Acromegaly in cats
Acromegaly (sometimes referred to as “hypersomatotropism”) is a relatively rare hormonal condition. It can be caused by excessive hormone production in the brain or in mammary gland (breast) tissue. Acromegaly due to excessive hormone production in the brain is more common in cats than dogs. Affected cats can develop gradual changes in their appearance but because the disease develops over a long period of time owners may not notice any problems. Some cats become extremely hungry or start drinking and needing to use the litter tray more frequently. Often the veterinarian might notice a change in a cat's appearance when a cat is presented because of the changes in appetite or increased drinking and may recommend further investigation. However, in many cases cats may be diagnosed with diabetes mellitus before there are any signs of external changes in appearance. If the disease is not treated more serious problems like kidney disease, high blood pressure, permanent diabetes, joint problems, seizures and heart problems can develop. It is important to get a diagnosis as early as possible if treatment is to be effective.