Mucopolysaccharidoses in Cats

Metabolic Disorders Due to Lysomal Enzyme Deficiency in Cats

Mucopolysaccharidoses are a group of metabolic disorders characterized by the accumulation of GAGs (glycosaminoglycans, or mucopolysaccharides) due to the impaired functions of lysosomal enzymes. It is the mucopolysaccharides which help in building bones, cartilage, skin, tendons, corneas, and the fluid responsible for lubricating joints.

Domestic shorthair and Siamese cats are predisposed to mucopolysaccharidoses.

Symptoms and Types

  • Dwarfism
  • Severe bone disease
  • Degenerative joint disease (DJD), including partial dislocation of hip joint
  • Facial structural deformity
  • Enlarged liver
  • Eye cloudiness


Mucopolysaccharidoses is a genetic abnormality. However, inbreeding increases the risk, especially if the defective gene is present in the family.


You will need to give a thorough history of your cat’s health, including the onset and nature of the symptoms. He or she will then perform a complete physical examination, as well as a biochemistry profile, urinalysis, and complete blood count (CBC). These tests may reveal valuable information for initial diagnosis, including the presence of characteristic granules within neutrophils and monocytes (types of white blood cells). Your pet’s veterinarian will also take a sample from other body sites and organs — such as the liver, bone marrow, joints, and lymph nodes — for further analysis.

Definitive diagnosis, however, is typically made by measuring the lysosomal enzyme levels in blood or liver. Bone X-rays, meanwhile, will reveal decreased bone density and other bone- and joint-related abnormalities.


The prediction of a disease’s outcome in advance


An in-depth examination of the properties of urine; used to determine the presence or absence of illness

lymph nodes

Small structures that filter out the lymph and store lymphocytes


A substance that causes chemical change to another


a) Mass per volume b) The number of animals in a given area


Anything that looks different from what is considered to be normal and healthy for that species


The mating of animals who are closely related, like father and daughter or brother and sister

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