes mellitus. Acromegaly mainly affects castrated cats, already adults or even seniors, who have long since completed their growth.

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THE acromegaly cat continues to grow, has larger than usual organs, a wider face, jawbones protrude forward (this is called the prognathism). Even the size of his carp (front feet) undergoes transformations.

Endocrine diseases in cats are not never trivial some may even life-threatening. In some cases, the treatment can be long and lead to significant expenses. As no cat is immune to a dysfunction of an endocrine gland, it is very important that its master insures it as soon as possible with a animal health mutual. This allows the animal to be cared for and/or monitored lower cost. Just use a cat health insurance comparator to study the different formulas offered by insurance companies, the extent of the guarantees as well as the rates.

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