Signs & treatment of feline diabetes

Feline diabetes is less common than canine diabetes but cases are on an alarming rise. The good thing is that even if your cat has diabetes, their life span won’t be affected drastically by it. Here’s how to recognise early warnings...


Signs and symptoms
Symptoms of diabetes appear gradually in your pet. Some of the most common symptoms to look out for include...
  • Increased thirst
  • Frequent urination
  • Urinating in places other than the litter box
  • Change in appetite
  • Weakness in legs
  • Fatigue
  • Characteristic sweet smelling breath
  • Dehydration
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Lethargy and loss of energy
  • Malnutrition


Types of feline diabetes
There are 3 types of feline diabetes.
  • Type I
In type I diabetes, the body does not produce insulin, resulting in absolute shortage of it in the body. Cats affected by type I diabetes need insulin injections every day.

  • Type II
If the pancreas is producing insulin and the body cells are not responding to it in the desired manner, it is called type II diabetes. This condition is also known as Insulin Resistance. Dietary changes, lifestyle modification and oral medication can go a long way in helping cats affected by type II diabetes.

  • Type III
Type III or Transient Diabetes is a condition wherein cats affected by type II diabetes require insulin injections initially. Gradually their body re-utilises the insulin that is being produced by the body and they can go off injections.


Causes
The exact cause of feline diabetes is unknown. Genetics and pancreatic diseases like inflammation of the pancreas etc. are some of the main causes.
Dr Munmun De from Calcutta Canine, says, “Feline diabetes can result from a variety of causes like primary pancreatic disease, endocrinopathy, hyperadrenocorticism and acromegaly or drug therapy.”

  • Endocrinopathy – is a disease marked by the dysfunction of the endocrine gland.
  • Acromegaly – is a condition that results due to the excessive secretion of growth hormones in the body.
  • Hyperadrenocorticism – also known as Cushing’s Syndrome. It occurs when the adrenal gland produces excess cortisol. Cortisol is a steroid hormone that is mainly released as a response to stress.


Factors leading to feline diabetes
Some of the common factors that play an important role in feline diabetes are...
  • Obesity – overweight cats are at a relatively higher risk of being affected by diabetes.
  • Age – is believed to be a major contributing factor for feline diabetes.
  • Gender – research shows that males are usually affected more by diabetes than females. They are at twice the risk as females.


Diagnosis
If you notice any of the above mentioned symptoms, it is advised that you visit your vet. The diagnosis would include blood test and urine analysis. And as we always say the vet is the best judge for your pet.


Treatment
Just in case your cat has been diagnosed with diabetes, don’t lose heart. A large number of cats lead a healthy and happy life even after being diagnosed with diabetes.

Each and every pet responds to the treatment differently. The treatment plan is based on the individual cat’s condition. Your vet might suggest some dietary changes and lifestyle modifications in addition to the oral medications and injections. It’s important to make changes depending on the severity of the disease in your pet.

The daily insulin dosage is formulated depending upon age, severity of the condition, weight, gender and several other factors. The dosage should not be changed without consulting the vet.

Medications and dietary changes would only be good if you and your pet take them positively. A pat on the back when he licks clean the bowl and a treat once in a while when his sugar level is under control would be a great encouragement.


General Dos & Don’ts
  • Whatever the form of exercise it is important to be regular. Strenuous activity must be avoided.
  • It is essential to regularly monitor the blood sugar level.
  • Since cats are picky eaters, don’t make all the dietary changes at once. Slow and gradual changes work well.
  • Diabetic cats’ diet must have less carbohydrates and a lot of proteins.

- By Kritika Manchanda

www.dogsandpupsmagazine.com; www.facebook.com/Dogsandpupsmag


Cattitude
  • When a cat chases its prey, it keeps its head level. Dogs and humans bob their heads up and down
  • Cats make about 100 different sounds. Dogs make only about 10
  • There are more than 500 million domestic cats in the world, with approximately 40 recognised breeds
  • While it is commonly thought that the ancient Egyptians were the first to domesticate cats, the oldest known pet cat was recently found in a 9,500-year-old grave on the Mediterranean island of Cyprus.
  • This grave predates early Egyptian art depicting cats by 4,000 years
  • or more
  • The group of words associated with cat (catt, cath, chat, katze) stem from the Latin ‘catus’, meaning domestic cat, as opposed to ‘feles’, or wild cat
  • According to Hebrew legend, Noah prayed to God for help protecting all the food he stored on the ark from being eaten by rats. In reply, God made the lion sneeze, and out popped a cat
  • A cat rubs against people not only to be affectionate but also to mark out its territory with scent glands around its face
— factretriever.com


Are you a proud pet parent? Have a cute cat story to share? Maybe your guinea pig is giving you trouble? Whatever is your creature companion, we are here to listen to you. Send your photos, queries and stories to timeslife@timesgroup.com

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