Diabetic Cats

Diabetes mellitus is occurred due to lack of insulin because of destruction of its producers (B-cells) by immune system or resistance of cells against  insulin.The first one  is named type 1 diabetes mellitus or juvenile diabetes mellitus.Most often this DM is seen in dogs. The second one or type 2 diabetes mellitus usually is seen in overweight dogs and cats.

Usually cats show type 2 DM in middle age between 8-12 because of obesity.Although other factors like hyperthyroidism, pancreatitis and medications such as corticosteroids can cause insulin resistance.


Clinical signs:

Most often owners complain about inability to jump, back leg weakness and weird standing on the legs-Plantigrade stance  because of nerve involvement, Consumption of high volume water ,increased appetite , decreased weight and vomiting. Cataract- lens opacity -and polyuria are not seen in cats.



Cats are very sensitive and most often have stress in clinic.Stress causes high blood glucose.Therefore measuring the blood glucose as an indicator of DM is not a good indicator for them.Veterinarians use fructosamine to find  DM in cats and even  measuring this factor is useful to monitor the treatment.



Treatment is a challenge for veterinarians because not only sometimes concurrent diseases like hyperthyroidism can involve and make difficulty to diagnose DM  but also owners should pay attention the order of treatment. Any negligent of the owner about the treatment program and diet can lead to failure of treatment.Treatment includes using insulin and switching to low energy and high protein diet.Consumption of insulin can be temporary and it depends on   the lab finding and your veterinarian’s exam.


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