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How To Test A Cat's Blood Sugar

Diabetes In Cats

Diabetes In Cats

This article is about diabetes mellitus in cats. For other uses, see Diabetes (disambiguation). Diabetes mellitus is a chronic disease in cats, whereby either insufficient insulin response or insulin resistance lead to persistently high blood glucose concentrations. Diabetes could affect up to 1 in 230 cats,[1] and may be becoming increasingly common. Diabetes mellitus is less common in cats than in dogs. 80-95% of diabetic cats experience something similar to type-2 diabetes, but are generally severely insulin-dependent by the time symptoms are diagnosed. The condition is treatable, and treated properly, the cat can experience a normal life expectancy. In type-2 cats, prompt effective treatment may lead to diabetic remission, in which the cat no longer needs injected insulin. Untreated, the condition leads to increasingly weak legs in cats, and eventually malnutrition, ketoacidosis and/or dehydration, and death. Symptoms[edit] Cats will generally show a gradual onset of the disease over a few weeks or months, and it may escape notice for even longer.[citation needed] The first outward symptoms are a sudden weight loss (or occasionally gain), accompanied by excessive drinking and urination; for example, cats can appear to develop an obsession with water and lurk around faucets or water bowls. Appetite is suddenly either ravenous (up to three-times normal) or absent. These symptoms arise from the body being unable to use glucose as an energy source. A fasting glucose blood test will normally be suggestive of diabetes at this point. The same home blood test monitors used in humans are used on cats, usually by obtaining blood from the ear edges or paw pads. As the disease progresses, ketone bodies will be present in the urine, which can be detected with the same urine stri Continue reading >>

Diabetic Cats & Young Again Zero Cat Foods

Diabetic Cats & Young Again Zero Cat Foods

There is an emerging trend in veterinary medicine for the diabetic cat to be placed on a protocol that is known as “tight diabetic control.” These protocols recommend frequent blood glucose testing including testing prior to injecting insulin. In addition to home monitoring a cat for blood glucose levels, cats are prescribed specific feline diets that are low in carbohydrates, and high in protein (called LCHP diets). Several newer insulin choices are available for use in diabetic cats. Choice of insulin will depend on the duration of action of the insulin. There are rapid acting insulins that begin working very quickly, peak quickly and then stop working quickly. Short acting insulins take a bit longer to take effect, peak later and stop working a little later. Then there is intermediate acting insulin and also long-acting insulin. It has been proven in studies that high levels of processed carbohydrates contribute to the poor blood glucose control that is so frustrating in so many feline diabetics. Up until our revolutionary dry cat food was developed, virtually all dry cat food diets contained too many processed carbohydrates to provide “tight” diabetic control, so veterinarians and owners were forced to choose prescription canned or over-the-counter low carbohydrate diets or owners of diabetic cats would end up becoming a chef cooking up home-made low carb foods. Young Again’s ZERO formula is the ONLY dry feline diet that contains NO utilizable carbohydrates. Our special process allows us to make a dry kibble without carbs, which up until now, was not possible. Our diet contains absolutely NO grains, no gluten nor other cheap fillers. Converting to Young Again Cat Foods For diabetic cats, it is recommended that you just take away your previous cat food comp Continue reading >>

Why Does My Veterinarian Want To Test My Cat For Diabetes?

Why Does My Veterinarian Want To Test My Cat For Diabetes?

Cats are masters at concealing their illnesses. The signs of most cat health problems are very subtle in the beginning. Diabetes mellitus, once referred to as “sugar diabetes,” is no exception. Because cats are private and secretive some of the signs of diabetes may go unnoticed by their guardians. Many of the signs of diabetes are non-specific. Subtle increases in water intake and urine output may go undetected, especially in outdoor cats1. Cats and people are similar in that we may miss the early signs. Many people have undiagnosed, subtle diabetes that, left uncontrolled, will progress to serious diseases. Cats are similar. A mild elevated blood sugar level may be insignificant or may be a precursor for full-blown diabetes. How will my veterinarian test my cat for diabetes? While an elevated fasting blood glucose level is strong evidence of diabetes, even in people, repeated fasting tests may be needed to confirm a diagnosis of diabetes–that test is called a glucose tolerance test. In cats, obtaining an accurate blood glucose level can be a challenge. The simple act of collecting blood from a cat can cause them to become agitated and result in an impact on blood sugar levels. Detection of glucose in the urine significantly increases the likelihood that diabetes is present, but not always. Blood sugar levels can be elevated to twice normal before glucose is detected in the urine1. Many cat owners are not familiar with another blood test called fructosamine--a test that measures a byproduct of glucose metabolism rather than glucose itself. It is of particular value in cats. A serum fructosamine level is used to confirm the diagnosis of diabetes in most feline cases. Serum fructosamine concentrations are probably the most reliable and easiest way of evaluating you Continue reading >>

Glucose And Fructosamine Testing In Pets

Glucose And Fructosamine Testing In Pets

Blood glucose and fructosamine tests are helpful tools for monitoring diabetic patients. The results of glucose and fructosamine testing can help your veterinarian ensure that your pet's diabetes is being adequately managed. Only small amounts of blood are required to perform these tests. What Are Glucose Testing and Fructosamine Testing? In diabetic patients, spot-checking the blood glucose (or blood sugar) is a quick and direct way to tell what the level is. The rapid result permits quick detection and management of a dangerously low or an extremely high level. However, blood glucose testing provides only a “snapshot” of the total blood glucose “picture.” The test result does not indicate what the blood glucose level will be 2 hours later, 8 hours later, or the next day. Your veterinarian needs to do other testing to obtain this information. Performing a blood glucose curve can provide some of the missing information. A blood glucose curve involves repeatedly measuring the blood glucose level every 1 to 2 hours over a period of time—usually 12 to 24 hours. Like a regular blood glucose measurement, a blood glucose curve also directly measures the blood sugar, but (compared with a single blood glucose reading) it tells your veterinarian more information about how the blood glucose level may be changing over time. Fructosamine testing involves checking the fructosamine level in the blood, and this testing is another way to monitor diabetic pets. Fructosamine is a protein thatbinds very strongly to glucose in the blood. Because fructosamine occurs in proportion to blood glucose, it can provide an accurate estimate of the amount of glucose in the blood.When the fructosamine level is measured, it helps determine the average glucose level for the previous 2to 3 wee Continue reading >>

Monitoring Blood Glucose At Home

Monitoring Blood Glucose At Home

A stable diabetic cat has a blood glucose range 2.5 - 26 mmol/l (81-468 mg/dl) for most of a 24 hour period. Your veterinary surgeon may ask if you are prepared to monitor blood glucose levels at home. This can be done in two ways and your veterinary surgeon will discuss the best option with you. Blood test strips similar to those used for testing urine can be used, or A handheld glucometer, can be used. Although not essential, handheld glucometers are easy to use and well worth the investment. Your veterinary surgeon will be able to advise you on what model best suits you and your cat’s needs. Collecting and testing a blood sample During home monitoring, blood is usually collected from the earflap (pinna) of your cat. Make sure that your cat’s ear is warm. If not, hold it between your hands for about one minute.Warming the earflap makes collecting a drop of blood easier. Quickly prick a clean, hairless part of the ear with a sterile hypodermic needle or lancet. A small drop of blood will appear. Collect the drop onto the glucose test strip. Gently but firmly press some cottonwool onto your cat’s ear until it stops bleeding. Use the test strip or insert the sample into the glucometer as instructed Blood glucose test strips Blood glucose strips are used to measure blood glucose concentration. A drop of blood is placed on the pad at the end of the strip. After the specified amount of time the pad is wiped and the colour is checked against the chart on the container. Read the instructions provided before use. Using a glucometer A drop of blood is placed on the provided strips, the strip is then inserted into the glucometer, and the blood glucose concentration is shown. Read the instructions provided before use. Continue reading >>

Feline Diabetes Mellitus

Feline Diabetes Mellitus

Most diabetic cats have diabetes mellitus type 2, meaning the body’s cells develop a “resistance” to insulin; sometimes the body fails to make enough insulin to serve its needs (diabetes mellitus type 1). After treatment for diabetes is started, periodic blood and urine testing may be recommended to help ensure that the current treatment (including insulin dosage) is adequate. Many cats live active, happy lives once their diabetes is well regulated. Some cats go into “remission” and no longer require insulin, whereas other cats need insulin for the rest of their lives. What Is Diabetes? Diabetes mellitus is an illness caused by the body’s inability to either make or use insulin, which is a hormone produced and released by specialized cells in the pancreas. Insulin permits the body’s cells to take sugar (glucose) from the blood and use it for their metabolism and other functions. Diabetes mellitus develops when the pancreas doesn’t make enough insulin or when the body’s cells are unable to use available insulin to take glucose from the blood. Type 1 diabetes (referred to as “insulin dependent” diabetes) occurs when the pancreas doesn’t make enough insulin. Type 2 diabetes, also referred to as “relative insulin deficiency,” occurs when the body’s cells develop “insulin resistance,” meaning that they are unable to effectively use available insulin, or when the pancreas is producing some insulin, but not enough to serve the body’s needs. Most diabetic cats have type 2 diabetes. However, many of them still require insulin for adequate control of their illness. What Are the Clinical Signs of Diabetes in Cats? Diabetes can exist for a while before it begins to make an animal obviously ill. Clinical signs may vary depending on the stage of di Continue reading >>

How To Check Blood Sugar Of A Cat

How To Check Blood Sugar Of A Cat

Edit Article Diabetes is a condition characterized by an inability to properly regulate blood sugar levels in the body. While this condition is common among humans, it may also occur in some cats. When left untreated, feline diabetes can be life threatening. However, knowing how to check blood sugar of a cat and responding appropriately to very high or low readings, you can increase both the quality and quantity of your cat's upcoming years of life. 1 Purchase or rent the appropriate equipment. To check the blood sugar of a cat, you will need several pieces of equipment, all of which are similar to those used by humans to test diabetes. These include a blood sugar monitor, which will read and evaluate the blood, a lancet to draw blood from the cat, and test strips upon which to place the blood. All of these pieces of equipment can be obtained from your vet, or from pet supply stores. 2 Prepare the equipment. Make sure that you have all of the equipment described above nearby and ready for use to achieve the best results when it comes to taking the blood sugar of a cat. This includes placing the glucose test strips into the appropriate port of the blood sugar monitor before performing each test. Having everything prepared and ready to use before getting the cat in place will complete the steps more quickly and thoroughly. 3 Restrain the animal using whichever method keeps the cat calm and is easy for you. This could be holding him between your knees, in your lap, between your leg and the back cushion of a couch or chair, or even wrapped gently in a towel with the cat's head exposed. Having a blood sugar check performed is not an enjoyable process for cats. During testing, they may be more prone to scratching, biting, or otherwise injuring individuals who are in the vicin Continue reading >>

Blood Sugar Curve

Blood Sugar Curve

Your diabetic cat will need regular blood tests to make sure his insulin dose is correct. If he has too much insulin, his blood glucose will be too low. On the other hand, not enough of this hormone will result in high blood glucose and the return of the symptoms of diabetes. One diabetes blood test that is commonly performed is the glucose curve. This involves collecting a blood sample every two hours for a 12-hour period. The first sample should be collected before your cat’s morning dose of insulin, and the last one just before his evening injection. It can take a few days for cat blood sugar levels to settle down after a change in diet or insulin dose. This means that glucose curves shouldn’t be done within 10 days of such a change. When your cat is first diagnosed with diabetes, tests may need to be done every day to work out the right dose of insulin for him. When his blood glucose levels have stabilized, you shouldn’t need to check them any more frequently than every two weeks. Your veterinarian can perform this cat blood test in their clinic, but there are disadvantages to this. Firstly, your cat will need to spend a full day in hospital. That can be stressful for him, and he may not feel like eating. The result is an inaccurate test result. Secondly, if he needs a diabetes blood test on a regular basis, the cost can quickly add up. You can easily master the technique of performing a glucose curve at home and save you and your cat a trip to the vet. Ask your vet to watch you for the first few times, so you can be confident you are doing it correctly. To perform a diabetes blood test on your cat, you will need a glucometer and the appropriate test strips, as well as a sterile lancet. Make sure you have read the instruction manual for your glucometer, and kn Continue reading >>

Feline Diabetes: Symptoms, Treatments, Prevention, And Diet Tips

Feline Diabetes: Symptoms, Treatments, Prevention, And Diet Tips

An alarming number of cats are developing diabetes mellitus, which is the inability to produce enough insulin to balance blood sugar, or glucose, levels . Left untreated, it can lead to weight loss, loss of appetite, vomiting , dehydration, severe depression, problems with motor function, coma, and even death. To find out why so many cats are being diagnosed with diabetes, and what owners can do, WebMD talked to Thomas Graves, a former feline practitioner who is associate professor and section head of small animal medicine at the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine. Graves’ research focus is on diabetes and geriatric medicine. Q: How common is feline diabetes? A: The true incidence isn’t known, but it’s estimated at 0.5% to 2% of the feline population. But it’s also probably under diagnosed. Q: What are the signs of diabetes in cats? A: The main symptoms are increased thirst and increased urination. And while we do see it in cats with appropriate body weight, it’s more common in obese cats. Some cats with diabetes have a ravenous appetite because their bodies cannot use the fuel supplied in their diet. Q: What’s the treatment for a cat with feline diabetes? A: Diet is certainly a component. It’s felt that a low-carbohydrate diet is probably best for cats with diabetes. Treatment is insulin therapy. There are some oral medications, but they have more side effects and are mainly used when insulin can’t be used for some reason. There are blood and urine tests, physical examinations, and behavioral signals, which are used to establish insulin therapy. This is done in conjunction with your veterinarian. We don’t recommend owners adjust insulin therapy on their own because it can be sort of complicated in cats. Most patients come in every t Continue reading >>

About Glucose Curves

About Glucose Curves

Go to site For Pet Owners The glucose curve is a great tool to differentiate between an insufficient insulin dose and the Somogyi effect. It helps to determine insulin effectiveness and the maximum and minimum levels of glycemia, which ideally should be between 120–300 mg/dL (5.6–16.7mmol/L) for cats for most of the day.8 Try our online glucose curve generator. Veterinarians commonly adjust the insulin dose based on a blood glucose curve. When creating a glucose curve, remember that stress can affect the reliability of results, and the glucose curve is only one tool among others that can help diagnose and monitor diabetes mellitus. Take clinical signs (or lack thereof) into account when contemplating any change in the insulin therapy. The ultimate goal in regulating the diabetic cat is to control the clinical signs adequately so that the patient enjoys a good quality of life. How to complete a glucose curve The procedure is as follows: shortly after the animal has been given its first meal (preferably at home), the first blood sample is taken just prior to the insulin injection in the morning. Thereafter, blood samples are collected every 2 hours throughout the day for 12 hours, if possible. These data are then plotted on a graph to generate a curve. Veterinarians can determine based on the nadir whether the dose needs to be increased or decreased (or remain as is). How to interpret a glucose curve The aim of treatment is to alleviate clinical signs of diabetes. To achieve this goal, keep blood glucose concentrations below the renal threshold and avoid hypoglycemia. Thus, the goal is to maintain blood glucose concentrations roughly between 120 to 300 mg/dL in cats for the majority of the day.8 The duration of insulin action is measured from the time of Vetsulin® (p Continue reading >>

Feline Diabetes

Feline Diabetes

Insulin injections are the preferred method of managing diabetes in cats. Figure 1: To administer an injection, pull the loose skin between the shoulder blades with one hand. With the other hand, insert the needle directly into the indentation made by holding up the skin, draw back on the plunger slightly, and if no blood appears in the syringe, inject gently. Tips for Treatment 1. You can do it! Treating your cat may sound difficult, but for most owners it soon becomes routine. 2. Work very closely with your veterinarian to get the best results for your cat. 3. Once your cat has been diagnosed, it's best to start insulin therapy as soon as possible. 4. Home glucose monitoring can be very helpful. 5. Tracking your cat's water intake, activity level, appetite, and weight can be beneficial. 6. A low carbohydrate diet helps diabetic cats maintain proper glucose levels. 7. With careful treatment, your cat's diabetes may well go into remission. 8. If your cat shows signs of hypoglycemia (lethargy, weakness, tremors, seizures, vomiting) apply honey, a glucose solution, or dextrose gel to the gums and immediately contact a veterinarian. Possible Complications Insulin therapy lowers blood glucose, possibly to dangerously low levels. Signs of hypoglycemia include weakness, lethargy, vomiting, lack of coordination, seizures, and coma. Hypoglycemia can be fatal if left untreated, so any diabetic cat that shows any of these signs should be offered its regular food immediately. If the cat does not eat voluntarily, it should be given oral glucose in the form of honey, corn syrup, or proprietary dextrose gels (available at most pharmacies) and brought to a veterinarian immediately. It is important, however, that owners not attempt to force fingers, food, or fluids into the mouth of a Continue reading >>

Stupid Vet Tricks

Stupid Vet Tricks

Does Your Vet Know What He/She is Talking About? What follows are documented examples of bad advice from vets on the care of diabetic cats. WARNING: If your vet ever suggests anything close to something you read here, RUN, don't walk, to a new vet. The statements seen below are WRONG, and are the products of ignorance and/or greed. Remember there are ignorant people in all walks of life, just as there are bright, well-meaning people. On Diabetes: "I can't prescribe PZI insulin — it's illegal to use on cats." This vet only uses Humulin U, and nothing else, regardless of whether or not it's working. A member of his staff admitted they don't know what PZI is, which explains why he won't consider any alternatives. I'd be surprised if the vet hadn't at least HEARD of PZI, and doubt that he really thinks PZI is illegal (it most definitely is NOT), what's more likely is that he's sticking with what he knows, and is counting on his clients just believing his "wisdom" and never checking into the validity of his ridiculous statements. Then again, maybe the pharmacist where he orders his Humulin U has some compromising photos of him. If your vet won't consider an alternative insulin or tries to strong-arm you into using one particular insulin over another, especially if your cat is not responding well to the one it's on, get yourself a new vet. The vet in this situation claims to have 300 other cats all on Humulin U — and I'd bet a lot of money that most of those cats are NOT regulated, given his dosing technique of too much, too fast (the person reporting this Vet Trick is using 7 units per shot and their cat is not yet regulated). "Home testing is illegal. It's illegal for you to prick your cat's ears at home." Yes, the same knucklehead said this, too. He wants the $90 to do Continue reading >>

Home Blood Testing

Home Blood Testing

Blood testing at home is a surprisingly simple four-step process. It will probably take you a few tries to get a reading, but you will soon get the hang of it. Don’t be disheartened if you don’t get it right straight away, I don’t know anyone who got it right first time and there are plenty of variations for you to try. It’s just a matter of finding the method that works for you. Whichever blood glucose monitor you get, read the instruction book thoroughly before you go anywhere near your cat, and practise taking your own blood glucose reading first. Get as familiar with it as you can before you try it out on the real thing! If at all possible, get someone to help you blood test your cat. This is because the first couple of times, you will feel like you don’t have enough hands! In the long term it would just be useful to have a second person who could also do blood tests if necessary. Right, take a deep breath and let’s get started! Gather together all your bits and bobs: Your blood glucose monitor and test strips The penlet lancet device Something to heat your cat’s ear with A tissue A cotton wool ball Your friendly volunteer person! Last but not least, your diabetic cat! In a nutshell, this is all you do: Heat the ear. Prick the marginal ear vein with the penlet device. Allow blood drop to form and transfer to blood glucose monitor. Leave monitor to count down and take your reading. Blood Testing Process In Detail Heat the ear. There are a number of methods for heating up your cat’s ear - I use an old plastic vitamin bottle with hot water in it. It fits snugly inside the curve of the ear and is easy to hold in place while the ear warms up. Count slowly to about 30 seconds - it’s most important that you DO NOT RUSH this stage. If you’re nervous you Continue reading >>

Home Testing Cat Blood Sugar Levels

Home Testing Cat Blood Sugar Levels

For a diabetic cat, sugar levels require regulating or serious health issues will occur. Pet owners must test their cat's blood sugar levels regularly. If you have no experience with testing levels, learn how to safely test blood sugar counts without stressing your cat below: For the first few testing sessions, your cat may struggle. Eventually, he will become accustomed to the process. Moreover, it is far less stressful on your cat than packing him in a travel carrier and going to the veterinarian regularly. Supplies Required for Diabetic Cats When proceeding to test your diabetic cat, sugar level testing requires some supplies: Cat sugar level test strips Cotton balls Glucometer Heating pad Lancet pen Preparing your Cat for the Blood Test When drawing blood from diabetic cats, sugar test strips and the remaining equipment must be nearby. By completing the test quickly, your cat remains calm and stress free. Stress causes blood sugar levels to rise, so it is important to soothe your pet throughout the process. Place diabetic testing supplies within easy reach and have a few pieces of all natural cat food handy. You can give them as treats when the test is complete. Obtaining the Blood Sample Wash your hands before beginning. Then hold the cat firm while talking in a soothing voice. Diabetic cats should have their blood drawn from the ear or paw. If the ear or paw looks dirty, use a cotton ball dipped in clean water and wipe the area. Start by warming the paw or ear with a small heating pad to increase blood flow. Microwave-safe gel packs work well because of their small size. To draw a cat sugar level blood sample, hold the lancet pen above a vein or capillary. You may need a flashlight to illuminate one. Push the button on the lancet pen. This propels the lancet tip i Continue reading >>

Blood Sugar Testing Devices For Cats

Blood Sugar Testing Devices For Cats

Your cat's diabetes does more than prevent Mr. Fuzzbottom from eating Sugar-Frosted Sugar Bombs for breakfast. If left unchecked, the excess glucose in your cat's blood can cause numerous medical issues and make him sick. Constant monitoring helps you regulate his insulin levels and keep him healthy. Glucose Monitor Basics Regardless of brand, design or price, all glucose monitors do the same thing -- measure the amount of sugar, or glucose, in your kitty's blood. A small, palm-sized device, the glucometer features buttons and an LCD screen on the front, and a small hole to insert the testing strip. The monitor's internal workings scan the strip and after a few minutes offer a reading on the little screen of the amount of glucose present. Some devices offer more bells and whistles, but all you really need is a device that offers an accurate readout of your cat's blood sugar level. Testing, Testing Much to your kitty's frustration, regularity is key when it comes to testing, as a reading once in a while doesn't offer much insight in your kitty's health. Testing requires a drop of Mr. Fuzzbottom's blood, typically obtained from the tip of an ear. Warm his ear with a heated washcloth or warmed sock filled with uncooked rice. Quickly prick the outside edge of the ear with a lancet or sterile needle. Collect a drop of blood on a testing strip and allow it to soak into the paper before wiping off the excess. Insert the strip into the monitor and lavish your kitty with love and affection as you wait for the meter to issue a reading. Things to Consider The amount of use the glucometer gets depends on your cat's specific situation, so talk with your vet before you start jabbing your kitty. Different monitors require a different amount of blood, ranging from a tiny pinprick to a Continue reading >>

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