Degenerative disease affecting the kidneys or the liver, amyloidosis in cats is the cause of serious affections. In principle, it only concerns wild cats, but there are some domestic cats which are also affected by this disease due to a lack of protein dissolution.
What is amyloidosis or amyloidosis in cats?
Also known as amyloidosis, cat amyloidosis is an inherited condition that is caused by the body’s poor breakdown of proteins, resulting in serious damage to the body. In fact, poorly dissolved proteins are transformed into amyloid substances composed of sugar, celluloid and polysaccharides. These deposits will cover the heart, kidneys, digestive tract or even the liver. These organs are then in danger as soon as these deposits accumulate around them.
In principle, cat amyloidosis affects black-footed cats originating from Sub-Saharan Africa. In these wild breeds, a high rate of cases of amyloidosis has been observed by scientists, particularly in the captive cat population. Some domestic breeds have also been diagnosed as carriers of this disease, including the Somali, Abyssinian, Oriental and Siamese, except that the latter tend to suffer from secondary amyloidosis in renal form.
The pathology appears as a result of a triggering factor: malignant tumors, collagen diseases, an inflammatory process, an infection, autoimmune diseases, etc.
Symptoms and diagnosis of the disease
As the disease affects the kidneys, the cat will start to drink a lot of water. This polydipsia will force the cat to urinate very often. This is called polyuria. Vomiting blood, weight loss or even anorexia, and loss of appetite are clinical symptoms. These make it difficult to recognize renal amyloidosis, hence the delay in diagnosis of this disease. The biological signs are creatinemia and an increase in urea in the blood. Anemia and hyper phosphatemia are also manifested.
At the time of diagnosis, the practitioner will first notice the hardness of the kidneys and notice the dehydration of the animal. Several devices are performed to highlight the disease: blood tests, urine and stool analyzes, azotemia, ultrasound, etc. It is not really advisable to do a kidney biopsy, because if the cat is too weak, he may not be able to withstand general anesthesia.
Amyloidosis treatment and prevention solutions
Cat amyloidosis is a fatal disease that can kill the animal in a very short time. It appears in cats between 1 and 5 years old and evolves very quickly. For the cat to have a chance of survival, the diagnosis must be made as soon as possible. Colchicine treatment as well as anti-inflammatory drugs will be carried out. The goal is to stem the development of amyloids. The cat will also have to follow an adapted diet, very low in protein.
For breeds at risk, it is preferable from the start to give them foods containing little protein, as a prevention.