Low Potassium in Cats

Written by josalin mitchell
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  • Introduction

    Low Potassium in Cats

    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.

    Low potassium can be a serious problem. (Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of Enrico)

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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.

    Low potassium is known as hypokalemia. (Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of Pop!Tech)

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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.

    Cats with hypokalemia may not eat and play as usual. (Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of Judi Cox)

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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.

    Kidney problems may cause low potassium in cats. (Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of hobvias sudoneighm)

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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.

    Blood tests may show anaemia, low red blood cell counts. (Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of Andrew Mason)

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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.

    Cats take potassium supplements in liquid form. (Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of Vittorio Vittori)

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    Prevent feline hypokalemia with quality cat food. Use supplements as needed and prescribed.

    Burmese cats may inherit low potassium problems. (Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of Ma1974)

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