Symptoms of Feline Diabetes

By  ,  Onlymyhealth editorial team
Jan 21, 2012

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Feline diabetesThe inability to produce an adequate quantity of insulin to regulate blood sugar levels leads to the development and occurrence of diabetes mellitus or sugar diabetes among cats, which is commonly referred to as feline diabetes. The beta cells in the pancreas of such cats become incapable of producing insulin, which implies that these cats are unable to utilise the sugar or glucose in their blood stream for any of their body functions while also simultaneously causing an increasing toxicity of their blood stream.

It is absolutely critical to ensure the treatment of feline diabetes otherwise the cat could suffer from loss of appetite, chronic weight loss, vomiting, depression, difficulty in breathing and in extreme cases coma and other grave problems. However, it must also be mentioned that typically, if treated at an early stage, feline diabetes is an easily manageable condition. There are different types of diabetes, some requiring a long term treatment through injection of insulin, some require a permanent treatment, but there may be diabetes that requires only a short term treatment with insulin before the cat can re-establish and maintain balance of sugar levels.

Depending on the type of diabetes and its stage, the symptoms that indicate feline diabetes vary. However, the most common symptoms include excessive thirst, urination, increased appetite, loos of weight and lethargy.

  • The classic symptoms that indicate feline diabetes could be narrowed down to excessive thirst and excessive urination, referred to as polydipsia and polyuria respectively. This occurs because in diabetic cats excessive glucose (that has not been acted upon due to inadequate insulin levels) is eliminated from the body by kidneys, leading to increase in urination. This could also have negative implications for the kidneys if such excessive urination persists over a long period of time.
  • Similarly, initially, diabetic cats attempt to compensate for their lack of intake or inability to metabolise glucose by consuming higher amounts of food, which implies an increase in appetite. But later on due to the onset of the impacts of diabetes and malnourishment, there is usually a significant drop in appetite that may be discerned.
  • In more advanced or progressively deteriorating stages of feline diabetes, certain visible symptoms such as regular vomiting, dehydration and constipation. At this point is also possible for several complications to arise, such as ketoacidosis (which refers to a condition in which the blood stream contains a high amount of ketones or blood fat due to the inability to reduce sugar levels) which is potentially fatal and thus, requires urgent attention if found.

In each of these cases, it would be advisable for the caretaker of the cat to meet a certified veterinarian that can guide and direct the treatment of the cat and monitor the diabetes.


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