What is Excess Chloride in the Blood?
Chloride is an electrolyte that aids in metabolism and maintaining a proper blood acid balance. When the levels of chloride in your cat’s blood are abnormally high, it is often an indication of other underlying health problems including metabolic acidosis, kidney disease, and dehydration.
Symptoms of Excess Chloride in the Blood in Cats
The main responsibility of chloride is to help the body maintain a proper blood acid balance. When chloride levels exceed normal limits, there may be other underlying health conditions. The symptoms you are likely to notice betray the presence of the diseases and conditions that led to the elevation of the chloride levels. They include:
- Muscle twitching
- Weight loss
Causes of Excess Chloride in the Blood in Cats
Hyperchloremia s a condition that does not exist alone. It is often a result of several other health problems. They include the following:
- Uncontrolled diabetes
- Excess doses of drugs or fluids containing sodium chloride
- Kidney Disease
Diagnosis of Excess Chloride in the Blood in Cats
Hypochloremia is caused by acid disturbances which result in imbalances in chloride levels. It may also be caused by changes in fluids containing electrolytes or free water or both. To find out the actual cause, the veterinarian will conduct tests that also detect changes in sodium levels which, in turn, will help tell the changes in the levels of free water.
The diagnosis will include an exhaustive physical examination. In addition, the veterinarian will conduct laboratory tests including a chemistry profile, urinalysis, and blood tests. The aim of the tests would be to find out the presence of abnormally high levels of chloride and identify kidney disease or any other underlying cause of the condition, including diabetes.
Treatment of Excess Chloride in the Blood in Cats
Keep in mind that several physical disorders could be responsible for the abnormally high levels of chloride in the cat’s blood. There will, therefore, be varying treatment according to the underlying cause discovered after the eventual diagnosis. For instance, the veterinarian will have to treat a diabetic condition in the cat not only to relieve the symptoms, but also to prevent the relapse of hyperchloremia. A hormonal disorder or kidney problem may call for the attention of a specialist especially if it is severe, to determine whether a surgical solution is necessary.
Most of the harm to the cat’s health is brought by the symptoms of the diseases and conditions responsible for hyperchloremia. Therefore, the veterinarian’s first move will be aimed at treating the symptoms and restoring normal chloride levels. Sodium bicarbonate may be used to lower chloride and sodium levels. If particular drugs are found to be responsible for the emergence of the condition, their administration is stopped with immediate effect.
Administration of intravenous fluid is used to ensure a balance in the levels of both chloride and sodium. To correct dehydration, the veterinarian will administer fluids with the aim of achieving a balance in the cat’s body fluids. The fluid may be administered by intraosseous means if there is no intravenous access.
If treatment of hypochloremia through fluid therapy is rapid, there may be development of cerebral edema. Therefore, the fluid’s infusion rate should be closely monitored and reduced if there is suspicion of cerebral edema risks. Its signs include neurologic status deterioration, lethargy and seizures.
Recovery of Excess Chloride in the Blood in Cats
The length of the recovery period for hyperchloremia depends on the diseases responsible for the condition. If no other condition or disease is found, the cat should recover within a short period of time. Nevertheless, the cat should have several dates with the veterinarian for checkups in case there has been discovery of underlying diseases or conditions. This speeds up the recovery process and prevents relapse.
Remember, hypochloremia is a serious condition with equally serious symptoms. However, there is no cause for worry as long as the condition is treated by a competent veterinarian as soon as it is discovered.
Excess Chloride in the Blood Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals
My cat is 17 yr old. Recovered from saddle embolism in April 2017. Suspected diabetes from frequent urination and sticky urine. Blood work revealed high levels of chloride and high BUN with Creat of 4+ but meh for diabetes. Vet recommended prescription diet for kidney disease. What about administering fluids? She gets around ok and does eat and drink but sleeps a lot and is very skinny. Should comfort measures include fluid?
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