Diabetes is a condition that affects the metabolism of glucose in the body, resulting in an inability to properly control blood sugar levels. If left untreated, diabetes can lead to a host of complications including kidney disease, blindness, and nerve damage. In humans, diabetes is often treated with medication and lifestyle changes; but how does this work for cats?
Cats are unique in that they do not produce insulin, which is why they are so sensitive to high blood sugar levels. While it’s possible to treat a cat with diabetes by giving them insulin injections every day, this can be difficult for owners who don’t have experience with administering shots. The good news is that there are other methods available for managing diabetes in cats such as food restriction or diet changes.
If your cat has diabetes, you should know the symptoms of the disease and treatments. There are several tests available to diagnose diabetes. The best option is to visit your veterinarian and have the cat diagnosed as soon as possible. There is no need to panic if your cat shows signs of diabetes, though, as this disease can be treated successfully.
Typically, cats with diabetes need to be treated with insulin. This medicine is given as an injection under the skin. Depending on the severity of the condition, a cat may require a daily injection, or two. The amount of insulin is based on the weight of the cat and can range from 0.25 to 0.5 units of insulin per kilogram of body weight. The dose is not typically increased more than every five days. A veterinarian can give more detailed guidelines on insulin dosages.
Early diagnosis of diabetes is essential for minimizing the damage to the pancreas. Fortunately, cat diabetes can be controlled successfully and effectively. The goal of treatment is to keep glucose levels in the blood regulated and reduce the symptoms of the disease, such as excessive thirst and urination. A veterinarian will usually prescribe insulin based on the cat’s weight and will also recommend a change in diet to make it easier for the cat to process glucose.
A diabetic cat will generally need a low-carb diet that is rich in protein. Canned cat food is usually better than dry food. Combined with oral hypoglycemic medication, this diet is effective for cats with DM. Moreover, this combination may be more beneficial than either diet alone.
Once the diagnosis is confirmed, the veterinarian can order tests to rule out other causes of the symptoms. For example, a cat could have hyperthyroidism, kidney disease, or urinary tract infection. However, insulin is the standard of care for cats with diabetes. Other forms of treatment have been unsuccessful, and oral medications are not recommended for this reason.
In some cases, the disease may be reversible. Remission occurs when a cat’s glucose levels are tightly controlled and the insulin dosage is reduced over time. However, a cat with diabetes may still experience hypoglycemic episodes if its insulin doses are not properly adjusted. Symptoms of hypoglycemia include lethargy, appetite loss, and weakness. Also, the body temperature may be low and there may be tremors. During these episodes, corn syrup on the gums can help.
Research is ongoing for diabetes management in cats. Future treatments may involve incretin analogs (incretins) to improve diabetic remission rates and reduce the amount of insulin used.
Tests to diagnose diabetes in cats
One of the most common ways to diagnose diabetes in cats is to measure their blood glucose levels. In some cases, this can be difficult. Fortunately, there are several tests available to help doctors make the diagnosis. A few of these tests can also be used to confirm the diagnosis. If you suspect your cat may be suffering from diabetes, you should consult a veterinarian to find out more about your cat’s health.
A blood glucose test will help to determine how the blood glucose level is affecting your cat’s energy level. This test will also check for the presence of glucose in your cat’s urine. If the glucose level in your cat’s urine is higher than normal, you should consult a veterinarian as soon as possible. Another blood glucose test may be necessary if your cat is prone to vomiting, or has difficulty urinating.
A fructosamine blood test is also available. The test gives clarity on blood sugar levels over a period of time and confirms that your cat has diabetes. Another test that may help to determine if your pet is diabetic is a glucosuria test. This test will detect glucose in the urine, which occurs when the blood glucose level is elevated. Additional tests may include a comprehensive bloodwork panel or radiographs. These tests will help to determine the overall health of your cat, rule out other medical conditions, and look for any complications of diabetes.
Diabetes is a common condition in cats, and it’s treatable. However, it can lead to a number of complications if it’s not managed properly. Pet owners should be aware of the symptoms and signs of diabetes so they can take steps to treat it before it becomes more serious.
A blood glucose test is the most reliable way to monitor insulin therapy in a diabetic cat. The glucose in the blood is bound to a protein called fructosamine. A higher concentration of fructosamine means higher glucose levels. The test can also provide an average blood glucose level for the past two or three weeks. It’s especially useful for the long-term monitoring of diabetic patients.
Treatment options for cats with diabetes
Before treating a cat with diabetes, it’s important to diagnose the condition properly. A veterinarian can diagnose diabetes by looking for signs of abnormal blood glucose in the urine. A veterinarian can also screen for other diseases that may contribute to the condition. Blood tests for these diseases may be combined with x-rays or ultrasound scans of the abdomen.
Treatment for cats with diabetes usually involves lowering blood glucose levels. Initially, a cat may be prescribed insulin to control the disease. Eventually, the insulin can be stopped if the condition returns to normal. A cat may also require a combination of drugs to control blood glucose levels. However, insulin therapy is not necessary for all diabetic cats, and in many cases, it may even be unnecessary.
If the diabetes is not treated immediately, a cat may go into a condition called diabetic ketoacidosis. This condition occurs when the body cannot use glucose for energy and begins producing ketones instead. These ketones build up in the cat’s body until the cat can no longer function. If this condition is not treated, the cat will likely die within 3 to 10 days. This requires hospitalization in a veterinary hospital for three to 10 days. The cat will be monitored for a week or two, and therapy is administered to control the condition.
Medications for cats with diabetes include insulin injections and oral medication. Injections are the most common option, but there are other options as well. Oral hypoglycemic agents (OHAs) and a special diet can help control blood glucose levels in cats with diabetes. They’re more convenient than insulin injections and can be given without the need for a needle.
A proper diabetes treatment plan should be formulated in consultation with a veterinarian. If a cat with diabetes is left untreated, it can lead to increased signs and symptoms, nerve damage, and muscle weakness, and can ultimately lead to death. It is also important to check your cat’s blood glucose levels regularly. The results of these tests will help determine if other diseases are causing the problem.
Once diagnosed, a cat with diabetes can go into remission if the condition is diagnosed early. If you catch it in its early stages, aggressive insulin treatment can be the most effective solution. Injections provide better glycemic control than other medications, and insulin injections may be needed for a short period of time or not at all.
Symptoms of diabetes in cats
The first step to diagnosing diabetes in cats is to conduct a blood glucose test. A veterinarian will measure the glucose concentration in a cat’s blood and urine. Symptoms of diabetes include increased urination, increased thirst, and weight loss. Additional blood tests such as a biochemistry profile and a full blood count may also be needed. These tests will allow your veterinarian to fully assess your cat’s health and identify complications of diabetes. If the levels of glucose in your cat’s blood and urine are consistently elevated, then he or she has likely been diagnosed with feline diabetes.
Another sign of diabetes in cats is decreased activity. Older cats tend to sleep twenty hours a day and may not jump on furniture like they once did. This can be a symptom of diabetes, especially if the cat is obese. Your cat may also lose weight suddenly. The weight loss could be due to the cat’s reduced activity level.
Diabetic cats are prone to ketosis, a potentially deadly condition in which the body produces excess sugar. This condition causes abnormal electrolyte levels, and fatty changes in the liver, and can lead to a predisposition to urinary tract infections. Male cats and Siamese cats are most likely to develop diabetes. If your cat is showing any of these signs, it’s best to see a veterinarian as soon as possible.
Other symptoms of diabetes include decreased activity and increased thirst. Your cat may also become lethargic or ignore you or their favorite resting spots. A cat with diabetes may also experience muscle weakness, which may be due to nerve damage. This can make it difficult for them to walk, jump or even use the litter box. Additionally, cats with diabetes may urinate in places that are not their usual spots.
Some of the most common symptoms of diabetes in cats are increased thirst and increased urination. The kidneys cannot reabsorb glucose from the blood, which causes an increase in urine production. This results in more water in the urine and greater dilution. A cat with diabetes is also more prone to urinary tract infections.