Hypercalcaemia in cats: The complexities of calcium regulation and associated clinical challenges

Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery
Natalie C Finch


Calcium is essential for many normal physiological processes within the body. Aberrations in calcium homeostasis leading to hypercalcaemia can result in clinical signs such as polyuriav and polydipsia, lethargy and weakness due to depressed excitability of muscle and nervous tissue, and gastrointestinal (GI) signs due to effects on GI smooth muscle. Hypercalcaemia in cats is mostly idiopathic, with chronic kidney disease and neoplasia also being common causes. Hypercalcaemia can be a diagnostic challenge and a good understanding of the regulation of calcium homeostasis can aid in interpreting results of diagnostic tests. Furthermore, the management approach may depend on the underlying cause of hypercalcaemia, and also its severity and chronicity. This review offers a comprehensive discussion of the regulation of calcium homeostasis, with a focus on the normal response to hypercalcaemia. It also discusses the diagnostic approach to, and management of, hypercalcaemia in cats, as well as specific aetiologies. This is relevant to all clinicians working with feline patients. The review draws evidence from peer-reviewed publications and also the author's own clinical experience.


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