Calcitriol for Cats

Calcitriol is an important component of virtually every treatment for dogs and cats going through renal failure. If your pet is suffering from kidney damage or kidney failure, he will not be able to properly process both calcium and phosphate as he should. The excretion of excess calcium and phosphate from the kidneys can oftentimes result in dangerous side effects and even death. Calcitriol is able to help control the processing of these two nutrients in your pet's system, thereby regulating his condition and helping to maintain stability while he suffers from renal failure.

Calcitriol for Cats Overview

Calcitriol is a chemical name for active vitamin D. Vitamin D is different from other vitamins in your pet's system, as it acts more like a hormone and interacts with different types of nutrients in unique ways. Through a Calcitriol treatment, your pet will better be able to absorb excess phosphate and calcium from the intestines. He will also be better able to immobilize those nutrients in the kidneys for processing. The result is that his blood calcium and phosphate levels will be improved, and he will experience greater strength, appetite and mobility.

This medicine is developed for human use only. It is routinely prescribed for humans under the brand name label drugs called Rocaltrol and Calcijex. These medicines may also be provided to cats as an extra label drug under certain circumstances. You'll need to check in with your vet and receive an appropriate prescription before you can give your pet Calcitriol, however.

Using Calcitriol for Your Pet

Calcitriol is available as both an injectable drug and as an oral suspension. Most pet owners find that the injectable version is easier to use. If you have a difficult time making the injection, you can have a veterinarian do it for you. However, because most Calcitriol regimens require a daily dose of the medicine, most owners find that it's best to have a vet demonstrate how to properly inject the drug, then to do it themselves at home for convenience.

The dosage of this medicine that you'll give to your cat can vary tremendously based on his weight, age and kidney function. Check in with your vet frequently in order to be sure that your pet is getting the proper dose of this medicine.

Risks and Side Effects of Calcitriol

Calcitriol is generally considered effective and safe in most cats. If your pet is pregnant, it's best to avoid using this medicine to treat her. As with other hormonal supplement drugs, this medicine must be closely monitored to be sure that your pet's blood calcium levels are not too high. If the calcium level becomes too high, your pet may suffer from a variety of problems, including:

  • Kidney damage
  • Liver damage
  • Cardiac arrest

As with any other medicine, it's important to keep a close eye on your pet at home after giving him a dose of Calcitriol. If you notice any unusual reactions, take your pet to the vet immediately.