Diabetes In Cats

Living with so many cats you suddenly realise how similar to ourselves they are, cats that are  prone to getting feline diabetes are more likely to be older cats or overweight, obesity makes the cats body less sensitive to the effects of insulin. When a cat is unable to produce enough insulin to balance blood sugar, or glucose levels left untreated can lead to weight loss, loss of appetite, vomiting, dehydration and severe depression, problems with motor function and can lead to coma and even death.

How do cats develop diabetes? It is unknown, although obese cats are the most predisposed to developing this disease. Other factors include chronic pancreatitis, hormonal disorders such as hyperthyroidism and Cushing’s disease when the body makes too much cortisol. Male cats are more prone than females. Cats will lose weight even when they eat well.

So, what are the signs to look for?

Excessive Urination & Thirst. Your cat may be suffering from Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes if they are urinating frequently. ...

Increased Weight Loss & Appetite. ...

Inability to Jump & Loss of Interest. ...

Change in Gait.

Lack of Appetite, Vomiting, Lethargy.

Most important is a good diet a low carbohydrate diet is probably best for cats with diabetes, there are some oral medications, blood and urine tests, physical examinations, and behavioural signals which include weakness and lethargy, shaking, unsteadiness and even convulsions.

Some breeds of cats get diabetes more than others, although a good sound diet with fresh meat and good quality cat food will help with keeping your cat healthy and of less chance of getting diabetes give a good mix of dry foods as well as good quality wet foods. After all, in the wild the cat would catch their meal and get the goodness from the vegetables their prey eats and the raw meat.

 Some herbal treatments

 Astragalus—An anti-inflammatory that strengthens the immune system.

Blueberry—A urinary antiseptic that helps reduce blood sugar levels.

Dandelion—Reduces swelling and inflammation as well as protecting the kidneys and stimulating liver functionThe life of a cat with diabetes can be shortened due to the fact it can be associated with infections, peripheral nerve disorders and other issues, cats with these problems need good care and still live to be a good age.

If a cat is needing constant treatment this could be as much as £20 to £30 a month for insulin, syringes, and other supplies.

In cats that do not have sufficient levels of insulin, glucose does not reach the cells like it should instead the body starts breaking down fat and protein cells to use for energy, while unused glucose builds up to excessive amounts in the bloodstream. Like ourselves, cats can develop diabetes mellitus which is a disease that occurs when the body can no longer produce or use insulin properly. Insulin, a hormone produced by the pancreas, controls the flow of blood sugar called glucose to the body’s cells to provide energy.

Luckily type 1 is rare in cats which needs insulin because the body is no longer capable of producing any insulin, type 2 is where the body cannot produce sufficient  amounts of insulin or the organs and tissues have become insulin resistant meaning that they need higher than normal amounts of insulin in order to properly process glucose.

Some Health Implications because diabetes causes the body’s cells to process energy from fat and protein instead of glucose, cats with diabetes will typically lose weight despite displaying healthy appetite. Left untreated other health complications can arise which are dangerous like ketoacidosis which is a serious complication when blood sugar is very high and acidic substances called ketones build up to dangerous levels in the body, this can be fatal.

Other heath complications may include liver disease, bacterial infection, unhealthy skin and coat, and neuropathy which can cause loss of strength and mobility in the hind legs lack of coordination and in some cases can cause convulsions and even coma. Try to get the cat to eat something, also recommend rubbing syrup on her gums.

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