Hyperlipidemia is a general term for diseases in which there is too much fat in the blood. Hyperlipidemia in cats is not as common as in dogs and humans.
What is hyperlipidemia in cats?
The term hyperlipidemia is used to describe a condition in which there is excess fat in the blood of animals. overtake- means “to end” and lipid Refers to fat. The main lipids usually found in blood are triglycerides and cholesterol. When one or both of these levels are elevated in the blood, cats are considered to have hyperlipidemia.
It is normal for blood lipid levels to rise temporarily after meals and return to normal later. This is called lipemia, and it can skew blood test results. This explains why your veterinarian recommends that your cat fast before blood tests.
There are two types of hyperlipidemia in cats: primary and secondary.
- primary hyperlipidemia It is a rare genetic disorder that affects blood lipids.
- secondary hyperlipidemia Occurs when another disease process causes elevated blood lipid levels. Some cats have medical conditions that prevent excess lipids from leaving the bloodstream, which can lead to other problems in the body.
In the early stages of hyperlipidemia, you may not notice any signs of the disease. This is why it is so important for cats to see a veterinarian for annual or semi-annual checkups. As cats age, veterinarians recommend routine blood tests to look for abnormalities. Problematic hyperlipidemia can be detected on routine blood tests.
- Cats that show signs of hyperlipidemia may show multiple signs. This is because there is usually another disorder that causes hyperlipidemia. Cats may also show signs of the disease if a related disease process occurs. That’s why it’s important to contact your veterinarian if your cat shows any signs of illness.
Causes of Hyperlipidemia in Cats
Primary hyperlipidemia in cats is rare. This is a genetic disorder that can occur in any cat, but is more common in Himalayan cats.
Secondary hyperlipidemia in cats is caused by another disease process or by external factors.
- high fat diet
- Medications (especially corticosteroids)
- liver disease
- protein-losing nephropathy
- Cushing’s disease (very rare in cats; often associated with diabetes)
Treatment of feline hyperlipidemia
When blood test results show hyperlipidemia, veterinarians work hard to find the root cause. Further laboratory testing is usually required to determine whether the cat has primary or secondary hyperlipidemia.
If no underlying cause is found, the cat will be diagnosed with primary hyperlipidemia. Treatment includes dietary modifications. Most cats will need a low-fat diet for the rest of their lives and can stay reasonably healthy. Medications are usually not required.
If the veterinarian can find the underlying cause, the cat is diagnosed with secondary hyperlipidemia. Treatment depends on the specific cause of the hyperlipidemia. If medication and/or diet are believed to be the culprits, changes will be made to medication dosage and/or dietary intake.
Secondary hyperlipidemia is usually caused by another disease process, so treatment will target that disease. For example, a cat with pancreatitis may require hospitalization and supportive care for pancreatitis. Cats with diabetes may need to start insulin and make changes to their diet. If obesity is identified as the underlying cause, then weight loss will be necessary. This usually means changes to the cat’s diet and lifestyle.
How to Prevent Hyperlipidemia in Cats
The only way to prevent primary hyperlipidemia in cats is to ensure that cats with the disease are not used for breeding (as the disease is genetic).
The best way to prevent secondary hyperlipidemia in cats is to prevent the underlying diseases or keep them from getting out of control. It is also important to feed a healthy, complete and balanced cat food. Make sure you take your cat to the veterinarian once or twice a year for a health check. Your veterinarian may be able to detect disease at an early stage, before it causes any signs of disease.