Feline diabetes or Diabetes mellitus in cats is currently becoming popular and affects 1 in 400 cats. Diabetes occurs more commonly in cats than in dogs. Once the condition is diagnosed, the cats are severely experiencing the late phase of the disorder. This condition is treatable and could bring back the quality of life cats have before as long as medications are maintained and given in the right way. So, what is feline diabetes treatment?
Diabetes in cats is also like diabetes in humans. In this disorder, the glucose in the body does not go into the cell because of either a lack of insulin or insulin resistance. Insulin is needed so that the glucose could enter freely into the cells. Since the glucose does not enter the cells, it piles up on the blood stream and makes the blood viscous thus causing numerous problems brought about by poor blood circulation.
There are two types of diabetes. First is the type 1 diabetes, also called insulin-dependent. In this type of diabetes, the pancreas of the cat does not produce enough insulin. The second type is the type 2 diabetes, also called non insulin dependent, wherein the body produces enough insulin but the cells does not react to the insulin or there is insulin resistance.
The four classical sign of diabetes in cats are increase in appetite, weight loss, increase urination and increase water consumption. Increase in appetite is brought about by the inability of the glucose to enter the cells. The cells feel starved thus stimulating the brain to increase the appetite. Weight loss happens because the body of the cat breaks down fats and proteins in order to have energy (since glucose is not used by the cells). Increase in urination is brought about by the high concentration of sugar in the blood which draws out water from other parts of the body and then eliminated through the urine. Excess sugar or glucose in the blood is actually excreted though the urine. Due to the fact that the cat frequently urinates, the body adapts to this by simply commanding the cat to increase water intake.
Feline diabetes is diagnoses by simply determining the blood sugar level and the glucose excreted in the urine. Once diagnosed, treatment should be started initially. Insulin therapy can be started. Insulin injection twice a day can be done to regulate blood glucose level. You can ask your veterinarian on how to inject the insulin without the cat knowing it. Oral hypoglycemic medications like glipizide can also be given however oral medication is hard to maintain than injection especially if it is a lifetime medication. Diet should also be altered to prevent obesity and abnormal elevation of blood glucose level. High fiber and high complex carbohydrates could help cats lose some weight and control blood sugar.
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