What is Hormone Replacement Therapy?
Hormone replacement therapy for cats is the act of replenishing the body’s hormone levels with artificial, synthetic replicas of one or more hormones. Hormone levels often deplete over time, become absent due to surgery or illness, and can be non-existent due to a genetic predisposition. Hormones are produced by the endocrine glands working as special, chemical messengers that aid in the communication between the cells, tissues and organs of the feline. Hormones are stored in various organs of the body, released through glands where they are released into the bloodstream, circulating in the blood until they make contact with their targeted area. A few common locations of hormone storage include the ovaries, testes, thyroid, liver, adrenal glands and pituitary glands.
Hormones are extremely powerful chemicals that make major changes to the feline’s body. When a hormone comes into contact with a cell, a series of important reactions take place within that specific tissue. Your cat’s hormones regulate cognitive function, mood, thirst, body temperature, sexual development, metabolism, as well as, cell growth and development. An absence of one or more endocrine hormones will affect how your cat metabolizes, grows, reproduces and even the ability to control voluntary muscle contraction.
Hormone Replacement Therapy Procedure in Cats
Prior to starting any hormone replacement treatment plan, your cat will have a hormone evaluation exam, requiring a simple blood sample for laboratory analysis. A hormone test will tell the veterinarian which hormone needs to be replenished and the amount the feline will need to conduct daily bodily functions. Hormone replacement therapy for cats is generally a procedure that is performed by the cat owner, as a readily fresh supply of hormones must be administered daily. Most hormones replacements are administered as an injectable, which is the procedure described below.
Preparing the Dose:
- Wash your hands thoroughly.
- Read the instructions on the drug bottle thoroughly, as some concentrations need to be shaken before the drug can be withdrawn from the container.
- Remove the cap from the veterinarian-approved sized needle.
- Insert the syringe into the top of the bottle.
- Turn the bottle, with syringe still inserted in the top, upside down in your hand.
- Using your other hand or little finger, pull the plunger back to the correct prescribed dosage.
- Don’t remove the needle from the bottle until all air bubbles are removed. To remove air bubbles from the syringe, hold the syringe upright and gently tap the side until the bubbles float to the top. Push the bubbles out using the plunger and draw more medication to meet the correct dosage.
Injecting the Cat:
- Ask for assistance to hold the feline.
- Hold the syringe in your dominant hand and with your other hand, pinch and pull a fold of skin upward. The nap of the neck is the general location.
- Insert the needle into the center of the skin fold, but make sure the needle has not passed through to the other side of the skin. Once you are sure the needle is inside the skin, gently push the plunger and insert the drug.
- Pull the needle out from the skin and place the cap back on the needle to prevent personal harm.
- Dispose of the needle and syringe in a biohazard/sharps disposal unit.
Efficacy of Hormone Replacement Therapy in Cats
Hormone replacement therapy for cats is a highly effective treatment method for a number of hormone-related diseases, deficiencies and secondary effects from surgery. Once the missing hormones have been replenished, the feline will regain the ability to conduct bodily function.
Hormone Replacement Therapy Recovery in Cats
Hormone replacement therapy for cats generally begins to take effect immediately, but it can take up to a week for improvements to be noted.
Cost of Hormone Replacement Therapy in Cats
The cost of hormone replacement therapy for cats really depends on the type of hormone that is being replaced, as some hormones cost more to replicate. Some artificial hormones cost as low as $15 per bottle, whereas other can cost a pet owner over $100 per container.
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Cat Hormone Replacement Therapy Considerations
Hormone replacement therapy for cats is a daily, lifelong commitment and may not fit every cat owner’s life style. Many hormone replacement drugs also require the pet owner to inject or administer a pill to the feline every day, which may also cause concern for some pet owners.
Hormone Replacement Therapy Prevention in Cats
Hormone replacement therapy for cats can be prevented in some cases. Choosing not to remove your felines reproductive organs can prevent the need for hormone therapy and prevent urinary incontinence. A proper diet and preventing obesity often prevents diabetes, but is not always the case for feline born with this insulin deficiency.
Hormone Replacement Therapy Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals
Norwegian forest cat
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