Low potassium in cats is relatively easy to treat, but can be an indication of a more serious health problem. According to Petplace.com, some cats with low potassium may have problems with the condition throughout their lives.
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Low potassium in cats is known as feline hypokalemia. It is not a disease of its own, rather a symptom of other feline diseases.
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Signs and Symptoms
Cats with hypokalemia may seem tired, weak and stiff and cease normal bowel movements. Look for constant thirst and urination as well.
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The most common cause of hypokalemia in cats is chronic kidney failure. Feline diabetes is another potential cause. It is possible that some Burmese cats inherit low potassium, according to author Cheryl L. Chrisman.
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Veterinarians test for hypokalemia by testing the cat's blood and performing a heart scan, since hypokalemia affects a cat's cardiovascular function. Cats with kidney failure may show low red blood cells, known as anaemia.
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Feline hypokalemia can lead to hospitalisation. Normally, veterinarians prescribe a liquid, pasty potassium supplement (potassium gluconate), which is given at home Veterinarians also determine and treat the particular cause of hypokalemia.
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Prevent feline hypokalemia with quality cat food. Use supplements as needed and prescribed.