What is Destruction Of The Pituitary Gland?
Because the pituitary gland controls so many important body functions, there can be serious consequences when it is not working correctly. While some conditions can merely impair function of this gland, resulting in hypopituitarism, others can completely destroy it.
Your cat’s pituitary gland is located near the base of the brain. It is responsible for a variety of functions including the production of important hormones of the endocrine system. There are many types of health conditions that can cause malfunction or destruction of your cat’s pituitary gland.
Symptoms of Destruction Of The Pituitary Gland in Cats
The destruction of the pituitary gland in cats can cause a variety of symptoms. Here are some of the most commonly seen in household cats.
- Frequent urination
- Increased appetite
- Not using the litter box
- Thin skin
- Hair loss
- Pigmented skin
- Weakness of muscles
- Lack of muscle tone
- Delayed tooth eruption
- Pressing the head into the floor to alleviate pain
Causes of Destruction Of The Pituitary Gland in Cats
There are a variety of conditions that could cause hypopituitarism or the destruction of the pituitary gland in your cat. Below are some conditions that your veterinarian may look for when looking for a diagnosis.
- Cushing’s disease
- Feline acromegaly
- Diabetes Insipidus
- Genetic influences
- Growth hormone deficiency
- Radiation therapy
- Cystic Rathke’s pouch
Diagnosis of Destruction Of The Pituitary Gland in Cats
If your cat is experiencing negative symptoms related to the destruction of his pituitary gland, you must see your veterinarian. First, your doctor will take a detailed medical history from you regarding your cat’s health. Be sure to include important information such as unusual birth history, previous medical conditions, the date of symptom onset and current symptoms. If your cat suffered a traumatic injury prior to the onset of symptoms, it is important to let your doctor know.
After your doctor takes a thorough medical history, he will examine your cat. He will observe your cat’s gait pattern, mannerisms and motor skills. He will also perform a set of tests to determine neurological function.
You doctor will draw a blood sample from your cat to check for several things. A CBC or complete blood count, a biochemical profile and insulin tests will most likely be performed. A dynamic test may be done to determine levels of GH and ACTH. Your doctor will also take a sample of your cat’s urine to check for infection.
If your doctor is concerned about a pituitary gland tumor, he will most likely take an X-ray of your cat’s brain. In some cases, your doctor may order a more detailed imaging test such as an MRI or CT scan. These tests may also be performed with contrast dye which may make it easier to determine if a tumor is benign or malignant.
Treatment of Destruction Of The Pituitary Gland in Cats
Your doctor will form a treatment plan for your cat based on the cause of his condition. If your cat has been diagnosed with Cushing’s disease, your doctor may perform surgery to remove the adrenal glands. This has been proven the most effective way of controlling the symptoms associated with Cushing’s disease in felines.
Hypopituitarism in cats is often treated with radiation therapy. This may help shrink a tumor that is causing your cat’s symptoms.
Certain pituitary gland tumors are not operable or curable. Cases in which tumors cannot be safely removed or are prohibiting the production of hormones will not have a positive outcome. However, there is no way to know just how long your cat will live without an exacerbation of symptoms. It depends on the growth rate of the tumor. Your doctor may prescribe medications to help prolong your cat’s life and keep him comfortable. Cats that do not respond well to medications or that become seriously ill from inoperable tumors may need to be euthanized.
Recovery of Destruction Of The Pituitary Gland in Cats
The recovery time associated with the destruction of the pituitary gland in cats depends on the treatment your doctor chooses. Cushing’s disease is rarely seen in cats, so little is known regarding a long-term prognosis.
Diabetes in cats can often be controlled with medications. If your doctor diagnosed your cat with diabetes, you will need to return to the vet’s office for routine blood tests to monitor blood sugar. Your doctor will adjust your cat’s medication based on these tests. Your cat will also need to eat a nutritious diet if he has diabetes. Your doctor may place your cat on a prescription diet if he needs to lose or gain weight, which will help control his diabetes. In some instances, cats begin to regulate their blood sugar on their own after being treated with medication for a few months. If this is the case, your doctor will reduce or eliminate his medication. The overall health of your cat and his recovery has the best chance of success if you work with your veterinarian and follow his recommendations.