What is feline diabetes mellitus?
Feline Diabetes Mellitus is most often characterized by an increased resistance to the effects of insulin commonly known as type 2 diabetes.
insulin is a hormone the signals the cells of the body to use a sugar in the bloodstream for energy.
Too much sugar in the bloodstream a condition called hyperglycemia leads to the symptoms associated with diabetes.
Left unmanaged diabetes can lead to serious long-term complications.
What are the symptoms of diabetes in cats?
In cats with diabetes high blood sugar or hyperglycemia results in a variety of symptoms.
The three most common symptoms are increased hunger, increased thirst and increase in a frequency of urination.
Weight loss in cats are eating a normal or increased amount of food may also be seen and there are often general signs such as increased lethargy and fatigue.
How is diabetes diagnosed in cats?
Recognizing the symptoms of diabetes is an important part of reaching a diagnosis.
Veterinarians will need to monitor the cat’s blood for persistently high levels of sugar and check the urine for the presence of glucose.
How does a cat acquire diabetes?
While the exact cause of Feline Diabetes is unknown
A number of factors can be involved in its development
A cat may have a genetic predisposition to the disease.
Prolonged obesity can play a role by causing insulin resistance a condition.
In which the cells of the body become less sensitive to insulin and thereby convert less sugar to energy.
Diabetes in cats can also be related to certain diseases such as Cushing’s disease, hyperthyroidism and pancreatitis.
How is Diabetes Managed in Cats?
The mainstays of diabetes management are insulin, dietary modification and a consistent routine of moderate exercise.
1. Insulin is given by injections usually twice daily once in the morning and once in the evening.
2. It’s important to monitor blood sugar and watch for symptoms of low blood sugar or hypoglycemia.
3. Your veterinarian will help you understand how and when to adjust insulin dosing to maintain optimum blood sugar control.
4. The goal of dietary modification is to optimize a cat’s body weight and provide the correct balance of protein carbohydrates and fats while controlling portion size and caloric intake.
5. Most diabetic cats benefit from a diet high in protein and low in carbohydrates as long as there is not another medical condition that prevents the usage of this type of diet.
6. Exercise helps burn calories increases the conversion of sugar in the blood to energy and can improve the cells sensitivity to insulin.
7. Finally keeping track of your cat’s condition is an important component to managing his or her disease.
8. Keep a diary in which you can record your cat’s water and food intake as well as the number of times that urinates each day
9. You also want to write down the time at which insulin injections are given and the dose that is given and keep track of blood test results.
10. Bring the diary with you when you visit your veterinarian as it will help to evaluate your cat’s condition and work with you to optimize his or her care
How do I monitor my cat’s blood sugar?
Blood sugar is monitored with a device called a glucometer that takes a small sample of your cat’s blood and provides a number that indicates its blood glucose level.
A tiny prick is sufficient to take the reading and this is done on your cat’s ear.
Blood glucose testing is easy to do and well tolerated by most cats.
Your veterinarian will advise you how often your cat’s blood sugar should be monitored but spot monitoring is recommended whenever signs of hypoglycemia are seen.
These include listlessness, staggering, muscle weakness and tremors.