Treating taurine deficiency in cats includes dietary changes and oral taurine supplements. Monitoring the cat’s heart condition for improvement, or providing supportive care if the heart failure is occurring, are also important to successful taurine deficiency treatment.
Treating Taurine Deficiency in Cats
As most cats diagnosed with taurine deficiency are being fed the wrong type of diet, pet owners will need to change their cat’s diet under the direction of their veterinarian. Many cats diagnosed with taurine deficiency are fed home cooked diets, and if pet owners want to continue to fed their cats these types of diets they will need to provide life-long taurine supplementation in the cat’s diet.
Oral taurine supplements are also needed to return the cat’s blood taurine levels to normal. These supplements must be given twice a daily for 3 – 4 months before symptoms of taurine deficiency begin to recede.
As taurine deficiency affects a cat’s heart, continual monitoring of the heart is needed to ensure that the oral treatments and dietary changes are successfully treating the condition. Heart damage caused by taurine is reversible, and once the heart has returned to normal the cat can then be taken off the supplements.
In severe cases of taurine deficiency, the heart is affected to the extent where heart failure occurs. In these cases, supportive care such as oxygen therapy, intravenous medications, and hospitalization are needed until the cat’s heart can recover.
The outlook for taurine deficiency in cats is good as long as permanent damage has not occurred to the cat’s heart. While permanent damage to the heart can occur from this condition, it is quite rare. In rare cases irreversible blindness may also occur, but these cats can still lead long and normal lives.