Symptoms of Feline Diabetes
Feline diabetes is a potentially lethal condition if left untreated. The symptoms however are quite startling and owners should become aware of them fairly early in the onset of the full blown condition. Weight loss, accompanied by a ravenous appetite are tell tale symptoms of feline diabetes. The condition also causes an increase in a cat’s urination which in turn compels the animal to drink more water. All of the above are a direct result of either a deficiency or inefficiency to use insulin in the cat’s body. Insulin is a hormone secreted by the pancreas in responsible for regulating glucose in the blood stream being absorbed into the body’s cells. This hormone plays a large part in converting nutrition into fuel. It is this fuel that provides the energy needed for the proper functions of the cat’s body. This is why when there is not enough insulin or the body fails to use it as it should the symptoms appear. The food doesn’t get converted into energy as it should. So the animal’s body draws on the deposits of fat and protein within the cells. There is excessive sugar in the blood which the body passes in the urine, thus the increased urination and subsequent thirst. Furthermore, due to the depletion of stored body fats the cat eats more but continues to lose weight.
How Serious is Feline Diabetes?
If feline diabetes is left untreated a condition called ketoacidosis can develop. This is very dangerous and often fatal condition. The signs of this condition amongst others are vomiting, diarrhea, dehydration and breathing problems. Along with all of the above the animal can become very susceptible to other secondary viral infections. There is also a risk of liver disease and a progressive weakening disease known as neuropathy. This is often apparent in the back legs causing the cat to walk with their hocks. If your cat shows any of these symptoms you should seek urgent veterinary intervention for a thorough examination and blood tests. Feline diabetes is usually detected by the amount of sugar in the urine or via blood sugar tests. Fortunately the condition is treatable with insulin in oral or in more severe cases injection form.
Treating Feline Diabetes at Home
In the case of obese cats (and there is strong evidence to support a link between the two conditions) a strict weight loss diet can eradicate the condition completely. In the more severe cases of feline diabetes oral insulin and injections may be needed for the rest of the cat’s life. There is little doubt that the long term effects of the condition will shorten the cat’s life span too. There is also a treatment for diabetic cats called Glipside which lowers the glucose levels in the blood. Whichever path your veterinary surgeon advises it’s highly likely that diet will feature in it. It’s so easy to give in to our pets when they demand the juicy wet foods or treats but in these circumstances a little “tough love” will be the best policy. There is of course a whole lot more to this feline diabetes than I can cover in this article. If you want to know more take a look at this great article here