+372 50 80 660 Õismäe tee 115A, Tallinn
Mon-Fri: 9-20 | Sat, Sun: Closed
Haabersti Loomakliinik
+372 50 80 660 Õismäe tee 115A, Tallinn
Mon-Fri: 9-20 | Sat, Sun: Closed

Endocrine diseases of cats

+372 50 80 660 Õismäe tee 115A, Tallinn
Mon-Fri: 9-20 | Sat, Sun: Closed

Diabetes mellitus is the most common disease of the endocrine system in cats. Adult and aged cats are susceptible The most common reason of this pathology is obesity. Therefore, it is very important for owners to monitor their weight, avoid overeating, and if necessary, use diet food, as well as increase physical activity. The second factor in the development of diabetes is any inflammatory process in the body that causes insulin resistance. Quite often diabetes is a result of chronic pancreatitis. In older cats, the cause of diabetes can also be a malignant process. Sometimes diabetes in cats can be caused by long-term use of corticosteroids. Acromegaly can also be the cause of diabetes. 

The main symptoms of diabetes are increased fluid intake and urination, weight loss, and increased appetite. Diagnosis of this disease is carried out on the spot, in the clinic, and does not take much time. This includes a detailed medical history, a thorough examination, complete blood count, biochemistry, urinalysis, and ultrasound. Treatment, if there are no complications at the time of diagnosis, as well as comorbidities, is carried out by the homeowners. Daily subcutaneous insulin shots and blood sugar control once a week until sugar stabilizes, diet are required. 

If you go to the clinic in advance and before complications, and follow all the recommendations of the doctor, as well as in the absence of concomitant diseases, the prognosis is very favorable – until the full recovery

Hyperthyroidism is the second most common disease of the feline endocrine system. Older cats (7+) are susceptible to it. It is caused by hyperplasia of the thyroid gland, and very rarely by carcinoma of the thyroid gland. This pathology releases into the blood a large amount of thyroid hormone (T4). It has a detrimental effect on the entire body, especially on the cardiovascular system, leading to hypertension, heart disease and subsequently to heart failure. Since this pathology appears in older cats, it often masks chronic kidney disease, to which cats, unfortunately, also have a high predisposition. 

The main symptoms of hyperthyroidism are increased appetite and weight loss, vocalization, restlessness, aggressive behavior, dull coat, profuse defecation, and sometimes diarrhea. Diagnosis is made on-site at the clinic and does not take much time. This includes a detailed history, a thorough examination, a complete blood count, biochemistry, a specific T4 test, urinalysis to assess kidney function, blood pressure measurement, a chest X-ray and/or ultrasound if a cardiac problem is suspected, and a specific test indicating cardiac abnormality – proBNP. 

Today there are 3 options for the treatment of hyperthyroidism: taking pills for life (the most common and cheapest way), a special diet (more complicated, since cats are often quite picky about food) and iodine therapy (conducted in Finland, requires a long hospital, a very expensive treatment). In the past, thyroidectomy, a surgical method of treatment, was also used, but is now used very rarely, as it has many side effects and is not being performed in Estonia. 

As diabetes, if you go to the clinic in time and follow all the doctor’s recommendations, hyperthyroidism is perfectly under control; well-being, behavior and appearance significantly improve, and serious complications are prevented. 

Keep a close eye on your pets and pay attention to any changes in their behavior and well-being, so that we can help them together in time

Frequently asked questions

At what age can a cat be spayed?

Cats (females) become sexually mature when they reach a body weight of 2 kg. That is, a cat that weighs 2 + kg, regardless of its age, is considered sexually mature. The cat's heat depends on the length of the day, the more light, the faster the cat comes to "hunt". The cat's hunting period is from spring to fall, when there is the most daylight. Cats that live indoors have daylight at all times, since there is electric lighting. Thus, cats that live with people who have more than 14 hours of daylight a day - can come to "hunt" all year round, regardless of the time of year.

NB! There are two terms: spaying and castration. Sterilization involves manipulation to prevent fertilization, such as ligation of the seminal cords in males or ligation of the fallopian tubes in females. In castration, the internal sexual organs are removed (testes in males, ovaries +/- uterus in females). These 2 terms are very often confused and misused. Most often, pet owners use the term "castration" for males and "spaying" for females.

We perform castration (i.e. removal of internal sexual organs of both male and female).

We also perform early castration (spaying) - from 2 months of age.

Answer: The operation can be performed when the cat weighs 2 kg (or more).

Do animals need to be given an internal parasite medication before vaccination?

Adult animals should be given an antiparasitic before the annual vaccination if the owner does not use preventive deworming - that is, if he does not use internal worming medication 2 times a year, at least.

If preventive deworming is carried out systematically - then, before the annual vaccination it is not necessary to give a medication for internal parasites. Be sure to use the treatment before the first vaccination for puppies and kittens - as they are most likely to have worms.

Preventive deworming is a one-time use of an antiparasitic agent.

In the presence of worms - a treatment regimen is necessary, which depends on the type of worms, age of the animal and risk group in which the animal lives (e.g. kennel, shelter, multi-cat house, overnight stay, street housing, etc.). In this case, you need to consult a veterinarian.

Cats that live exclusively at home, preventive treatment against internal parasites is also necessary.

Cats that live only in doors, preventive treatment against internal parasites is also necessary.

Kittens and puppies should be treated at least once a quarter during their first year of life.

Answer: puppies and kittens BEFORE the first vaccination is mandatory, treatment of adult dogs and cats is carried out regardless of vaccination.

Is it necessary to vaccinate domestic cat?

Cats that live only in doors should also be vaccinated - because owners can bring the infection from the street on their shoes. For example, feline plague (or feline panleukopenia) is still common and frequent.

The most important thing is to properly vaccinate a young animal (kittens and puppies) early in its life. Vaccination of a young animal is carried out in 2-3 stages. The last vaccination should be given at over 16 weeks of age.

Further vaccination regimens depend on the lifestyle and risk group of the animal. Vaccination of domestic cats can be carried out every 2-3 years.

Answer: yes, it is.

How to understand if a cat is sick?

Cats are very secretive animals and are very good at disguising ailments. Cats very rarely show signs of acute pain - cats don't cry or scream. The most common sign of malaise is a change in the cat's behavior and a change in its normal daily routine. A cat that is not feeling well - refuses to eat, is lethargic, does not respond to owners, refuses to play or make contact, lies in a forced posture, not relaxed, etc. No one can see the slightest change in the cat's behavior better than the owner himself.

Answer: as soon as you notice that something has changed in the cat's behavior and daily routine.