Hypokalaemia in cats: a very serious condition that can affect our furry friend. Let’s see together what it is.
Potassium is an electrolyte present in the blood of both humans and animals, necessary for the correct function of the muscles and the various systems of the body.
Often the level of potassium in the feline’s blood, especially if sick, can drop causing hypokalaemia in the cat. Let’s see below what it is, what are the symptoms not to be underestimated and what to do about it.
Hypokalaemia in cats: causes and symptoms
Hypokalemia is a condition that occurs when the feline has low blood potassium levels.
This condition occurs especially when our four-legged friend suffers from chronic kidney disease or hyperthyroidism or alkalosis.
However, there are other reasons why cats may have a low level of potassium in their blood:
- Prolonged vomiting
- Excessive diarrhea
- Anorexia in cats
- Intestinal obstruction
- Barium poisoning
- Dietary potassium deficiency
- Severe stress or anxiety
A feline with hypokalaemia may have no symptoms unless potassium levels are exaggeratedly low, in which case it is possible to notice difficulties for the cat to keep its head up, and a weak feline.
However, depending on the cause that triggered this condition, other symptoms may also be noted, such as:
- Loss of appetite in the cat
- He retched
- Weight loss
- Difficulty walking and breathing
- Depression in cats
- Heartbeat irregularity
- Muscle paralysis
- Increased urination
- Poor growth
- Respiratory failure
In the event that the cat has one or more of the symptoms listed above, it is advisable to contact the veterinarian.
Hypokalaemia in cats: diagnosis and treatment
The specialist to determine the potassium levels in the blood of our furry friend will carry out a blood sample.
The latter will be analysed for a complete blood count. After that the vet will also carry out a complete physical exam.
If the blood tests show low potassium levels, the specialist will ask for other types of tests, such as urine samples, stools, or an x-ray, to highlight the cause of the cat suffering from hypokalaemia.
Depending on the cause that caused this condition, the vet will be able to prescribe the right therapy for our four-legged friend.
In more serious cases, hospitalization will be appropriate, until the feline’s muscle weakness is no longer a problem. Finally, the most widely used methods for the introduction of potassium in the blood are: oxygen, potassium supplement and fluidoterapia intravenously.