|Cat with diabetes need the utmost care and support |
because it is a disease that every pet owner should be
very concerned about. Diabetes mellitus (DM) is a chronic condition in which a deficiency of the hormone insulin
harms the body's ability to metabolize sugar. It is one of the most common hormonal diseases for cats.
|Type I DM occurs when the body does not produce enough insulin ||Type II DM occurs when enough insulin is produced but something interferes with its ability to be utilized by the body |
|Although diabetes can strike cats of any age, it is more prevalent in older, obese cats, and is found more often in male cats. |
| ||• Excessive thirst and urination |
• Loss of weight due to the body's inability to handle glucose
• Loss of appetite
• Poor skin and coat condition
• Breathing abnormalities
|Because diabetic cats are not able to utilize glucose properly, they ultimately develop hyperglycemia, (high blood sugar levels) subsequent glucosuria (sugar in the urine). The glucosuria leads to polyuria (excessive urination) and polydipsia (excessive thirst). |
|Veterinary care should include diagnostic tests to determine the underlying cause of the elevated blood sugar and help guide subsequent treatment recommendations. Some of these tests include: |
• Complete medical history and thorough physical examination.
• Analysis of the urine to check for glucose and for signs of urinary tract infection.
• A complete blood count.
• Serum biochemical profile to determine the blood glucose concentration and to exclude other potential causes of the same symptoms.
| || |
|Treatment includes fluid therapy to correct dehydration and electrolyte abnormalities, and short acting insulin. Diabetic cats that are not ill usually require insulin injections to be given once or twice daily under the skin, and a carefully controlled diet. |
• Cats require one or two daily injections of insulin to control blood glucose. These injections are given under the skin using a small needle.
• Proper weight management diet and regular exercise can aid in control of DM. The recommended diet for cats with diabetes is a high protein low carbohydrate diet.
|• As an alternative to insulin, treatment with an oral hypoglycemic drug may be attempted. |
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|If insulin is for twice daily, try to give it 12 hours apart and at the same time each day. You should also work with your veterinarian to develop a weight management and feeding plan. Stick to regular feeding times. |
Maintaining a special diet significantly help some cats, even to the point that the cat may no longer need insulin injections. Observe your cat's thirst and frequency of urination. If these remain increased, your veterinarian may need to adjust the insulin dosage. While there is no way known to prevent type I DM, proper weight management can reduce the likelihood of your cat developing type II DM.