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What Are The Symptoms Of Hypoglycemia In Cats?

Hypoglycemia In Cats

Hypoglycemia In Cats

Hypoglycemia most commonly occurs in cats with diabetes. This is because a diabetic cat requires a diligent, daily routine of timed feedings, injections and moderate exercise. Any upset to the routine or misapplication of insulin can lead to the cat going into a hypoglycemic state. A cat who has been previously diagnosed with diabetes can also go into diabetic remission within the first four months of treatment and no longer need injections. This can easily lead to overdosing the cat with insulin. Rarely, a cat who does not have diabetes can become hypoglycemic. This is often due to problems with the liver or pancreas, and in some cases can be caused by an infection of the blood. If the cat becomes unconscious, the situation is a medical emergency. Sugar is naturally processed in the body by the hormone insulin, which is produced in the pancreas. If too much insulin exists in the body, either from injections if a cat has diabetes or from the pancreas overproducing the hormone, blood sugar levels can become too low for normal body function. While other organs can use fat or protein if sugar is scarce, the brain requires glucose to operate. When levels of glucose in the bloodstream drop below 60 milligrams per deciliter, a cat is referred to as hypoglycemic. The brain then begins to rapidly lose function. This condition can be fatal if not addressed immediately. In the early stages of low blood sugar, a cat may only produce subtle symptoms. If you have a diabetic cat, be sure to learn the beginning signs of hypoglycemia. If blood sugar is not raised in time, certain damage to the brain may be permanent. Symptoms to watch for include: Increased appetite Vomiting a green/yellow bile (indication of pancreatitis) Dilated pupils Tachypnea (rapid breathing) Restlessness Anxiety Continue reading >>

It's Causes And Treatment

It's Causes And Treatment

Home Home SugarCat Simon's Web Site - of Feline Diabetes, a Diabetic cat, and the humans who love him Hypoglycemia Under Construction Hypoglycemia, meaning low blood glucose occurs when the level of glucose in the blood stream drop below a point at which the brain can get an adequate supply of glucose for its fuel needs. Unlike other cells in the body, the brain cells can only utilize glucose for fuel. Other cells can make use of fatty acids, produced by the liver when glucose levels in the blood are low. Because of this, low blood glucose levels have a direct effect on the brain and its functions. Hypoglycemia can be caused by inadequate food intake in relation to the amount of insulin administered - that is, the cat is not eating as much as usual and the insulin dose is too large. It can also be caused, in the early stages of the treatment of a diabetic cat when the type of and dose of insulin have not yet been determined and too much or the wrong type is given. It can also occur if the cat goes on honeymoon - that is, if the cat's insulin injection requirements suddenly drop (sometimes on honeymoon, a cat will require NO injected insulin). If the the cat starts honeymooning and the normal dose of insulin is administered, a hypoglycemic episode can result. This and the detection of hypoglycemic episodes or their confirmation, ar yet more reasons why Home Testing of BG levels is so as important in Feline Diabetes as it is in Human Diabetes. This lack of fuel to the brain results in the clinical symptoms that can be observed, some of which include, and are listed in increasing degree of severity: lethargy increased hunger restlessness or agitation shivering or shaking dizziness, staggering, falling down, unable to negotiate jumps and steps disorientation - owners have r Continue reading >>

Logical Approach To Diagnosis And Management Of Hypoglycemia (proceedings)

Logical Approach To Diagnosis And Management Of Hypoglycemia (proceedings)

In the normal dog fasting does not usually result in hypoglycemia. Therefore a serum glucose concentration < 60 mg/dl is almost always due to either organic disease or to laboratory error. In an animal with normal glucose homeostasis, insulin secretion is stimulated when the blood glucose is > 110 mg/dl; insulin secretion is depressed and secretion of hormones that oppose insulin (epinephrine, glucagon, cortisol, growth hormone) is stimulated when the blood glucose falls below < 60 mg/dl. Insulin acts by decreasing the rate of glycogenolysis and gluconeogenesis by the liver and increasing the rate of uptake of glucose by insulin sensitive tissues. In the presence of an insulinoma, neoplastic pancreatic ß cells continue to release insulin despite the presence of hypoglycemia. Clinical signs are dependent on the degree of hypoglycemia and the rate at which it develops. Effect of hypoglycemia on CNS Glucose entrance into neurons is not insulin dependent (apart from the satiety and appetite centers in the hypothalamus). Decreased neuronal glucose concentrations causes inadequate ATP concentrations within the cell, resulting in increased vascular permeability, vasospasm, vascular dilatation and edema. This causes neuronal death from anoxia. Histopathologic changes are most marked in the cerebral cortex, basal ganglion, hippocampus, and vasomotor cortex. Differential diagnosis hypoglycemia A wide range of disorders may result in hypoglycemia. The mechanisms causing hypoglycemia in these disorders is diverse, and may influence approach to treatment. Differential diagnosis of hypoglycemia in dogs and cats is shown in the table below. Diagnostic tests that are indicated to determine the cause of hypoglycemia include review of sample handling, and if necessary a repeat measureme Continue reading >>

Low Blood Sugar In Cats

Low Blood Sugar In Cats

Hypoglycemia in Cats The blood sugar, or glucose, is a main energy of source in an animal's body, so a low amount will result in a severe decrease in energy levels, possibly to the point of loss of consciousness. The medical term for critically low levels of sugar in the blood is hypoglycemia, and it is often linked to diabetes and an overdose of insulin. However, there are different conditions, other than diabetes, that can also cause blood sugar levels to drop to dangerous levels in cats. In most animals, hypoglycemia is actually not a disease in and of itself, but is only an indication of another underlying health problem. The brain actually needs a steady supply of glucose in order to function properly, as it does not store and create glucose itself. When glucose levels drop to a dangerously low level, a condition of hypoglycemia takes place. This is a dangerous health condition and needs to be treated quickly and appropriately. If you suspect hypoglycemia, especially if your cat is disposed to this condition, you will need to treat the condition quickly before it becomes life threatening. Symptoms Loss of appetite (anorexia) Increased hunger Visual instability, such as blurred vision Disorientation and confusion — may show an apparent inability to complete basic routine tasks Weakness, low energy, loss of consciousness Seizures (rare) Anxiety, restlessness Tremor/shivering Heart palpitations These symptoms may not be specific to hypoglycemia, there can be other possible underlying medical causes. The best way to determine hypoglycemia if by having the blood sugar level measured while the symptoms are apparent. Causes There may be several causes for hypoglycemia, but the most common is the side effects caused by drugs that are being used to treat diabetes. Cats wi Continue reading >>

Diabetic Shock In A Cat

Diabetic Shock In A Cat

Feline diabetes affects one in 400 cats, according to the Pawprints And Purrs Inc. website. Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) occurs when a diabetic cat’s insulin level needs to be changed or if the cat gets too much insulin. The insulin triggers the cat’s body to continue producing glucose. This ultimately causes blood glucose levels to become dangerously low. The cat develops hypoglycemia (also known as insulin shock or diabetic shock). Hypoglycemia is life-threatening. Symptoms Mild hypoglycemia can turn quickly into diabetic shock, so you must be vigilant in recognizing symptoms. According to the Feline Diabetes website, symptoms progress roughly in the following order: sudden ravenous hunger; restlessness; weakness and lethargy; shivering; poor coordination such as walking in circles, staggering or acting drunk; vision problems; changes in head or neck movements including head tilting; yowling and urgent meowing; behavior changes such as aggressiveness; convulsions or seizures; unconsciousness; coma and finally death. Treatment Even if a cat is already unconscious or having seizures, you must rub a glucose solution such as corn syrup, maple syrup or honey immediately onto its gums, cheeks and under its tongue. Be careful not to obstruct the cat’s airway. The blood glucose-raising effects of syrup last only a short time, so offer food as soon as the cat can eat. The hypoglycemia may return, so you should consult with veterinarians concerning future insulin doses until you can make proper adjustments. Prepare For Emergencies Emergency preparedness is vital since cats can be fine one moment and hypoglycemic the next. Keep supplies of glucose handy such as packets of honey, pre-loaded syringes filled with corn or maple syrup, glucose solutions from the pharmacy or t Continue reading >>

Hypoglycemia In Non-diabetic Cats

Hypoglycemia In Non-diabetic Cats

If your kitty has hypoglycemia, it means her blood sugar has dropped so low she is having neurological symptoms because her brain isn't getting enough fuel. Hypoglycemia is a symptom, not a disease, and is almost always related to diabetes. But even if your cat isn't diabetic, hypoglycemia in a kitty is always a medical emergency. Copious Vomiting Your non-diabetic cat can have an episode of hypoglycemia if she has an insulin spike. The most common cause of natural insulin spikes is excessive vomiting following a meal. Your kitty's pancreas naturally releases insulin at mealtime to break down her food. When the food comes back up, the excess insulin causes a sudden blood glucose drop. In this case, you'll have to find and treat the cause of vomiting after you stabilize her blood sugar levels. Anorexia Anorexia doesn't mean your kitty's starving herself to fit into that prom dress. In animals, anorexia refers to any refusal to eat for a prolonged period, regardless of the cause. Parasites, bacterial and viral infections, tumors, organ diseases, pain and stress can all cause anorexia. Hypoglycemia can result directly from your kitty's anorexia -- her body simply uses up all its fuel -- or it can be the result of anorexia-induced liver damage. Loss of fuel kills off liver cells, which screws up blood insulin levels, resulting in screwed up levels of glucose. Infections and Tumors Liver and pancreas diseases are major culprits when it comes to hypoglycemia in non-diabetic cats. Any infection or toxin-related damage to these organs can cause an insulin spike and glucose plummet. If your kitty has been accidentally exposed to any poisons or a medication overdose right before a hypoglycemic episode, suspect liver damage. If she's vomiting bile (yellow or green slime), suspect Continue reading >>

Hypoglycemia Quick Reference

Hypoglycemia Quick Reference

Also see our other hypoglycemic references: Pet Health: Hypoglycemia These guidelines are not intended to replace the advice given by your veterinarian. It is important you discuss treatment options with your cat’s physician BEFORE an event occurs. How to treat HYPOS - THEY CAN KILL! Print this out! By: Melissa and Popcorn (GA) & Sushi (GA) Last updated: November 2, 2009 GENERAL RULE OF THUMB FOR TREATING HYPOGLYCEMIA Your best defense against hypoglycemia is home blood glucose testing. If you’re not already doing so and your cat allows it, I HIGHLY recommend you test before each shot. Hypoglycemia or low blood sugar is a dangerous condition that must be treated immediately. Also known as insulin shock or insulin reaction, hypoglycemia occurs when there is too much insulin in the body potentially leading to neurological damage and/or death. Knowing how to respond to a hypoglycemic event whether or not symptoms are present can save the life of your diabetic cat. The following general guidelines are intended for those who home test the blood glucose levels in their cats. These guidelines are not intended to replace the advice given by your Veterinarian. It is very important that you discuss any and all treatment options with your cat’s physician BEFORE an event has occurred. SYMPTOMS Some cats may have NO symptoms whatsoever, but here are the most common ones: MILD HYPOGLYCEMIA Sudden ravenous hunger Shivering Weak or lethargic MODERATE HYPOGLYCEMIA Disorientation Trouble with vision... bumps into furniture Poor coordination, such as staggering, walking in circles or acting drunk Changes in head or neck movements Restlessness Urgent meowing Behavioral changes, such as aggressiveness SEVERE HYPOGLYCEMIA Convulsions or seizures Unconsciousness TREATMENT During treatme Continue reading >>

Cats With Diabetes

Cats With Diabetes

Tweet Diabetes occurs less frequently in cats than in dogs. However, when it does occur, feline diabetes can be more difficult to regulate. When a diabetic cat ingests glucose and can't process it properly, it leads to the build up of sugars in the blood stream. Eventually, the blood sugar gets so high that sugar begins to be spilled in the cat's urine. Both the high blood sugar and the loss of sugar through the urine can have severe, and sometimes life threatening, consequences. Common Profiles Diabetes can occur in cats of any age, though most are over six-years old. Some cats can be insulin dependent and can be helped by life-long insulin therapy. Other cats can be non-insulin dependent and only require insulin when stressed. Typically, these cats regain their balance once the stressful event is over. History and Physical Examination The common signs of diabetes are increased thirst and urination, along with increased appetite and weight loss. However, these signs can be masked in cats that have other illnesses. You may see signs of illness, such as: Vomiting Diarrhea Loss of appetite Breathing difficulties Weakness Straining to urinate These symptoms can appear suddenly, over a few days, or over several months. Diagnosis In many cases, cats that have diabetes can be difficult to diagnose because they also have a concurrent illness or disease that can mimic diabetes. Some of these diseases are hyperthyroidism, kidney disease or failure, adrenal gland disease, gastrointestinal disease, cancer, liver disease or failure, and some types of drug treatment. To diagnose feline diabetes, veterinarians use the following tests: Fasting blood-sugar level: Test results that show a blood-sugar level over 200 indicate the possibility of diabetes. However, stress alone can result h Continue reading >>

Cases From Our Clinic: The Kitten Who Ran Out Of Energy

Cases From Our Clinic: The Kitten Who Ran Out Of Energy

One cold morning we were in the middle of an exam when a concerned client called. She had taken in a 6-week-old orphaned kitten two days ago. Snuggles, who had been rambunctious earlier in the morning, had all of a sudden slowed down and was looking weak, barely moving. We told her to bring Snuggles in right away and got the crash cart out just in case. When the kitten was brought in, he was lethargic as described. We quickly drew a small amount of blood to test for blood glucose (sugar) as we took his temperature, pulse, and respiration. We saw that his blood glucose was all the way down to 30 – a kitten's normal blood glucose level should be anywhere from 80-110. A lower than normal blood sugar level is called "hypoglycemia" (see our sidebar below). We quickly administered some dextrose fluid intravenously while we sat down and talked to the owners to get a brief history. About Hypoglycemia A kitten's normal blood glucose level should be anywhere from 80-110. • Most instances of hypoglycemia in kittens are the result of inadequate nutrition; either not enough or poor quality (undigestible) food. Excessive exercise, cold environmental temperatures, and infections may also cause the body to use up more sugar than is available. • A kitten with hypoglycemia will lack energy. In severe instances, the kitten may even have a seizure, since glucose is necessary for the brain tissue and muscles to function. These hypoglycemic episodes will cause the kitten to fall over and appear lethargic or comatose. • If you suspect your kitten is having an episode, it is imperative to immediately provide a source of sugar. Karo® syrup is an excellent, readily available choice. If the kitten fails to respond, or the hypoglycemic episodes are frequent, then a thorough exam by a vete Continue reading >>

Diabetes In Cats: Symptoms & Treatment

Diabetes In Cats: Symptoms & Treatment

Diabetic cats are more common than we think. So, if you have a cat you may be curious about feline diabetes, which is becoming an increasingly troublesome issue for our feline friends. We’ve compiled what you need to know about feline diabetes symptoms, medical complications, and the three main treatment options. Identifying signs early on can help extend and improve your kitty’s quality of life. What is feline diabetes? Like human diabetes, feline diabetes has to do with the production and use of insulin in the body. Insulin is a hormone secreted by the pancreas, which plays an important role in regulating the level of glucose in the bloodstream. Glucose is like cellular fuel that cats, people, and all living things need to stay alive. With human or feline diabetes, the pancreas either isn’t producing enough insulin or the body can’t use it properly to balance glucose levels. When there’s too much insulin in the body, glucose builds up and causes a condition called hyperglycemia. What is hyperglycemia in cats? Feline hyperglycemia is the technical term for high blood glucose in cats. When a sick cat becomes hyperglycemic, the body can’t use glucose for fuel and starts breaking down fats for energy. This process results in a waste product called ketones. If the level of ketones gets too high, it causes ketoacidosis, which is a life-threatening situation that requires immediate medical attention. If you have a diabetic cat, it’s important to keep an eye out for signs of hyperglycemia, such as: ● Acetone or fruity smelling breath ● Lethargy ● Increased thirst ● Shortness of breath Treatment for cat hyperglycemia may include fluid therapy, insulin, and hospitalization. What types of feline diabetes are there? Feline diabetes is classified into two dif Continue reading >>

Kitten Hypoglycemia: Low Blood Sugar

Kitten Hypoglycemia: Low Blood Sugar

Hypoglycemia simply means a low blood sugar. Glucose is the form of sugar found within the bloodstream. Glucose is formed during the digestion of foods and it can be stored within the liver in a storage form called glycogen. Most instances of low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) in the kitten are the result of inadequate nutrition; either not enough or poor quality (undigestible) food. Excessive exercise may also cause the body to use up more sugar than is available. What are the symptoms? A kitten with hypoglycemia will lack energy. Glucose (sugar) is the fuel the body burns for energy; without it the kitten is listless. In severe instances, the kitten may even seizure, since glucose is necessary for the brain tissue and muscles to function. These hypoglycemic episodes will cause the kitten to fall over and appear weak or comatose. What are the risks? The risks depend on the severity or extent of the lack of blood sugar. If it is due to lack of food or excessive exercise, it can be easily corrected. If however, the underlying cause is more serious, such as liver disease preventing the storage of glucose as glycogen, or intestinal disease preventing the proper digestion and/or absorption of food, then hypoglycemia may be chronic and life threatening. What is the management? If a kitten is listless due to low blood sugar, it is imperative to immediately provide sugar. Karo syrup and honey are excellent sugar sources and should be fed to the kitten. If the kitten fails to respond to sugar, or the hypoglycemic episodes are frequent, then a thorough exam by a veterinarian is in order. It must be determined if the low blood sugar is simply the result of inadequate nutrition or a more severe underlying disease. Continue reading >>

Pet Health:

Pet Health:

Also see Hypoglycemia Quick Reference! by Melissa: PRINT THIS OUT Medical Data: Hypoglycemic Episodes Hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar, is a dangerous effect of overdosing insulin. Too much insulin triggers the body to continue processing glucose, ultimately sending blood glucose (BG) levels dangerously low. Also known as insulin shock, hypoglycemia can be a life-threatening and possibly fatal condition. First aid at home can be life saving. Home testing the BG levels in your cat is highly recommended because of the increased certainty that comes with knowing a precise BG level, though many others find it unnecessary in a regulated cat. While home testing was once a topic of much contention, veterinary research supports home testing and knowledgable vets recommend it. These guidelines are not intended to replace the advice given by your veterinarian. It is very important that you discuss any and all treatment options with your cat’s physician BEFORE an event has occurred. Symptoms of hypoglycemia: [in order of ascending severity] abnormal hunger / complete disinterest in food restlessness weakness, lethargy head tilting shivering staggering, uncoordinated movements problems with eyesight disorientation (yowling, walking in circles, hiding, etc.) convulsions or seizures coma This list is by no means exhaustive; cats have also been known to be very sleepy, drool, vomit, or have glassy eyes. Be aware of behavior from your cat that is uncommon, but don't fret every time your pet gives you a single funny look. Treating hypoglycemia: During a hypoglycemic attack you must stay calm. You must work quickly, but carefully. Your goal is to bring the blood glucose back up to a safe level, continue to observe your pet, and contact the vet. Immediate oral application of a glucose s Continue reading >>

Preventing And Handling Diabetic Emergencies

Preventing And Handling Diabetic Emergencies

Caring for a pet with diabetes can be daunting. Fortunately, the key to successful diabetes management is simple: a consistent, established daily routine. A healthy diet is essential, and feeding your pet the same amount of food at the same time every day will help make blood sugar easiest to control. Your pet will usually also need twice-daily insulin injections, which should be given at the same time every day. (The easiest way to do this is to coordinate shots with mealtimes.) Routine daily exercise and regular at-home monitoring of urine and/or blood sugar round out a plan for good diabetic regulation. Even if you are following a consistent routine, a diabetic pet may occasionally experience an emergency. A number of different things can cause an emergency, but the most common is hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar. In this case, it is important that you be prepared in order to avoid a life-threatening situation. Hypoglycemia: Why It Happens Hypoglycemia most often results from accidental overdosage of insulin, but it can also occur if a pet is not eating well, misses a meal or vomits after eating, or if the type and amount of food he is being fed changes. Hypoglycemia may become a problem with very vigorous exercise; for this reason, regular daily controlled exercise is best. Hypoglycemia can also result if the body’s need for insulin changes. This scenario is particularly common in cats who often return to a non-diabetic state once an appropriate diet and insulin therapy start. Vet Tips Avoid “double-dosing” insulin. Only one person in a household should have the responsibility of giving insulin. A daily log should be kept of the time/amount of food and insulin that is given to avoid errors. Proper daily monitoring of blood and/or urine glucose can help identif Continue reading >>

Pets With Diabetes: Hypoglycemia

Pets With Diabetes: Hypoglycemia

Signs Treatment Asymptomatic Hypo Be Prepared (how to carry a sugar supply) Exercise and hypo. Nigel Goes Hypo Hypo Humor References The most serious side effect of too much insulin is hypoglycemia, or low blood glucose. Hypoglycemia can be a life-threatening, even fatal condition. Classic signs of hypoglycemia lethargy (lack of energy) weakness head tilting "drunkedness" - wobbling when walking, unbalanced hunger restlessness shivering ataxia - usually lack of muscular coordination, but maybe changes in head and neck movements disorientation stupor convulsions or seizures coma The occurrence of signs depends on how far the bg drops and on how fast the blood glucose drops. Owners of diabetic cats have also reported observing these signs sleepiness unable to wake the cat easily when it is sleeping. vomiting glassy eyes - it may look like it is staring into space laying, sleeping, or curled up in an unusual location of the house meowing, crying, yowling, or vocalizing in a way that is unusual for your cat some cats get aggressive drooling coughing Owners of diabetic dogs have also reported observing these signs sweating - check the nose and the paw pads. lip smacking or licking getting physically "stuck" in a place where the pet normally could get itself out (for example, behind a partially closed door that a pet would usually nudge open.) Some animals are asymptomatic at very low bg values. This means they do not show any of the usual signs of hypoglycemia even though their bg is very low. Read experiences of three pets who have had episodes of asymptomatic hypoglycemia. Be Prepared Always have corn syrup or sugar available. Corn syrup works well because it is a very pure sugar, and it is liquid. In the U.S. "Karo" is a brand name of corn syrup and you'll often see this 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 >>

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