Lysosomal Storage Disease
What is lysosomal storage disease? Lysosomal storage disease represents a collection of more than 30 different disorders related to enzyme deficiencies such as gangliosidosis.
How does my cat get lysosomal storage disease? This is an inherited disorder passed on from one parent or both parents to kittens.
How do I know if my cat has? This is a tricky disease to identify. It is rare and easily missed. Common symptoms associated with LSD include wobbling or balance problems, seizures, stunted growth, fainting and impaired vision. A thorough exam and series of tests are necessary to accurately identify this disorder. Your veterinarian will take into account your cat’s breed and perform urinalysis, biochemical profile, complete blood count, X-rays of the abdomen and chest, tissue biopsy and measure enzyme activity. Research is underway to develop specific DNA-based diagnostic tests that will be able to more readily identify this rare disease.
What can I do about lysosomal storage disease? Many cats with this condition are weak and dehydrated and must receive IV fluids and electrolytes to restore hydration. It is vital that a proper diet is selected that prevents your cat from developing hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). Cats identified with lysosomal storage disease must also be supervised and prevented from overexertion or even climbing stairs.You will need to make regular vet appointments to keep tabs on your cat’s blood sugar level, growth and hydration status. In some cases, bone marrow transplants slow down the pace of this disease. However, treatments are designed to slow down the progression, because there is no cure for this fatal disease.
Is there anything I can do to prevent my cat from getting lysosomal storage disease? Since inbreeding increases the risk of this defective gene being passed on, it is vital to select responsible breeders who have carefully bred out this gene in their cats.
Are there certain breeds that get more often? Yes. Domestic shorthair, Domestic longhair, Korat, Persian, Siamese and Balinese breeds top the list of purebreds more prone to developing lysosomal storage disease. It can affect males or females equally and some cats live months or a few years before clinical signs are readily visible.
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