Addison's disease is a kidney condition that, although uncommon, can occur in felines. Here, our Mechanicsburg vets explain Addison's disease in cats, its symptoms, and how it is treated.
What is Addison's Disease?
Addison's disease is a serious kidney disease that occurs when the adrenal glands in cats don't produce enough steroids for the body to function healthily. The adrenal glands regulate the hormones and sugar levels throughout the body, so damage to these glands can lead to organ irritation and failure throughout the body, as well as weakness and blood disease.
Although Addison's disease is uncommon in cats, owners should be able to spot it in the early stages of the condition. With this condition, prompt diagnosis and treatment are essential.
Below, our veterinarians at Silver Springs Clinic discuss what causes Addison's disease in cats, its signs and symptoms, and how it is treated.
Causes of Addison's Disease in Cats
There are a few underlying health issues that can lead to Addison's disease developing in felines, including:
- Damage to the adrenal glands
- Cancer (either originating from or spreading to the kidneys)
- Kidney tumors
- Glucocorticoid (steroid) withdrawal
If you're wondering how to prevent any of these causes from developing into Addison's disease in cats, contact our Mechanicsburg vets!
Signs & Symptoms of Addison's Disease
The physical health and behavior of your cat may suffer as a result of Addison's disease, a serious condition. You should take your cat to the veterinarian right away if any of the following common Addison's disease symptoms appear in your feline friend:
- Frequent urination
- Chronic thirst
- Blood in feces
- Hair loss
- Abdominal pain
- Weak pulse
- Lack of appetite and food avoidance
- Weight loss
- Low temperature
Diagnosis & Treatment
Your veterinarian may run a number of diagnostic procedures, including blood and fecal testing when you bring your feline friend in with these symptoms. Your cat's complete medical history should be provided to your vet, who should also be made aware of any pre-existing conditions that might cause the adrenal glands to become dysregulated.
Addison's disease is often an emergency illness that will need to be treated in critical animal care. Once their condition has been stabilized, your vet will move on to continued care from home.
It is not possible to treat this condition, but it is manageable. The symptoms of Addison's disease can frequently be avoided in cats, improving their quality of life, with continued hormone therapy and a few lifestyle modifications.