Nutritional secondary hyperparathyroidism in six cats

J Small Anim Pract. 1999 Nov;40(11):533-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1748-5827.1999.tb03015.x.


Nutritional secondary hyperparathyroidism (NSH) was diagnosed in six cats during a three-year period, based on clinical, radiographic and laboratory findings. Clinical signs were attributable to severe osteopenia (n = 5) and hypocalcaemia (n = 4), which had resulted in spontaneous fractures of long bones, scapulae, pelvis, nasal bones, or spine, and in excitation, muscle twitching or seizures, respectively. Serum parathormone levels were markedly elevated, and 1,25(OH)2-vitamin D3 mildly elevated, whereas 25(OH)-vitamin D3 was mildly decreased compared to age-matched healthy cats. Treatment was limited to short-term parenteral calcium gluconate injections, as clinically indicated, a balanced diet and cage rest, which resulted in quick clinical recovery in four cases. The remaining two cats had to be euthanased because of progressive neurological deficits secondary to spinal fractures. At the time of writing, a multitude of commercial balanced diets is widely available and diseases secondary to dietary deficiencies have become rare. Nevertheless, NSH is still an important clinical entity, and should be considered in growing cats presenting with spontaneous fractures or seizures.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bone Diseases, Metabolic / diagnostic imaging
  • Bone Diseases, Metabolic / etiology
  • Bone Diseases, Metabolic / veterinary
  • Calcium / deficiency*
  • Cat Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Cat Diseases / diagnostic imaging
  • Cat Diseases / etiology
  • Cats
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Female
  • Fractures, Bone / diagnostic imaging
  • Fractures, Bone / etiology
  • Fractures, Bone / veterinary
  • Hyperparathyroidism, Secondary / diagnosis
  • Hyperparathyroidism, Secondary / etiology
  • Hyperparathyroidism, Secondary / veterinary*
  • Hypocalcemia / complications
  • Hypocalcemia / veterinary
  • Male
  • Radiography
  • Seizures / etiology
  • Seizures / veterinary


  • Calcium