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High calcium in blood

September 13th, 2007, 01:35 PM
Just got back Puddles' blood work back and her calcium levels are quite high, 3.26, normal range 2-2.9. She is an 11 year old Himalayan who has some permanent kidney damage from toxins when she was a kitten. Her cre and bun levels are a little high but still in normal ranges which was expected.

The vet suggested food management to get the calcium levels down. Anybody have any suggestions? Also, I should have asked the vet, but what does high calcium levels indicate (he did mention cancer in dogs but not normally seen in cats)

September 13th, 2007, 02:59 PM
I would test the blood again, as there have been cases where dogs had elevated levels and in secondary testing they were reduced, and this is not uncommon.
Common causes of high calcium levels include cancer, kidney failure and hyperparathyroidism.
In terms if food, if you can ask your vet what levels of calcium he thinks are appropriate in this case, you can then do research on all of the pet foods if you wish to choose your own. Keep in mind that % of Calcium DOES NOT tell you how much overall calcium the cat will get, rather you need to do the calculation.
For this you will need how much one cup of food weighs, and the feeding amounts. ie
1 cup food = 100 grams (eg) X 1.5% calcium = 1.5 grams calcium per cup. If the guidelines say the cat should eat 1 cup, than this is your ingestion rate.
See if you can match that up to the "prescription" diet recommended.
Hope this helps!
Good luck

September 14th, 2007, 06:41 AM
Thanks Gypsy girl, think I will have a follow up blood work in 6 months to see if it changes. Vet didn't seem too concerned about it because her kidneys and glucose levels look great (all in high normal range) for an 11 year old cat who lost about 40% of her kidney function when she was a kitten.

September 14th, 2007, 06:49 AM
could you feed meat without its calcium counterpart? would that help reduce the calcium a bit?

say feed the morning feeding your regular cat food and then in the evening give either raw or cooked chicken?? just dont add the usual egg shells or bones.


September 14th, 2007, 07:11 AM
Oh, if only I could get her to eat human food, best thing for cats!!!! She turns her nose up to chicken, turkey, beef, salmon. She is such a tiny eater (hence why her weight has never changed) and so picky!

The fear in me is that she won't eat and will loose some weight that she can't afford to :sad:. I know I am probably being too protective! I did some research and found a low acid diet may bring calium levels down, but may lead to UTI, crystals etc.

Am going to get her blood work checked again in 6 months to see if it changes. In the meantime, I will continue to vary her food. Vet recommended Hills diet, but it is full of corn, so not feeding that to her.

September 14th, 2007, 02:13 PM
There are many things that you can do from a therapuetic level to reduce the calcium, ie stopping absorption. Pottasium Citrate is one of these things, but I cannot remember if it "grabs" it is the appropriate place. You could check with your vet on that. It is typically used to reduce to occurence of calcium oxylate crystals.
Feeding a diet that uses less meat (especially of the meal variety) will also reduce calcium levels. This though, is against the carnivore way of feeding, and so finding a balance can be tricky!

September 14th, 2007, 08:04 PM
Gypsy Girl you know way more about this than do I ~ but I'm not clear on how reducing meat/ meat meal, being low in calcium but high in phosphorous would lower the cat's calcium blood level.

As well, I thought cats with high calcium don't metabolize proteins as well as cats with normal calcium. So wouldn't it make more sense to provide a diet higher in protein so that the increase in phosphorous would result in a greater number of bound Calcium Phosphates which would then be more likely to excrete as excess?

The sodium potassium citrate is an interesting suggestion though and I would be interested in learning whether it would take up the calcium in the blood.

L4H I know your Vet isn't overly concerned but maybe on your next visit you might ask her/him whether increasing hydration and using a thiazide diuretic might be helpful.

September 15th, 2007, 01:31 PM
I typed a reply, and then got the boot off of my computer :(
Here is a great article:

I will see if I have chance to reply upon returning.

September 15th, 2007, 07:01 PM
Thanks for the link, gypsygirl, I tried reading it, but the science was a little over my head lol. Did get the renal failure issue though and now worried about cancer. The vet was not concerned about renal failure because all her other bloodwork results were in normal ranges. Everything was excellent for her age except blood calcium. He thought she was in very good health.

She did get into toxins as a kitten which resulted in approx 40% kidney loss. Wondering if a lifetime of weakened kidneys could contribute to this?

September 20th, 2007, 01:59 PM
Talked to the vet in more detail about Puddles' blood results. He doesn't think it is cancer (thank goodness) there are no other signs to indicate so (high ALT #s) and her results are consistent with an animal who has had kidney damage due to toxins in their life. He is concerned about mineral deposits in her kidneys which may lead to stones and blockages. He wants to follow up with a urinalysis, and an x-ray to find out just how well her kidneys are working and whether there are any mineral deposits.

He would like to manage this with a low calcium diet. So now I look for low calcium diet. He said canned food only, low protein, which is what mx3 suggested, thank you mummummum, high veggie, no alfafa, but thinks rice should be OK. Keep giving her water with the syringe to ensure she is flushing her kidneys daily.

Gypsygirl, you are right about trying to find a good balance between meat protein and reduced calcium. That is why the vet suggested veggie based protein. She is not used to veggie based diets and I tried to feed her some and she doesn't like them. She is a fishy only kitty and is so skinny (8lbs her whole life) and it worries me when she doesn't eat.

September 20th, 2007, 02:35 PM
I am glad that it is not cancer! Some of these things are idiopathic, and have no reason that can be determined.
I would suggest that you find out from your vet what "low calcium" is so that you are within range and not too low. He should be able to tell you which prescription diet fits that. If you do not wish to use prescription, you can determine the equivalant calcium level by doing a calculation.
Normally, these levels are express as X grams per 100 kcals, and you can the compare to what you are prefering to use.
Alot of these prescription diets use protein isolates from soy, which is a great protein source for your situation, as they are not meat based. You can temper that with adding some lower calcium tinned food if you like as well.
You can ask the manufactures of food that you look at to tell you the level per 100 kcals, or if the level looks comparable in % to the prescription that may also work.
This is NOT the same is in kibble, and % if ingestion in grams can vary due to differences in calories, while tinned food often has similiar calories
I would also recommend a water fountain as this does sometimes help with increasing fluids.

September 20th, 2007, 09:03 PM
As you know Love4H I'm not all that conversant in cat diets but I do know they need taurine . So if you are going to go a veg-protein route you will need to buy taurine supplements (you can get them at a drug or health store) but you had best ask your vet about dosage.