Feline Diabetes Mellitus
North County Cat Hospital 4225 Oceanside Blvd., Suite U Oceanside, CA 92056 760-758-6228 www.nccat.com
Diabetes is a fairly common disease in obese cats that results when a cat is not able to produce adequate insulin and/or becomes resistant to the effects of insulin. Diabetes causes increased blood glucose (sugar), urine glucose, increased urine output andweight loss. If untreated, it will cause progressive weight loss and eventual death. It can lead to ketoacidosis; a severe, acute, life-threatening condition related to the buildup of ketones in the blood. Treatment of uncomplicated diabetes usually involves feeding a high protein diet and giving insulin. A minority of cats will respond to diet alone.
Initial and Follow-up Testing
There are anumber of tests that are indicated for cats suspected of having diabetes. These include: • A full blood panel. This panel includes a measurement of blood glucose. It also helps determine if there are other diseases that may affect the health of the patient. The results of these tests help determine initial treatment as well as long term prognosis. • A urinalysis – will help determine:
o o oLevels of glucose in the urine If ketones are building up in the blood – if there are ketones, this is an indication of ketoacidosis and affects prognosis and treatment If there is an infection.
Fructosamine – gives an indication of what the blood glucose has been over the past two to three weeks. It is used to confirm the presence of diabetes and to monitor the adequacy of treatment. A urineculture. When there is glucose in the urine, it is easier for bacteria to grow and an infection is more likely to develop. If there is infection, it will affect overall health and quality of life. Infection will also make treating the diabetes more difficult. A culture is the best way to determine if there is a urinary tract infection.
These tests are usually repeated every six months indiabetic cats.
North County Cat Hospital
The goal of treatment is to maintain normal blood glucose levels. Some cats can be cured of their diabetes if they are treated aggressively and effectively. When cats are cured of diabetes, they no longer require insulin • Diet. Cats are carnivores and protein is their natural diet. With a high protein diet, muchless insulin is usually needed. • Insulin administration. Insulin helps move glucose from the blood into the cells so that the cells can utilize it for energy. It is usually necessary to give diabetic cats insulin twice daily. • Monitoring blood glucose. The goal of treatment is to lower The goal of treatment is to the blood glucose into a normal range for an extended period lower the blood glucose.of time. To do this effectively, it important to know what the But if the blood glucose blood glucose levels are. And the best way to know this is to get’s too low, it is lifemeasure blood glucose levels at home. If the blood glucose threatening. levels get too high for a short period of time, it’s usually not critical. But if the blood glucose get’s too low, it is life threatening. Monitoring isvery important. • Resolving obesity. Obesity leads to insulin resistance. For the best possible diabetic control, it is necessary to get the patient to a normal weight. • Treating infection. Infection anywhere in the body can lead to insulin resistance and poor response to treatment. The two common locations of infection that we find are infection in the mouth from dental disease and infection inthe urine due to the diabetes itself.
Glucose curves are created by measuring the blood glucose every one or two hours and plotting the results on a graph. A curve tells us peak glucose concentration and trough (the lowest) glucose concentration. It also gives an indication of the duration of action of the insulin. When gathering the data for a curve, the blood glucose is...
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