Important Things You Should Know About Feline Diabetes

February 2, 2010

in Cat Health

Believe it or not, cats can get diabetes just like people do. It is just as life-threatening and requires just as much care. This is not to say it’s hard to care for a diabetic cat; it isn’t.

Symptoms of diabetes may not be obvious in the beginning. But as soon as you see them, contact the veterinarian right away. They will include drinking excessive amounts of water and frequent urination. Appetite will increase, yet no matter how much food the cat eats, he will lose weight. You may also detect lethargy.

As diabetes goes untreated, a cat may develop neuropathy. This will affect his ability to walk and jump. Instead of walking on the paws, the cat will begin walking on his haunches. This altered walk with be awkward for him and give him a hunchback posture. Jumps that would normally be simple are now impossible.

Basically, neuropathy is the interruption of signals being sent from the brain to complete movement. The cat will begin his leap onto the couch. But the signal will not reach the muscles and they will not complete the movement. The cat cannot finish his jump and will fall or slide down the couch, usually quite confused over it all. This is horrible to watch. Call a vet immediately.

The good thing about neuropathy is that it will clear itself up once the diabetes is under control. Diabetes is usually controlled by giving insulin which is usually produced in the pancreas. When the pancreas fails, blood sugar is too high. Insulin can be administered via pill but this method is effective in fewer than half of feline diabetics. The better option is injections. There are different kinds of insulin and certain syringes that work with each type. Your vet will figure out what is best for your cat’s needs.

This is usually determined with a few tests. Initially, the vet will perform a ‘glucose curve.’ Throughout the day, blood is drawn and sugar levels are checked. More of these curves are done a few weeks apart with different doses of insulin. This process is continued until the right dose is found.

Once the right dose is determined, the injections must be given regularly, usually twice a day. Missing a dose is not generally an issue, although several missed doses will cause sugar levels to stay elevated. The most important thing to keep in mind regarding insulin is that too much is even worse than too little. Too much insulin is extremely dangerous. Seizures and even death can occur instantly. Keep a record of shots given to ensure that he is getting his insulin an also that he isn’t inadvertently given shots by two different people.

Also be sure to stay on top of your kitty’s appointments with his doctor. This is especially vital in diabetes cases. Amazingly, unlike dogs or people, cats’ pancreases have the ability to re-learn to produce insulin again. While this is good news, it is bad news if you continue to deliver insulin. As mentioned before, too much insulin will cause shock and maybe death.

If your furry friend has diabetes, you need not fret. While he will need you to keep a close eye on him and be diligent with his injections, there is nothing more to it than that. Well, maybe some extra ear scratches would be nice.

It is critical to know what you should look for regarding diabetes symptoms and their impact on your health. The Diabetes Advice Online services gives you information and details on the steps you should take when you might have diabetes.

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