Cats receive vitamin B12 shots for various maladies. Technically known as cobalamin, vitamin B12 is water-soluble, so excess amounts don't stay in Kitty's body but are excreted in urine. Some cats benefit from Vitamin B12 injections due to generally poor health condition, while others benefit because it aids in fighting certain diseases.
If your kitty has diabetes, you're probably giving her once- or twice-daily insulin shots. A common complication of diabetes is peripheral neuropathy. If your cat is affected, she'll become wobbly on her back legs. Most diabetic cats with peripheral neuropathy do eventually regain complete function of the rear legs within a few months, but vitamin B12 shots can aid in recovery. Your vet will prescribe the correct dosage. If you are already a practiced hand at giving injections to your diabetic cat, your vet may teach you how to give the vitamin B12 shots as well.
If your cat suffer from irritable bowel disease or other ailments of the gastrointestinal system, your vet may recommend vitamin B12 shots for therapeutic purposes. According to research of Texas A&M University, compelling evidence exists that "significant tissue-level cobalamin deficiency" is present in some cats and dogs with gastrointestinal disease. It recommends that cats with chronic gastrointestinal disease history have serum cobalamin concentrations measured.
Cats with kidney disease or renal failure are prime candidates for vitamin B12 injections. Unfortunately, kidney disease becomes increasingly common as cats age. As the kidneys fail, volume of urine actually increases, so water-soluble vitamins in the B category leave the body faster. Supplementation with vitamin B12 injections aids a cat by giving her additional B vitamins and may stimulate her appetite. Loss of appetite frequently accompanies kidney disease.
Stray, stressed or elderly cats or felines that consume bad diets can benefit from vitamin B12 shots. Such treatment comes in conjunction with feeding higher-quality food and veterinary oversight. If the cat is lethargic, depressed and not eating well, vitamin B12 shots can perk her up and start her back on the road to health. Veterinarians often recommend B12 shots for cats diagnosed with anemia, which can result from poor care such as severe, untreated flea infestations.
- Texas A&M University: Cobalamin: Diagnostic Use and Therapeutic Considerations
- Veterinary Practice News: Feline Diabetes - Five Principles Breed Success
- Feline Outreach: Gastro-intestinal Disorders (such as IBD)
- Vet Info: B Vitamins for Cats
- University of California School of Veterinary Medicine: Nutritional Management of Chronic Renal Disease
- cat image by Vasily Smirnov from Fotolia.com