Vet 2 Cat

Cat of the Month -February 2024 - Tiddlywinks

COTM Feb 2024

Coming swiftly on the tail of January’s COTM, this month we have the delightful Tiddlywinks!

Tiddlywinks is a sweet little 8-year-old girl. She is quite possibly the friendliest cat I have ever met. Our home visiting service was just the ticket for Tiddlywink’s hooman, a lovely chap of advanced years.

This case was one of these frustrating ones, whereby the problem we were asked to come and look at led us to uncover some more concerning issues. Tiddlywinks had started overgrooming her tum and her legs. This can be a common presentation in cats for many reasons, but was odd as it was the first time she had ever done this.

We noted she also had an old badly fractured canine tooth, so knew we would have some dentistry to do at some point. We opted to start with a urine sample as one cause of overgrooming the tum is cystitis –  a painful bladder condition, so a pee test could indicate this.

There was no sign of cystitis (blood or protein), but the pee was rather dilute for vet Claire’s liking.  Some blood tests and imaging of the abdomen later (as well as sorting out that nasty rotten tooth root), and we diagnosed Tiddlywinks as having idiopathic hypercalcaemia, probably with a touch of kidney disease as well. If left untreated, it could cause damage to so many parts of the body including the bones, the kidneys, the gut and lungs.

The word ‘idiopathic’ in medical terminology means ‘we cannot find an underlying cause for this problem’ and for hypercalcaemia (high blood calcium levels), it is actually the most common cause (or lack of cause, so to speak…)

We are hoping that a change of diet to a special renal disease diet plus the addition of soaked Chia Seeds will get her calcium levels back to normal. The use of chia seeds for this is quite a novel therapy – we like to keep our fingers on the pulse!