Test Your Knowledge

Do you know what an endocrine disorder is? How about which ones can affect your cat? Put your feline health knowledge to the test as our expert veterinarian takes you through a common consultation at the clinic.

By Arnold Plotnick, DVM

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Heres an example of a common scenario during a feline examination:

I noticed that this past weekend, he seemed to be drinking and urinating quite a bit, says Heidi Belman about Ricky, her 14-year-old cat. Belman reveals that she thinks Ricky is losing weight, even though he is eating well. He used to be 16 pounds at one point, Belman says.

Do you know what's wrong with Ricky?

Cats are at an increased risk of developing certain metabolic illnesses as they age; the three major ones being hyperthyroidism, diabetes and chronic renal failure, says Marcus Brown, medical director and owner of Capital Cat Clinic in Arlington, Va.

The clinical signs of these three disorders can overlap, and Ricky has a few signs of all three. Increased thirst and urination is a hallmark of diabetes and kidney failure but may or may not be seen with hyperthyroidism. Excellent appetite is commonly seen in diabetes and hyperthyroidism but is generally not seen with renal failure. Weight loss, however, is seen in all three disorders, and Ricky has lost three pounds since his last visit. After submiting blood and urine to the laboratory, the results were surprising. Although Rickys kidney parameters were normal, he had elevated blood sugar levels, sugar in his urine and elevated thyroid hormone levels. Ricky is diabetic and hyperthyroid.

Was your diagnosis correct?

**For the full article, pick up the June issue of CAT FANCY**

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Reader Comments

janet    bethlehem, PA

5/10/2011 4:27:56 AM

good article, thanks

Janet    Bethlehem, PA

2/12/2010 6:34:45 AM

good article thank you

Donna    Austin, TX

9/15/2008 5:43:39 PM

I got the diabetes right, but needed the blood test results in order to diagnosis the hyperthyroidism.

janet    bethlehem, PA

9/9/2007 10:44:11 AM

interesting I didn't realize that thanks for the info

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