Vitamin B12: Why Do Cats with Feline Distemper Need It?
How Does Vitamin B12 Help Cats?
Generally, cats get their daily dose of vitamin B12, also known as cobalamin, from their diet since most commercial cat foods are high in vitamin B12.
However, cats with Feline Distemper often lose their appetite, as well as their ability to properly absorb the vitamin, which leads to vitamin B12 deficiency. This is a problem because cats need sufficient vitamin B12 in order for their bodies to function properly, meaning it’s also crucial for a sick cat’s recovery.
What Does Vitamin B12 Do?
Vitamin B12 is a nutrient that’s important to the health of the immune system, nervous system, and digestive tract. It helps keep the nerves and the blood cells healthy, preventing cognitive disorders and medical conditions, like anemia.
Normally, vitamin B12 is absorbed in the small intestines, but if a cat has a disease that affects the gastrointestinal system, like Feline Distemper, it prevents the absorption process.
How Do I Know If My Cat Is Vitamin B12 Deficient?
The most common signs of vitamin B12 deficiency in cats include lethargy, vomiting, diarrhea, and weight loss.
Some cats may also have difficulty walking, jumping, or climbing, and appear like they’re having trouble holding themselves up using their back legs. If you suspect that your cat is vitamin B12 deficient, it’s best to take them to the vet right away.
Which Foods Are Rich in Vitamin B12?
If your cat is eating normally but is showing signs of a vitamin B12 deficiency, it may mean that their current diet doesn’t have enough vitamin B12. You can try feeding them more meat, like boiled chicken, fish, or cooked (unseasoned) liver, which is rich in vitamin B12.
How Is Vitamin B12 Deficiency Diagnosed?
Most of the time, cats suffering from diseases that affect the gastrointestinal tract, such as Feline Distemper, are routinely evaluated for vitamin B12 deficiency. For healthy cats, however, you’ll need to specifically bring up the need to your veterinarian.
To find out if a cat is vitamin B12 deficient, your veterinarian will simply do a blood test to measure the levels of the vitamin in your cat’s body. Once the results are out and your cat is found to have lower than normal vitamin B12 in their body, then your veterinarian may suggest a daily oral vitamin B12 supplement or a quick vitamin B12 shot.
How Does Vitamin B12 Help Cats with Feline Distemper?
Since Feline Distemper affects the gastrointestinal system and bone marrow, not only does it prevent the proper absorption of vitamin B12 and other nutrients. but also hinders red blood cell production. Without vitamin B12 supplementation, cats with Feline Distemper can develop all sorts of health problems on top of the already present viral infection, including anemia, malnourishment, and weakening of the immune system.
All these can make it difficult, if not impossible, for cats to recover. However, with the help of vitamin B12, it’s easier for them to cope with the damaging effects of Feline Distemper. It helps boost their energy, restore their appetite, and alleviates discomfort as their body heals.
How Is Vitamin B12 Given to Cats with Feline Distemper?
There are plenty of ways to give vitamin B12 to cats, but to those with Feline Distemper, veterinarians usually administer the vitamin via injections under the skin.
According to the Journal of Veterinary Science and Medical Diagnosis, kittens are given 0.05 to 0.1 ml of vitamin b12, while adult cats are given a maximum of 0.25 ml, every day or every other day. In cases where vitamin B12 isn’t available, your veterinarian may use vitamin B-Complex, but give it to your cat through an IV tube instead of an injection since it’s a bit painful when injected.