This information is provided by Provet for educational purposes only.

You should seek the advice of your veterinarian if your pet is ill as only he or she can correctly advise on the diagnosis and recommend the treatment that is most appropriate for your pet.

Atrophy means a loss of normal tissue mass. This can be due to a loss of cells or due to a reduction in the size of cells. Anything that reduces the activity of tissues can result in cell size reduction for example disuse due to loss of nerve stimulation, or lack of hormonal stimulation, reduced blood supply, or inadequate nutrition or physical inability to function (when using splints or a plaster cast the limb muscles will atrophy through disuse).

It is important to recognise that ATROPHIC CELLS ARE NOT DEAD CELLS -  but they do have reduced functional capabilities.

The precise mechanism by which cells become atrophic is  not known , but the cells do lose some of their substance such as intracellular organelles and supportive structures.

Atrophy can usually be reversed except in advanced stages when cell death may actually occur. 


Last updated : October 2013