Rickets was diagnosed in a 1-year-old cat with a history of weakness, osteopenia, and recurrent fractures. Processes causing rickets include vitamin D deficiency caused by inadequate, nutrition, lack of exposure to sunlight, defective metabolism of parent vitamin D to active metabolites, inherited vitamin D receptor defects, hypoparathyroidism, chronic renal failure, renal loss of phosphate, or malabsorptive states resulting from gastrointestinal or hepatic diseases. On the basis of analysis of serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 and 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D2 and D3 concentrations, serum biochemical analysis, and urinary fractional clearance of electrolytes, the causes of rickets in our cat, were most compatible with a combination of excessive loss of phosphorus via the kidneys and deficient or abnormal hepatic 25-hydroxylation of vitamin D. Calcifediol treatment and twice daily administration of phosphate salts resulted in clinical improvement and increases in mineralization of the skeleton, as evidenced on radiographic evaluation.
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