What Should You Know About Hyperparathyroidism In Cats?


Hyperparathyroidism in cats is a medical condition wherein abnormally high levels of parathyroid hormone or the parathormone are circulating in the blood due to an overactive parathyroid gland. Know that, the parathyroid hormone is the one responsible for the regulation of phosphorus and calcium levels in the blood. As well as in increasing the blood calcium levels by causing the calcium to get reabsorbed from the bone. Moreover, the parathyroid glands are small, hormone-secreting glands, which are situated near or on the thyroid glands. In this article, we will be discussing what hyperparathyroidism in cats really is. Get to learn more about this –read on to this article.

Hyperparathyroidism in Cats: What is this feline condition?

The excess levels of parathyroid hormone results in excessive amount of calcium in the bloodstream. Moreo so, this may cause hypercalcemia. Further, the excessive amount of calcium may lead to various problems in the renal, nervous, and gastrointestinal systems.

Moreover, hyperparathyroidism in cats is an endocrine condition, which happens when the parathyroid glands secrete the excess amounts of parathyroid hormone. Additionally, there are four small parathyroid glands, which are located next to the thyroid gland in the neck of the cat. When one or more of these parathyroid glands suddenly become overactive, it yields excessive levels of the parathyroid hormone that is responsible for the regulation of the proper balance of calcium and phosphorus in the blood. Moreover, in the event that the blood calcium levels drop down, the parathyroid hormone levels will increase. Further, this will then allow the calcium to be taken out of the bones, in order to maintain the proper levels of it.

There are two types of hyperparathyroidism:

  • Primary hyperparathyroidism, as well as
  • Secondary hyperparathyroidism

Causes of Cat Hyperparathyroidism

The main hyperparathyroidism is due to one or more benign tumors that are called adenomas. These are situated on the parathyroid glands. The tumor is what causes the parathyroid gland to secrete the excess parathyroid hormone. Moreover, the malignant tumors are greatly rare in cats.

Furthermore, the secondary hyperparathyroidism is due to nutritional problem or some other conditions. Further, the causes of the secondary hyperparathyroidism in cats include:

  • Chronic kidney disease
  • Nutritional excess of phosphorus
  • Nutritional deficiency of vitamin D and calcium, as well as
  • Kittens that are fed an all-meat diet

Symptoms of Cat Hyperparathyroidism

The symptoms of hyperparathyroidism in cats might not be present up until the levels of blood calcium have been at an amplified level for a continuous period of time. Further, these symptoms include:

  • Bloody urine
  • Straining during urination
  • Stiff gait
  • Loss of muscle mass
  • Constipation
  • Vomiting
  • Presence of stones in the urinary tract
  • Comatose
  • Stupor
  • Exercise intolerance
  • Sluggishness or listlessness
  • Drowsiness
  • Weakness
  • Weight loss
  • Loss of appetite
  • Excessive urination, as well as
  • Excessive thirst

Prognosis of Cat Hyperparathyroidism

The vet may need the complete medical history of the cat, the estimated date when the symptoms started, as well as a detailed list of all the symptoms observed. Furthermore, the vet will also physically examine the cat that will include feeling for enlarged parathyroid glands, looking for gait and muscle abnormalities, as well as listening to the breathing and heart rate of the cat.

Moreover, laboratories that include a CBC, a urinalysis, and a biochemical profile might also be performed. These laboratories may show the phosphorus and calcium levels in the urine and blood. As well as in case a kidney condition is present. The elevated levels of these may be a confirmation of a prognosis of hyperparathyroidism. Further examinations may then be conducted to determine if a nutritional deficiency or a tumor is the cause. In addition, an x-ray and an ultrasound may also be performed. These are essential in looking at the thyroid, as well as the parathyroid glands. Additionally, these tests may look for the presence of tumor. Some other blood tests might also be performed, in order to determine what nutritional deficiencies are present.

In addition, due to the fact that parathyroid gland is so small, exploratory surgery might be essential in looking for the tumor, as well as in determining the cause of it.

Treatment for Cat Hyperparathyroidism

Primary hyperparathyroidism in cats commonly needs inpatient surgery and care. The secondary hyperparathyroidism in relation to malnutrition or chronic disease is non-critical patients, which might be managed in an outpatient basis. Further, the vet might recommend calcium supplements, in order to stabilize the calcium levels in the intestines and blood,

Moreover, the low phosphorus diets for the secondary hyperparathyroidism in relation to a long-term kidney condition might be recommendable too. Furhermore, surgical procedure is the treatment choice for the primary hyperparathyroidism and is often significant in establishing the prognosis. In case a tumor is existent, the best resolution is often a surgical removal of the tumor. Additionally, the medications may be prescribed, in accordance with the final diagnosis and treatment plan.

Currently, there are no known strategies for the prevention of the primary hyperparathyroidism. Nonetheless, secondary hyperparathyroidism In relation to malnutrition may be prevented through a proper nutrition.


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