Can Vitamin D Cause Paralysis in Kittens?

by Jane Williams, Demand Media
    Overdose or paralysis requires a vet visit, pronto.

    Overdose or paralysis requires a vet visit, pronto.

    Vitamin D is a nutrient essential for helping her body retain calcium to build bones, nerves and muscles. Too much vitamin D can have serious consequences on your little furball, however -- although paralysis typically isn't one of them.

    Vitamin D Toxicity

    Considering how much your kitten loves to lay in that sunny patch under the window, you'd think vitamin D overdose would be a daily danger. But sun exposure doesn't offer dangerous levels of this important vitamin, and it isn't the only way your kitten gets her vitamin D. It's also in foods such as fish and dairy. Rodent-killing chemicals are also packed with vitamin D, so if your kitten is a hunter who catches and eats a poisoned mouse -- or eats the poison herself -- vitamin D toxicity sets in. Feeding her a diet too high in the vitamin or offering supplements can also push her into toxicity territory.

    Too Much D

    Unlike some other health conditions, vitamin D toxicity typically starts showing symptoms in about a day. Too much vitamin D means too much calcium in the blood, which can result in vomiting, diarrhea and depression. Kittens are especially at risk because of their small size. She could appear weak and suffer from seizures or muscle tremors. Paralysis typically isn't a symptom associated with vitamin D poisoning, but she could appear to have lost control of her limbs, or even the ability to walk, due to extreme weakness.

    Paralysis Problems

    True paralysis, as in your kitten is immobilized or dragging herself around like some sort of tiny seal, is a result of miscommunication. Specifically, her spinal cord and brain aren't speaking. This can occur due to injury from a fall, blocked bloodflow or tumors pressing on vital nerves or other areas. Paralysis typically occurs from some sort of trauma, whether it be external or internal, as opposed to a vitamin overdose.

    Immediate Medical Attention

    Ultimately, whether you believe your kitten is suffering from an overdose or if she's having problems moving her limbs, she needs to see a vet right away. If caught within the first 72 hours after overdose, vitamin D poisoning can be treated successfully. With paralysis it may be a little harder to predict the outcome, but the sooner your kitten is seen, the greater the possibility of discovering the cause and devising an effective treatment.

    About the Author

    Jane Williams began her writing career in 2000 as the writer and editor of a nationwide marketing company. Her articles have appeared on various websites. Williams briefly attended college for a degree in administration before embarking on her writing career.

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