Cachexia is the marked state of general ill health and malnutrition of a patient, and is usually associated with a serious disease. The syndrome is characterized by depletion of muscle tissue and fat stores. As opposed to malnutrion, the body chronically breaks down proteins to acquire amino acids for the acute-phase inflammatory responses. This complicates attempts to reverse the condition with supplementary nutrition, and the chronic skeletal muscle depletion contributes to morbidity and mortality. Ribs are easily palpated and body structures are easy to identify in cathetic animals. Furthermore, muscle tone and mass is often decreased with little or no subcutaneous fat cover and the hair coat in a poor condition.
REFERENCES: 1. Kotler, DP 2000, ‘Cachexia’, Annals of Internal Medicine, no. 133, vol. 8, pp. 622-634. 2. Morgan, RV 2008 ‘Handbook of small animal practice’, 5th ed., Saunders Elsevier, Philadelphia, p.1169.
Metadata assigned by Dr. M. van Schoor, Senior Lecturer, Dept. of Companion Animal Clinical Studies