Felis ISSN 2398-2950

Energy deficiency

Synonym(s): Starvation, undernutrition, diet

Contributor(s): Alison Jones

Introduction

  • Each individual animal has unique energy requirement.
  • Energy is derived from dietary fat, carbohydrate and protein.
  • Cause: (often) young animal fed homemade diet.
  • Signs: weight loss +/- failure to grow.
  • Diagnosis: must rule out weight loss due to concurrent disease (because of legal welfare considerations).

Pathogenesis

Etiology

  • Homemade diet: especially if based on vegetarian foods.
  • Inappropriate commercial diet: eg adult food fed to kitten; adult food to queen at peak lactation.
  • Feeding too few calories for individual's requirements:
  • Competitive feeding: dominant cat(s) fed simultaneously pushing out affected animal.

Specific

  • Diet is bulk-limited: if its energy density is low   →   gastrointestinal capacity will limit intake before animal's energy needs are met.

Pathophysiology

  • Correct amount of a balanced diet = animal's energy requirement + correct amounts of all other nutrients.
  • Underfed animal  →   uses liver glycogen stores   →   provides glucose essential for brain, blood, kidneys   →   if fasting for >36 hours   →   gluconeogenesis occurs using amino acids   →   mobilization of fat stores   →   supplies energy for other cells.
  • Starved animal  →   uses fat and protein as energy source (not carbohydrate)   →   decreasing fat stores noticeable over ribs/lumbar area   →   muscle atrophy over skull/lumbar region/limbs.

Timecourse

  • Gradual: if uncomplicated starvation.
  • Within days: if disease-induced, eg hypermetabolism and catabolism of amino acids providing energy and also maintaining antibody production, tissue repair etc.

Diagnosis

This article is available in full to registered subscribers

Sign up now to purchase a 30 day trial, or Login

Treatment

This article is available in full to registered subscribers

Sign up now to purchase a 30 day trial, or Login

Prevention

This article is available in full to registered subscribers

Sign up now to purchase a 30 day trial, or Login

Outcomes

This article is available in full to registered subscribers

Sign up now to purchase a 30 day trial, or Login

Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Burger I H (1994) Energy needs of companion animals: matching food intakes to requirements throughout the life cycle. Journal of Nutrition 124 (12 Suppl), 2584S-2593S PubMed.


ADDED