Diabetes Mellitus is an endocrine problem that does not just affect humans but also cats. Diabetes in cats is known as feline diabetes and is commonly found to affect older cats. Feline diabetes becomes life threatening if not diagnosed and treated early. Diabetes itself could not cause death but the damage that it can bring to other organ system can. So, what are the feline diabetes symptoms? By simply knowing the symptoms, you will know if your cat is experiencing this disease or not.
Types of Feline Diabetes
There are two types of diabetes in cats (and also humans) namely diabetes type 1 and diabetes type 2. In diabetes type 1 or insulin dependent, the pancreas does not produce insulin at all whereas in diabetes type 2 or non insulin dependent, the pancreas produces enough insulin but the cells do not respond to the insulin.
Insulin in the body is important as this allows the cells to make use of carbohydrates and breaks them up to form energy. If there is no insulin or the cells could not use up insulin, the cells would starve and the body would not have enough energy to meet daily energy needs. As a compensatory mechanism of the body, it makes use of fats and protein as a new source of energy (not carbohydrates). The usage of fats and proteins give diabetics a thin and malnourish look. This is one of the many symptoms that accompany feline diabetes.
Diagnosis of Feline Diabetes
Feline diabetes can be diagnosed through a blood sugar test. Normal blood sugar levels are within 80-120 mg/dl. Cats with diabetes have a blood sugar of 200 or even 400mg/dl and above. Urine analysis of diabetic cats shows high glucose in the urine. You can have your cats checked if you he could be diabetic. Just visit your vet clinic and have your cat’s blood checked for the sugar level and also his/her urine.
Symptoms of Feline Diabetes
The Symptoms of feline diabetes are similar to humans and these are as follows:
- Polyuria or increase in urination
- Polyphagia or increase in hunger
- Polydipsia or excessive thirst
- Weight loss
- Lack of energy
- Neuropathy (severe cases).
Eventually diabetes in cats can also cause blindness because of the poor blood oxygenation of the eyes.
Treatment of Feline Diabetes
Treatment of feline diabetes consists of a diet and proper medication. A low carbohydrate diet can work well with diabetic cats. Oral hypoglycemic drugs can also be taken to decrease blood sugar levels. Insulin therapy can also be done to manage feline diabetes. Insulin is usually given via an insulin injection. The insulin is directly injected on the subcutaneous. Insulin injections have small needles and could not hurt your cat so do not hesitate injecting them. Monthly blood tests or as recommended by your vet should be done to monitor how the treatment is doing and if the blood sugar of cat is appropriately controlled.