Thursday, 10 September 2009

Cat Health: Feline Diabetes

Early Detection of Feline Diabetes Can Save your Cat's Life

What is Feline Diabetes?

SYMPTOMS for feline diabetes can vary considerably among cats afflicted with this disease. Because many of the symptoms of diabetes in cat are characteristic of other illnesses and diseases as well, feline diabetes is not always diagnosed in a timely manner.

Also known as feline diabetes mellitus, the most common characteristic of this disease is an imbalance in glucose, or blood sugar, levels. For both animals and human beings, the level of glucose in blood is controlled by the pancreas, which secretes and releases insulin, a hormone, into the blood as needed. Insulin helps the body convert glucose into energy.

In diabetics, both animal and human, the cells which produce insulin are damaged, so the body cannot produce enough insulin to control blood sugar levels. Sugars are present in the blood, but cannot be converted to energy. In another form of diabetes, there may be enough insulin produced, but it does not work well.

What Symptoms are Exhibited in Cat Diabetes?
Feline diabetes most often occurs in older cats. There are certain factors that increase the risk factor: overweight cats are more susceptible, as are male cats who have been neutered.

Some of the more common symptoms of feline diabetes include the following:

  • increase in thirst

  • frequent urination

  • weight loss

  • loss of appetite

  • dull coat

  • walking on hocks (joint of the rear leg) instead of paws

  • cataracts forming on eyes

An increase in your cat's thirst is one of the earliest and most noticeable symptoms. Ordinarily, cats whose diet consists primarily of wet canned food may not drink a lot of water due to the high water content of their food. So you may notice that the level in your cat's water bowl is dropping faster than usual.

How is Feline Diabetes Diagnosed?

Because there are a number of medical conditions that can cause these symptoms - viruses can cause loss of appetite, for example - the possibility that your cat may be diabetic is not the first thought to occur. The best course of action when your cat is exhibiting several of these symptoms is to have your cat examined by your veterinarian.

Diagnosis of cat diabetes is not necessarily straightforward, since stress and other illnesses can cause temporary imbalances in your cat's blood glucose levels. A thorough physical exam as well as an array of blood and urine tests are needed to obtain a proper diagnosis.

What is the Treatment for Cat Diabetes?
With early detection, your cat may continue to live a normal and otherwise healthy life. Regular exams should be scheduled to ensure the continued good health of your cat, and in all likelihood, your cat will need injections of insulin twice a day. This is a simple procedure that your vet can train you how to do. Once the diabetes is under control, you may be able to reduce the amount of insulin. In the meantime, the best routine to develop is to give the injection to your cat every morning and evening right after its meal.

There are cat food formulations that have been optimized for diabetic cats, which you should speak with your vet about. If your vet recommends this as an approach to controlling your cat's diabetes, you may need to keep your cat indoors so as to control its diet.

Feline diabetes that remains undetected or untreated will lead to your cat's death. Typically, the cat becomes less and less active, falls into a coma, and dies. If your cat is manifesting any of the symptoms described here, it's best to take the situation seriously and have your cat checked by your vet as quickly as possible. Doing so can save your cat's life.

by Kat Bartone (Kat Bartone is a writer, musician, computer technology instructor, internet marketer, and blogging enthusiast. Kat is the owner/operator of, where you can find informational articles and tips on how to keep your cat healthy and happy. Article Source: - Early Detection of Feline Diabetes Can Save your Cat's Life )

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