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J Vet Intern Med. 2000 Nov-Dec;14(6):619-26.

Idiopathic hypercalcemia in cats.

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Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Ohio State University, Columbus 43210, USA.


Unexplained hypercalcemia has been increasingly recognized in cats since 1990. In some instances, hypercalcemia has been associated with calcium oxalate urolithiasis, and some affected cats have been fed acidifying diets. We studied the laboratory findings, clinical course, and treatment of 20 cats with idiopathic hypercalcemia. Eight (40%) of the cats were longhaired and all 14 cats for which adequate dietary history was available had been fed acidifying diets. Clinical signs included vomiting (6 cats), weight loss (4 cats), dysuria (4 cats), anorexia (3 cats), and inappropriate urinations (3 cats). Hypercalcemia was mild to moderate in severity. and serum parathyroid hormone concentrations were normal or low. Serum concentrations of phosphorus, parathyroid hormone-related peptide, 25-hydroxycholecalciferol, and calcitriol were within the reference range in most cats. Diseases commonly associated with hypercalcemia (eg, neoplasia, primary hyperparathyroidism) were not identified despite thorough medical evaluations and long-term clinical follow-up. Azotemia either did not develop (10 cats) or developed after the onset of hypercalcemia (3 cats), suggesting that renal failure was not the cause of hypercalcemia in affected cats. Seven of 20 cats (35%) had urolithiasis, and in 2 cats uroliths were composed of calcium oxalate. Subtotal parathyroidectomy in 2 cats and dietary modification in 11 cats did not result in resolution of hypercalcemia. Treatment with prednisone resulted in complete resolution of hypercalcemia in 4 cats.

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