Taurine Deficiency Average Cost

From 222 quotes ranging from $200 - 500

Average Cost

$250

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What is Taurine Deficiency?

Taurine is an essential amino acid in cats, responsible for a variety of important bodily functions such as vision, heart function, digestion, and fetal development. Amino acids are fuels the body needs to function properly and are typically derived from protein that cats and other animals digest and break down. Cats are especially susceptible to taurine deficiency since they are unable to convert other amino acids into taurine, unlike some other species. 

Symptoms of Taurine Deficiency in Cats

Symptoms of taurine deficiency in your cat are slow to progress and may not be immediately apparent. Symptoms will often be degenerative, which means they become progressively worse over time. Signs of taurine deficiency include:

  • Retinal degeneration
  • Irreversible blindness if retinal degeneration is not addressed
  • Weakening of the muscles of the heart leading dilated cardiomyopathy
  • Death if cardiomyopathy is not addressed
  • Digestive issues
  • Fetal abnormalities
  • Small litter sizes
  • Low birth weights
  • Delayed growth and development in kittens

Causes of Taurine Deficiency in Cats

Taurine is naturally found in uncooked meat which makes up a considerable portion of diets in wild cats. Cooking food can often degrade or destroy taurine, which is why commercial cat foods typically supplement their recipes with this nutrient. Taurine deficiency typically occurs when your cat is eating a commercial diet or some home prepared raw diets that do not include organ meat, which is where the highest concentrations of the amino acid is found. Recent recalls of cat food have focused on lack of appropriate levels of taurine in the final product.

Diagnosis of Taurine Deficiency in Cats

Taurine deficiency will often be a difficult diagnosis to make on its own. Your veterinarian will need a thorough medical history and a recounting of the progression of any symptoms. Of particular importance will be a full accounting of your cat’s diet. If you feed your pet a commercial cat food, bringing the bag or a picture of the ingredients list will be useful. If you use a home prepared diet you should carefully document the ingredients and provide a full list to your vet.

Next your veterinarian will run a full blood panel and urinalysis. This will involve collecting a small sample of blood from your cat in a painless and quick blood draw procedure. Since taurine deficiency often will not cause elevated levels that would appear, these tests will generally help rule out conditions with similar symptoms.

Other diagnostic tests will depend on the symptoms your cat is displaying. Your vet may perform a detailed eye examination in order to look for retinal degeneration. The retina requires high amounts of taurine in order to function properly and low levels will cause irreversible degeneration. If dilated cardiomyopathy is suspected, ultrasound or chest x-rays will help to diagnose the condition or rule out a more serious genetic heart defect or damage. Your vet may also want to perform an electrocardiogram in which the electrical function of your cat’s heart is monitored for normal rhythm. 

Treatment of Taurine Deficiency in Cats

Treatment of your cat will begin with supporting your cat’s underlying symptoms. Once your cat has become stabilized, the standard treatment for taurine deficiency is supplementation of taurine. Depending on the severity of the symptoms and how long your cat has been suffering, ongoing supplementation may be needed for the life of your cat. Synthetic taurine will be required for supplementation, as once deficiency is present the conditions have progressed too far for dietary changes alone to resolve the condition.

Recovery of Taurine Deficiency in Cats

The long term prognosis for recovery from taurine deficiency in your cat will depend on the progression of the condition and the level of damage incurred from the deficiency. If the taurine deficiency has been short-term or has not caused permanent damage, after sufficient taurine supplementation has allowed levels in the body to regulate, your cat will have a good chance at full recovery. 

If significant damage has occurred as a result of the deficiency, your cat may need additional medications or support. Medication may be needed to help support your cat’s heart if it has developed dilated cardiomyopathy. If your cat has suffered from vision damage you may need to alter the living environment in order to support your cat’s daily life. Vision damage should not affect your cat’s ability to live a long and healthy life. 

Management of taurine deficiency will also require rectifying the dietary deficiencies that caused the condition to develop. Your cat should be fed a balanced diet with the adequate amount of nutrients. Pet owners should also pay attention to any recalls of commercial cat food in order to ensure that their cat is receiving adequate nutrition.

Taurine Deficiency Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

Lucky
Persian
2 Years
Mild condition
0 found helpful
Mild condition

Has Symptoms

sensitive stomach

My Persian male cat eating only home cooked chicken breast nothing else. If I tried to give him some commercial food diarrhea starts with blood. What can I do for him. Suggest

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
3317 Recommendations
Colitis (among other conditions) may be triggered by diet resulting in diarrhoea with or without blood; in these cases it is important to try to find a suitable diet through trial and error; you should see if your Veterinarian or local pet shop offers a balanced restricted ingredient diet to see if there are any improvements with a basic diet. If you have no success with a restricted ingredient diet, you should have your Veterinarian examine Lucky to see if there is another underlying issue. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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LUCKY
Persian
2 Years
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

no symptoms

Medication Used

That time erythromycin antibiotic

With home cooked food, he is comfortable no diarrhea no blood but no motion pass daily. Can u pls suggest any specific food. His vet examine thoroughly no major health issue with him only I try to give him commercial food and treat that's why bloody diarrhea starts that's it.
Thank you

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
1606 Recommendations
Without knowing more about Lucky and his condition, I can't recommend a specific food for him. Since you have seen his veterinarian recently, it would be best to call them and ask what type of food he may need to help with his GI problems. There are prescription GI diets that are gentle on the intestines that your veterinarian may be able to prescribe for him.

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Baby
tabby
13 Years
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Poor Stool Control

I have a cat that has a big problem she likes to eat dog food. She also runs through house pooping how do I stop it? I have her in cage at this time does good in there just when she is out she has problems.

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Blue
dsh
10 Years
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Eye Clouding
Cardiomyopthy

If a cat is on Hypoallergenic prescription cat food" Selected Protein Adult PR, Rabbit and Green Pea" made by Royal Canin could it cause taurine deficiency? My cat has strange looking eyes and its very similar to the retina degeneration pictures. Also, my cat was recently treated for DCM. The vet seems to think that Taurine deficiency is highly unlikely due to the FDA requirements for pet food but we are awaiting results.

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
1606 Recommendations
Thank you for your question - most commercially produced cat foods have enough taurine to prevent a deficiency, it is highly unlikely that a high quality food like Royal Canin would cause that deficiency. Cats do have normal aging changes in their irises, and can also be affected by high blood pressure related to heart disease. If your veterinarian has not checked blood pressure on Blue, that would be worthwhile doing, and if you are not sure that her eyes are going through normal aging changes, you may want to consult a veterinary ophthalmologist if you have one in your area. I hope that everything goes well for her!

A high quality food like Royal Canin, lol .... Please do not take nutritional advise from a vet .... they do not have training on this that comes close to adequate. Royal Canin, Hills ... Blue Buffalo, Purina, all garbage ... kibble is terrible to begin with. If you must feed kibble give Orijen otherwise find some freeze dried raw or cook for your dog/cat ... eye issues, any issue your pet has will be connected to kibble and one of the worst ones too !! I speak from experience ....

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Shadow
Persian Cat
10 Years
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

abdominal pain narrowed bowels

My cat is 10 years old and has always been a picky eater. What she enjoys one day she wont eat the next. She is also a nibbler, never eating a full meal at once. She started having bowel problems the last few years. I first noticed the really rank odor 2-3 yrs ago and the Vet had her try several prescription diets but she would not eat them for very long. She was checked for bowel obstruction but was good on that. The Vet is sure it is OBS. Recently her BMs are 1/3 normal diameter and just had her checked again. She has lost 1 1/2 lbs in a few months and on x-ray she had nothing in her bowels and very little in her stomach. Again my Vet said OBS. When I got her home I broke up some deli ham and she actually meowed when she smelled it and really chowed down. So I have been giving her that for the last 2 days. I know she needs taurine and need to know how to get it into her. She is already takin 2 meds, prednisone and gabapentin and don't really want to add another traumatic experience for her, and liquids are "no way" for her. She also has abd pain and grr's when touched there, and on x-ray her bowels did not have the "string of pearls" appearance as the Vet described them. So, What can I do for the OBS and giving her taurine? I would really appreciate any help and knowledge.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
3317 Recommendations
You need to be careful feeding deli meats to a cat especially if it makes up most or all of dietary intake; deli meats contain a lot of salt and other products which may be harmful and toxic when few often (more than a few times per month), I know it is difficult to feed her but this may not be a good solution. You should discuss with your Veterinarian about the suitability of the deli meat you’re giving from a potential toxic point of view and to discuss taurine supplementation, I cannot think of anything to help supplement taurine apart from the normal methods. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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