Cat Diabetes Treatment with our Duarte Veterinarian
You may have encountered a great deal of information about how diabetes can damage a person's health -- but did you know that the same holds true for cats? Your feline friend is just as vulnerable to this dangerous blood-sugar problem as any human, and for many of the same reasons. The good news is that, just as in human patients, diabetes can be managed or even prevented. With that in mind, here are some important things you should know about cat diabetes, courtesy of your friends at Duarte Azusa Animal Hospital.
Diabetes Causes and Symptoms
Diabetes occurs when the body's mechanisms for using glucose (sugar) no longer function properly. Normally, glucose in the blood is absorbed by the body's cells with the aid of a hormone called insulin, which is produced by the pancreas. Insulin "instructs" the cells to draw glucose from the blood and use it as an energy source. When this process doesn't take place, the insulin builds up to unnatural levels in the bloodstream. There are two primary forms of diabetes, type 1 (in which the pancreas can't make enough insulin to keep up with sugar levels) and type 2 (in which the cells become less responsive to insulin).
The excess sugar in the bloodstream can have disastrous effects on your cat's health. When the body can't burn sugar, it will turn to other potential fuel sources in the body such as proteins and fats, producing unhealthy weight loss. Efforts to eliminate the sugar through urination force the body to expel large quantities of water, causing chronic dehydration and possible kidney failure. Glucose can also damage delicate nerves, impairing your cat's motor function. If your cat is losing weight, acting depressed, and drinking and eating constantly, he might have diabetes.
Treatment and Prevention
Treating cat diabetes typically involves the administration of insulin. Our veterinarian, Dr. Zabihi, may prescribe regular insulin therapy in the form of minimally-uncomfortable injections using small, fine needles. We can show how to administer these injections so quickly and skillfully that your cat may not even notice them. Many cats with diabetes also benefit from specialized diets. In some cases, a low-carbohydrate, high-protein diet can even normalize your cat's functions to the point that we don't have to administer insulin.
Prevention is an even better strategy for protecting your cat from diabetes. Helping your cat maintain a healthy weight is critical. If your cat suffers from obesity (a known factor in diabetes), we may recommend a combination of diet and exercise to help it slim down. Feeding your cat canned food instead of dry food may also help him get the right carbohydrate-protein ratio to deter diabetes. Last but not least, regular wellness exams enable us to watch out for the earliest hints of high blood sugar.
Schedule an Appointment With Our Local Veterinarian for Cat Diabetes Treatment Today
If you want to play it safe with your beloved cat, call 626-346-2992 to schedule a feline exam!