November 17, 2011

The Symptoms of Diabetes in Cats

Filed under: Cat Diabetes — Tags: — 1st Pet Naturals @ 8:03 am

Diabetes in CatsThe symptoms of diabetes in cats can be hard to detect. The signs usually become apparent over the course of as couple weeks, and usually occur in cats that are younger than seven years old. While any mammal with a pancreas can be affected, diabetes in cats is particularly rare, occurring in 1 out of every 400 cats, out of which 80%-90% have a form that is closely related with type 2 diabetes. Diabetes can be a serious condition—even fatal—for your cat if not treated properly. So if you think your feline companion may be affected by high blood sugar, here are some of the symptoms of cat diabetes to help you make a definitive prognosis.

• Weight Loss
• Excessive Drinking and Urination
• Appetite is either suddenly increased (up to 3x what a normal cat would eat) or absent
• The cat’s back legs begin to weaken and the gait may become wobbly.

The signs of diabetes in cats can be very mild, to the point of being almost benign; furthermore, if developed symptoms are not that of diabetes, then it is equally important to find out if they are being caused by another illness.

Cat Diabetes Treatment

Similar to diabetes in humans, cat diabetes requires a holistic, multifaceted approach to treatment. Each cat is unique, and will require its own system of treatment. These should include, but not be limited to:

• Diet: Diabetic cat foods focus on achieving the ideal body weight for your cat by lowering glucose levels or keep them consistent. When the ideal body weight is reached, a high fiber diet should replace the current diet since fiber slows down glucose absorption from the gastrointestinal tract. If you’re having trouble feeding your furry friend specific nutrients, try a cat pill pocket.
• Exercise: A cat losing weight is a crucial part in reducing insulin resistance in cats. To help with their exercise, you could add a food dispenser that requires your feline to work for his meal.
• Insulin Treatment: An insulin shot may be required for your pet due to its decreased production.

Elevated blood sugar levels in cats can be a systemic issue, affecting not only the cat’s body, but its quality of life. Be sure to keep an eye on your furry friend, and if you believe your cat may be diabetic it is crucial to get it checked by a veterinarian immediately.

July 7, 2011

My Cat Has Diabetes, What Do I Do?

Filed under: Cat Diabetes — Tags: — 1st Pet Naturals @ 3:46 pm

Diabetes affects your beloved feline friend in the same debilitating ways as it would affect you. Diabetes in cats is when the body runs out of insulin or doesn’t have enough insulin and begins to break down fat and protein from the muscles. The metabolic changes cause ketoacidosis– a condition where the blood is more acidic than usual, which causes dehydration.
Cat Check Up for Health Concerns
Diabetes in cats is accompanied by symptoms including weight loss or weight gain, increased thirst and increased urination as well as weakness in the back legs. If there are noticeable changes in your cat’s diet such as a sudden loss of appetite or even an increase in appetite you should carefully monitor your cat and bring him to a veterinarian for further examination.

There are simple tests available that you can do to check for ketoacidosis in your cat. For example, by testing your cat’s urine with a strip, it will tell you the level of acidity. If your cat does have ketoacidosis then there is ketoacidosis treatment that are available. For example, fluid therapy and short acting insulin injections are treatments available for ketaoacidosis. Ketoacidosis represents an advanced state in diabetic animals and intensive management and hospitalization is required.

It’s critical that you spot the diabetes early because it makes treatment easier to control through diet and medication. If it is caught early, the impact on your cat won’t be as debilitating. In fact, a diet change can often lead to remission of diabetes. The best thing to introduce into a diabetic cat’s diet is protein. Veterinarians recommend low carbohydrate diet or a grain free diet. Cats are carnivores and a high level of carbohydrates often results in obesity which is one of the major risk factors for diabetes. As for medication, conventionally Glipizide is perhaps the best known medication for diabetic cats although only about a third of cats will respond. If no improvement is shown, your cat will need to use insulin. There are many herbal remedies that are helpful in regulating the blood sugar and reduce the amount of insulin needed. For example, Bilberry leaf can stimulate insulin production and reduce blood sugar levels in the body .

Having a cat with a debilitating disease such as diabetes is difficult. Prevention is the key by feeding your cat an appropriate species specific diets such as high protein, moderate fat and low carbohydrates and regular meal times with lots of activity in their day. Regular checkups with a veterinarian are required to keep your pet in good health. With proper care and medication you can work on nursing your cat back to health.

Disclaimer: 1st Pet Naturals is an education resource, and all information herein is strictly for educational purposes. It is not intended to diagnose, treat, prevent, or cure disease, nor is it meant to replace the (prescribed) treatment or recommendations of your veterinarian or healthcare provider. Always inform your veterinarian or healthcare provider of any products that your pet is taking, including herbal remedies and supplements.