May
20
2015

Everybody needs a little Vitamin D, even cats. In fact, a deficiency may be fatal. So suggests a recent study, published by PLoS ONE on May 13. 

Researchers at the University of Edinburgh’s Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies examined blood samples from 99 pet cats that were admitted to the University’s Small Animal Hospital with life-threatening conditions.

With the owners’ permission, the team checked the levels of vitamin D in the cats’ blood on admission. They re-checked it after 30 days.

They found that cats with higher levels of vitamin D in their blood were more likely to be alive 30 days after admission than those with the lowest levels.

The study highlights the need to understand more about whether vitamin D influences the risk of cats developing a disease and how it impacts the outcome of their illnesses, the researchers say.

The findings may also help veterinarians give owners better advice about their pets’ prognoses, noted the researchers.

“Our study demonstrates that measuring a key vitamin D metabolite in the blood predicts disease outcome with a much greater degree of accuracy than many other widely used measures of disease severity,” said Richard J. Mellanby, BSc BVMS PhD DSAM DipECVIM-CA MRCVS, one of the study’s researchers.

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