The Unfortunate Prevalence Of Feline Diabetes
There are some modern phenomenons that never fail to amuse us, but despite the prevalence of fat cats on Facebook, overweight or obese cats should not be among them. Definitely not a meaningful contributor to a cat’s cute factor, extra weight increases the odds of developing feline diabetes at an alarming rate – and the odds of a decreased lifespan. Find out if your cat may be at risk of feline diabetes, and what the future looks like after a diagnosis of diabetes.
Feline Diabetes is Preventable
Diabetes mellitus, or sugar diabetes, is a chronic disease resulting from obesity, but can also develop from pancreatitis, hormonal diseases, and even via certain medications. While it is incurable, it’s important to remember that it can be prevented by a balanced diet and exercise from kittenhood through the senior years.
Additionally, once a cat is diagnosed, feline diabetes can be effectively managed, adding time back on the clock.
The Finer Print
Feline diabetes occurs when the pancreas ceases to make insulin, a hormone that regulates the flow of glucose. Glucose is the by-product of consumed fats, carbohydrates, and protein. When insulin levels are low or inadequate, glucose cannot be transferred from the bloodstream to the body’s cells, using up important stored energy.
A Cat’s Reaction
The sugar builds up in the bloodstream before leaving the body through urination. This causes excessive thirst, increased appetite, paired with increased urination and weight loss. If left alone, an untreated diabetic cat typically suffers loss of appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, weakness, and respiratory issues.
The Big Picture
There are two types of feline diabetes, the difference being whether or not insulin injections are required to control the disease. An early diagnosis can be treated with oral hypoglycemic medications, but over time, insulin injections may be necessary.
Insulin injections help restore insulin levels and control blood glucose levels. Consistent testing of the levels will lead to correct type, dosage, and frequency, and the Pet Experts are committed to establishing techniques and schedules that work for you and your pet.
It’s critical to take note of your cat’s patterns and behaviors surrounding food, drink, and litter box visits. Changes or even slight variations in your cat’s input/output routine can be indicative of pressing medical issues.
Managing Feline Diabetes
Making changes to your pet’s diet can go a long way toward successful management of the disease. Diets high in fiber and complex carbohydrates, help to control blood sugar levels post-meal, but will aid in a gradual reduction in weight. Some cats benefit from a low or restricted carbohydrate diet, underlining the importance of working closely with the Pet Experts at Naperville Animal Hospital. We can help address your cat’s unique dietary needs.
The symptoms of feline diabetes are greatly improved (and sometimes resolved) once diet is improved and weight is reduced.
We accept walk-ins during our Doctor's Hours to meet your busy lifestyle. If you’d prefer to make an appointment, we offer those too!
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