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Pet Owner Version

Disorders of Magnesium Metabolism in Cats

By

Allison J. Stewart

, BVSc (Hons), PhD, DACVIM-LAIM, DACVECC, School of Veterinary Science, University of Queensland

Medically Reviewed Aug 2018 | Modified Oct 2022

Most disorders of magnesium metabolism are due to problems associated with absorption of the mineral from the digestive tract. Because of anatomical differences in the digestive tract between species, the rates disorders of magnesium vary in different types of animals. Disorders of magnesium metabolism are less common in cats than in cattle and sheep. Too much magnesium in the blood (hypermagnesemia) is rare but has been reported in cats with kidney failure that were receiving intravenous fluids. Cardiac arrest can occur with very high blood magnesium levels. Too little magnesium in the blood (hypomagnesemia) is common in critically ill cats. Although it usually does not cause any signs, hypomagnesemia can worsen other conditions and lead to low blood levels of other important electrolytes, such as potassium and calcium.

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