Storage Diseases of the Nervous System in Cats

Storage Diseases of the Feline Nervous System

Storage diseases are inherited metabolic disorders characterized by the accumulation of certain substances in various tissues in abnormal amounts. The two most commonly reported storage diseases in veterinary medicine are lysosomal and glycogen storage disease.

Storage diseases of the nervous system are inherited deficiencies of particular enzymes creating an inability to perform normal metabolic functions. Both dogs and cats can be affected, although the disease is extremely rare. Because it is a heritable disorder, puppies and kittens are most commonly affected.

What to Watch For

Lysosomal storage diseases may affect many organs; however, neurologic signs tend to predominate. Watch for:

Signs associated with glycogen storage diseases are often vague and nonspecific. Watch for:

Diagnosis of Feline Storage Diseases

Breed and clinical history raise an index of suspicion. Your veterinarian will likely perform the following tests:

Treatment of Feline Storage Diseases

Supportive fluid and electrolyte therapy may be necessary in weak and dehydrated patients.

Home Care and Prevention

Maintaining a good nutritional plan in the patient is essential. Routine monitoring of blood sugar, growth and hydration status is especially important with glycogen storage disease. Lysosomal storage diseases are progressive and ultimately fatal.

Be careful, as inbreeding increases the risk if the defective gene is in the family. Do not breed affected individuals and avoid using the parents of affected individuals in a breeding program.