Vitamin B12 or cobalamin has many essential roles in a cat’s body including boosting immunity, working as a coenzyme for the metabolism of some amino acids, fats, and carbohydrates among others. If not available in the required amounts, there will be deficiency symptoms.
We already looked at some of the deficiency causes and symptoms while looking at vitamin B12 in cats benefits and deficiency symptoms. We noted that whereas you may offer enough of cobalamin in these pets’ diet, they may still have a deficiency if they suffer from any disease or conditions that affect its absorption.
For instance, if your cat has any gastrointestinal conditions such as inflammatory bowel disease, pancreatitis, exocrine pancreatic insufficiency, intestinal lymphoma or live disease (liver is involved in absorption), even supplementing it in their diets might not help.
This means that you should go for either oral or vitamin B12 injections for cats. Injections are intramuscular or subcutaneous and they will ensure this pet has enough of this vital vitamin. Also, you can opt for a transdermal version.
Benefits these shots or injection for cats
Some of the benefits of this injection are the same as the benefits of cobalamin and they include the following:
Managing neuropathy for diabetic felines
Vitamin B12 can be given to diabetic cats to help manage and treat symptoms of neuropathy that often rise if this pet suffers from chronic diabetes. In this case, these shots should be given alongside diets for diabetic cats and insulin shots as directed by your vet.
Research has shown that pharmacologically, it can help enhance appetite. When given to cats, their appetite goes high and when not given, it goes down. Treatments such as chemotherapy meant to manage cancers are known to reduce appetite and these shots might help boost it.
Additionally, felines with exocrine pancreatic insufficiency often suffer from reduced appetite and cobalamin can be of much help.
Also, the injections may help supplement cobalamin to felines suffering from hyperthyroidism which is characterized by excessive water consumption and urination. This leads to a decline in the cobalamin level, being a water-soluble vitamin, through excretion.
Similarly, those with liver disease will need these injections since the liver is involved in the absorption of this vitamin into the body.
The exact dosages will be as per the recommendation of your vet or as per the manufacturer of the specific brand you will be using. According to the World Small Animal Veterinary Association World Congress Proceedings, 2014, a typical dosage amount is 250µg of cobalamin per dose.
One example of such a shot is the Anivit B12 solution for injection 250 µg/ml available in the UK and administered subcutaneously.
Cost of B12 injections for cats
The cost incurred will depend on the cost of the specific brand you opt for, and whether you do it alone or your vet does it.
Typical costs of vitamin B12 injection, 1000µg/ml, range between $6 to $9 per 100ml of the bottle. This price is exclusive of the cost of needle and syringe.
B12 Shots for cats side effects
Being a water-soluble vitamin that is excreted with urine, “clinical disease due to over-supplementation should not occur and has never been described in any species,” notes the Texas A&M Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences.
However, since it contains cobalt, your pet may suffer from allergic reactions if it is sensitive to cobalt. Fortunately, instances of such hypersensitivities are very rare.
Finally, as a water-soluble vitamin, any excess amounts will be excreted in your pet’s kidney and expelled via urine.