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Feline Diabetes Blog

Managing Feline Diabetes

Managing Feline Diabetes

Great 1st visit. Dr. Harris was very kind to Cozi (and me) and very professional. He listened and explained what needed to be done. They are all very cost conscious. The clinic came highly recommended but this was better than I could ever imagined.Linda C. Everyone was friendly and attentive. You can tell they care about every pet that walks through the door.Megan M. Thanks for taking care of buster. He's back to normal now. Even though his sx were a bit vague, the doc seemed to diagnose and treat. Thanks again.Chip L. My boxers been going there for long time staff and veterinarian are wonderful. It's not to close to me but Iam just happy taking them there. I love my boxers and if there happy and healthy that's what matters to me.Mirian M. Very clean reception area, assistants kind and considerate, they go out of their way to provide answers and service...the vets are fantastic. They listen, respond to questions and in general make you feel good about being there.Carol B. Alex, the vet tech, was very nice and greeted me right when we entered the exam room! The Dr. (forget her name, but cute younger girl with blonde hair) was very friendly and informative. The room smelled clean and was orderly.Ashley M. Friendly staff, Wonderful Vet! Really takes time to listen & be reassuring.Kimberly E. Clean, modern, well staffed, timely, one stop pet shop right by my home! Great experience on our first visit!Michele F. Everyone that Molly & I have come in contact with are friendly & helpful. When we adopted her, wouldn't let any one touch her feet. Went to 4 diff. groomers for her nails to be clipped. NO ONE could do it! Now she jumps IN the car when I say NAILS!!Kim Every time I take my German Shepherd puppy, Dexter, to Elmhurst Animal Care we are greeted by friendly staff and the Continue reading >>

Feline Diabetes Part 1 | Blog | 3p Naturals

Feline Diabetes Part 1 | Blog | 3p Naturals

Has your cat been diagnosed with diabetes? Not exactly fun! So what now? Here's what you need to know: Feline diabetes (mellitus) is a disease characterized by a cat's inability to either produce adequate insulin or use insulin properly to stabilize their blood sugar levels. Common symptoms of feline diabetes are: increased urination, increased thirst, overweight, and lethargy. So what is happening in your cats body is this; the food taken in by your cat is broken down into smaller molecules (fats, proteins, and carbohydrates) which your cats body will utilize as energy. One molecule of concern is glucose, a simple sugar or monosaccharide. Glucose is kept within very specific parameters in the bloodstream. The body does this by releasing a pancreatic hormone called insulin. Insulin is the hormone that regulates how glucose and fats are used and stored within the body. When it's not being produced or used correctly, things go wrong. Sugar can build up in the blood stream and if there's too much, it will start being excreted by the kidneys via the urine. Often obesity is a precursor to feline diabetes. If your cat is overweight, save yourself and your cat some grief and sort it out NOW! Read our blog on obesity here. Thankfully, with a species-appropriate diet, most diabetic cats can be managed without insulin. Some cases will even go into remission. One of the many issues with commercial diets is that they contain large amounts of carbohydrate. YES, even the grain-free ones do! Carbohydrates are broken down into glucose and if there's too much glucose in the body, insulin is released. If this happens every day of a cat's life, bodily functions can start breaking down. Insulin release becomes harder and harder as time progresses. Thankfully, with species-appropriate nutr Continue reading >>

Less Is More With Feline Diabetes

Less Is More With Feline Diabetes

Recently, I started taking a bit of a "less is more" approach to treating diabetes in cats. Most of my feline patients resent being brought into the veterinary clinic frequently, resent being restrained for blood draws, resent having their ears pricked for at-home glucose monitoring (you get the idea). Since I believe that the goal of medical intervention should be an improved overall quality of life, I began to ask whether my previously more aggressive treatment approach was really doing my diabetic feline patients any favors. Turns out lots of veterinarians have been thinking the same thing, and one renowned feline expert, Gary D. Norsworthy, DVM, DABVP, has even put a name to this "less is more" attitude the Ultra Loose Control Approach. He developed his technique primarily because too many cats were being euthanized due to the hassles and expenses associated with his previous recommendations. Dr. Norsworthy says that his Ultra Loose Control Approach is built on the premise that Cats tolerate hyperglycemia with minimal/tolerable clinical signs. Cats do not have significant complications from diabetes such as cataracts, peripheral vascular disease, and renal disease. Cats tolerate hypoglycemia with no or minimal clinical signs (though this shouldnt be overstated because severe hypoglycemia can be fatal). When trying to simplify the care of a diabetic cat, more emphasis is put on monitoring and resolving the patients clinical signs (e.g., increased thirst, appetite and urination; weight loss; reduced activity levels, etc.) than on precisely controlling blood glucose levels. The process basically boils down to feeding the cat a low carbohydrate diet (canned if at all possible) and if initial blood glucose levels are high enough, starting twice daily injections of a lon Continue reading >>

How I Got My Diabetic Cat “off The Juice”

How I Got My Diabetic Cat “off The Juice”

Learn about the how, when, where and who of managing feline diabetes. Today at Paws and Effect HQ, we’re celebrating Bella’s two-year “remissioniversary!” Bella came to us with insulin-dependent diabetes, and just a couple of weeks later she was in remission. If you have a diabetic cat, I hope you’ll take heart from our story and use some of the resources that helped me to help Bella. I met Bella at HART of Maine, a no-kill cat shelter in southern Maine. She and several other diabetic cats had been under the care of HART’s former “diabetic den mother,” Margaret B. When Margaret learned that I wanted to adopt Bella, she took time to teach me to test her blood glucose and how to give insulin shots. She was just a phone call or text away as I learned how to care for a diabetic cat. Thanks to her and my vet, I got Bella into remission, and here’s how I did it. 1. Join a support community Every caretaker of a diabetic cat should have a mentor. Margaret was a real blessing to me, and it would be awesome if everyone who lives with a “sugar kitty” had a Margaret of their own. But even if you don’t have a Margaret, you can find great information and support at FelineDiabetes.com. Through their Feline Diabetes Message Board, people with diabetic cats can learn and get emotional support as they get used to the idea of living with a diabetic kitty. 2. No kibble, ever Food that is low in carbohydrates and high in protein is key to managing diabetes. I feed Bella and the rest of the Paws and Effect Gang a freeze-dried raw food that I rehydrate with warm water. But you don’t have to go raw — there are quite a few canned foods that meet the criteria for managing diabetes, including a few brands you can find in the grocery store. Check out Dr. Lisa Pierson’ Continue reading >>

Feline Diabetes: Signs And Treatment

Feline Diabetes: Signs And Treatment

Feline diabetes is a condition that occurs when the body cannot properly produce or respond to insulin. Type 1 diabetes results in high levels of glucose due to the lack of insulin, and type 2 diabetes occurs when the body cannot respond properly to insulin. Cats generally suffer from type 2 diabetes. If your cat shows signs of increased thirst or hunger while experiencing significant weight loss, you should consult with a veterinarian as soon as possible to determine the cause of your pets condition. Normalizing blood glucose concentration through a carb-restricted diet Even cats with a successful treatment plan will need to be closely monitored. Some cats may go into remission and no longer require insulin shots, but this usually occurs in overweight cats that reach a healthier weight. There is no cure for feline diabetes and even those who do go into remission may require more treatment in the future. Most cat owners can expect to spend between $20-$30 per month on insulin, syringes, and other diabetic supplies. Although that may not seem terribly expensive when compared to other conditions or surgeries pets may require, these costs can really add up. 4Paws pet insurance can help alleviate some of these costs*, so you can focus on what really matters caring for your cat! * Please note that 4Paws does not cover pre-existing conditions. A pre-existing condition is an illness, disease, injury, or change to your pets health that first occurs or shows symptoms before coverage is effective or during a waiting period. This includes conditions that are related to, secondary, or resultant from a pre-existing condition. In basic terms, if your pet has or had any condition, diagnosed or not, before enrollment or during the policy waiting periods it is a pre-existing condition. Continue reading >>

Mid Atlantic Cat Hospital

Mid Atlantic Cat Hospital

More Food, Less Exercise: A Recipe for Illness In honor of National Diabetes Awareness Month, I thought I would take this opportunity to discuss the prevalence of diabetes in our pet cats. As in their people, the epidemic of diabetes in cats is growing all of the time. As we keep getting bigger and pay less attention to what we eat and how we exercise, diabetes becomes more and more common. Similarly, our cats keep getting bigger, and this combined with less than ideal nutrition, we are seeing more and more diabetic cats. As in people, diabetes can be prevented in many of our feline patients. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle and proper nutrition is a great step in avoiding this potentially life-threatening disease. Meal feeding and using a high protein/low carbohydrate diet can't be underemphasized. Although there are exceptions to everything, diabetes is most common in middle aged (5-11 years), overweight, male cats. Common symptoms include drinking more, urinating more, eating more, and losing weight. A lot of us never see our cats drink, so sometimes just noticing them at the water bowl is the first clue. Maybe they start asking for water from the sink, or start wanting to lick the shower when you are done what we are looking for are changes in behavior. In addition, maybe instead or one or two urine clumps in the box per day there are 4 or 5, or the urine clumps go from walnut sized to lemon sized. Again, changes are the important factors. Diagnosis of diabetes is usually pretty straightforward, using blood and urine tests. Most cats will require insulin, but there is a small minority of cats who can be managed with a diet change. It can take several weeks for a cat to become regulated on insulin, and close contact with your veterinarian is imperative. It's also imp Continue reading >>

Signs That Your Cat May Have Diabetes

Signs That Your Cat May Have Diabetes

You can tell there's something not quite right with your beloved cat. Maybe your pet has started drinking from the water bowl faster than you can keep it refilled. Maybe your formerly active kitty is lounging lazily around the house looking slightly dazed. The truth is that there are several causes for behavioral changes in cats, and symptoms like this signal that it's time for a thorough vet exam. But one of the most likely causes for behavior changes that include drinking excess water and losing energy is diabetes mellitus, a condition that affects the body's ability to produce insulin and process glucose. In fact, diabetes impacts as many as 1 percent of all cats in the U.S.—which means that more than 700,000 kitties suffer from the symptoms. Cats most likely to develop diabetes are older and overweight. Males tend to get diabetes more than females do, and the Burmese breed seems to be more susceptible. However, any breed or type of cat can get the disease, so don't rule out diabetes just because you have a young, female, mixed-breed pet. What signs indicate that your cat has diabetes? As with people who have diabetes, the symptoms can be varied. In addition to excessive thirst and decreased activity, signs may include: Weight loss. Because cats with diabetes cannot process glucose properly, their cells aren't getting the nutrition they need. To make up for the loss, the body breaks down fat and muscle tissue, leading to a noticeably skinnier pet. Change in litterbox habits. If you were drinking that much water, you might have trouble making it to the bathroom, and your cat is no different. If you've noticed your kitty urinating in inappropriate places, diabetes could be the cause. And, if your cat is defecating outside the box or not covering bowel movements like 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 >>

Cat Diabetes, Dog Diabetes, Feline Diabetes, Canine Diabetes,pet Diabetes | Blog | Carlson Animal Hospital, Oak Park

Cat Diabetes, Dog Diabetes, Feline Diabetes, Canine Diabetes,pet Diabetes | Blog | Carlson Animal Hospital, Oak Park

Diabetes Mellitus In Cats and Dogs: A General Understanding The increase in diabetes mellitus in cats and dogs mirrors the increase in people; itcan be serious and is on the rise . Because of this, we recommend an annualphysical examinationto address any early warning signs. With early detection we can increase the chances of the most favorable outcome.When we test fordiabetes mellituswe recommend a physical examination,a simple blood test, and urinalysis. Pancreas and its role in diabetes mellitus To understand diabetes, lets start with a briefunderstanding of the pancreas and one of its main functions. The pancreas has several functions, but we will focus on the role of insulin production. The pancreas produces insulin and regulates blood glucose levels. Glucose , as well as sucrose and fructose, are carbohydrates (we often refer to them as simple sugars). A normal pancreas should produce insulin as a response to increasing glucose in the blood (after a meal, for example) or when the body recognizes that the cells need glucose. The insulin then regulates the flux of glucose out of the blood stream and into cells. This is avery important cellular function. Without insulin, glucose cannot enter the cells and provide the energy they need. Without cellular glucose, the body thinks it is starving and searches for an alternate energy source. This sets off a cascade of protein (muscle)and fat breakdown within the body as an alternate energy source.This in turnleads to harmful metabolic by-products such as ketones formation and weight loss.This occurs while there is an abundance of glucose in the body just waiting to be used as energy, but it is unable to be utilized. An increase in appetite coupled with weight loss might be an indicator of illness. Dr. Leslie weighing a fel Continue reading >>

Binky's Page

Binky's Page

Binky died not from diabetes but due to general failure of all systems. His obituary can be found here. Au revoir, sweet boy. Binky was my adorable, plush, extremely loving, beige tabby cat, who was diagnosed with diabetes in January 2000. Several years ago, with major input from the wonderful and supportive community at the Feline Diabetes Message Board (FDMB), as well as many others who have sent me information on cat foods, I compiled several useful documents, which are listed below. Continue reading >>

Managing Feline Diabetes: Current Perspectives

Managing Feline Diabetes: Current Perspectives

Managing feline diabetes: current perspectives Published 19 June 2018 Volume 2018:9 Pages 3342 Peer reviewers approved by Dr Lucy Goodman Editor who approved publication: Professor Young Lyoo 1The Cat Clinic, Brisbane, QLD, Australia; 2School of Veterinary Science, The University of Queensland, Gatton, QLD, Australia Abstract: Diabetes mellitus is a common endocrine disease in cats. While type 2 diabetes is the most common form seen in cats, other underlying causes may contribute to insulin resistance. Guidelines for diagnosis vary and often do not take into account prediabetic cats. The goals of treatment are to maximize the chance of remission, while minimizing the risks of hypoglycemia. This article presents a further overview of current treatment and monitoring recommendations for diabetic cats. Keywords: diabetes mellitus, glucose tolerance, diabetic remission, gluconeogenesis, feline, cats This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited. The full terms of this license are available at and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution - Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License . By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed. For permission for commercial use of this work, please see paragraphs 4.2 and 5 of our Terms . Continue reading >>

6 Tips For Dealing With Diabetes In Cats

6 Tips For Dealing With Diabetes In Cats

Dealing with diabetes in cats isnt as scary as it seems. One writer who parents a diabetic cat has six simple tips for dealing with feline diabetes. Cat Behavior Caterwauling What Is It and Why Do Cats Do It? I plan to bring a new cat into my family.Shes a beautiful girl who has the very appropriate name Bella (short for Belladonna). Shes particularly special because she has feline diabetes. Shell need ongoing care and attention for the rest of her life, but Ive found that the basics of keeping a diabetic cat healthy are not very scary at all. Heres what Ive learned about diabetes in cats so far: 1. Diet is crucialwhen dealing with diabetes in cats Ensuring that your cat is on the right diet is crucial to managing diabetes in cats. Photography sae1010 | Thinkstock. Diabetic cats shouldnt eat dry food . Most vets recommend a high-protein, low-carbohydrate diet for diabetic cats, and no dry food is low in carbohydrates. Even grain-free dry foods contain a lot of substitute carbohydrates such as potatoes, peas or tapioca. Carbohydrates tend to make blood sugar levels fluctuate quite a bit. The shelter where Im adopting my Bella has had cats that became diet-controlled and no longer needed insulin when they began eating low-carb food. There are low-carbohydrate foods available at every price point, so you dont have to buy super-expensive food to feed your diabetic cat properly. Curious about what people with diabetes should and shouldnt eat ? Check out this article >> 2. Home testing isnt as hard as it seems Like diabetic humans, cats withfeline diabetes need to have their blood glucose tested regularly. You can do this at home with a standard glucometer and testing strips that you can buy in a drugstore. Record your cats blood glucose level, along with the date and time, Continue reading >>

How To Feed Cats With Diabetes

How To Feed Cats With Diabetes

Diet plays a key role in the successful management of the diabetic cat. Because cats are obligate carnivores (1-3), diabetic cats are relatively carbohydrate intolerant and respond best to a low carbohydrate diet. This differs from dogs, which are omnivores and are quite tolerant of a moderate to high carbohydrate meal, even when diabetic (4,5). Evolutionary events shaped the cat’s core metabolism such that their systems are uniquely set up to metabolize a diet which is high in moisture, high in protein, and very low in carbohydrates. Because this is the diet they have relied upon for tens of thousands of years, they do not have the ability to process carbohydrates very efficiently and show relative carbohydrate intolerance (1-3). This becomes extremely important when selecting a diet for cats with diabetes. Postprandial Glycemia in Man, Dogs, and Cats As a result of these differences, plasma glucose clearance rates are longer in cats compared to dogs or humans after feeding a moderate to high carbohydrate meal — in other words, even normal cats have much more prolonged postprandial period of hyperglycemia than might be expected. In healthy humans and dogs, postprandial hyperglycemia normally persists for 2 to 6 hours (4,6). In contrast, recent studies of healthy cats found that both serum glucose and insulin concentrations remained significantly increased for a median time of 12 hours following ingestion of a moderate carbohydrate meal (25% of calories), and that both glucose and insulin concentrations remained above baseline values for 24 hours in approximately 20% of the cats (7,8). Most feline diets contain even higher amounts of carbohydrate (greater than 25%) and, therefore, would be expected to result in more severe postprandial hyperglycemia and a longer tim Continue reading >>

What You Need To Know About Feline Diabetes

What You Need To Know About Feline Diabetes

Guest post by JaneA Kelley November is Pet Diabetes Awareness Month, and with diabetes on the rise in cats and dogs, it’s important to know the facts about this disease and how to manage it. I’m going to focus on feline diabetes because it’s a topic I know quite a bit about, having adopted a diabetic kitty and gotten her into remission. You’ll also notice that I’ve included the gray ribbon, the symbol of diabetes awareness, with all the photos in this post. You probably know diabetes as a disease associated with sugar, and that’s sort of right, but let me start out with some background information. What is diabetes? When a cat eats sugar or carbohydrates, a gland called the pancreas secretes a hormone called insulin. Insulin is crucial in turning sugar and carbohydrates into energy the body can use. In diabetes, one of two things happens: Either the pancreas doesn’t produce enough insulin (Type 1 diabetes), or the pancreas produces insulin but the body doesn’t know how to use it (Type 2 diabetes). What causes diabetes? Most cats have Type 2 diabetes, and this is primarily brought about by obesity. According to a recent study, 58 percent cats are overweight or obese. That’s a lot of cats at higher risk of getting diabetes. Steroid use can sometimes cause transient diabetes – that is, diabetes that goes away after the medication is stopped. A few cats also have other disorders such as acromegaly that can cause diabetes. The most commonly noticed symptoms are polydipsia (drinking excessively) and polyuria (peeing excessively). Another common symptom is weight loss despite a large appetite. As the cat’s blood glucose increases, he can become lethargic and depressed; this is the precursor to a condition called diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA), which requires Continue reading >>

Does Dry Cat Food Really Cause Feline Diabetes

Does Dry Cat Food Really Cause Feline Diabetes

Does Dry Cat Food Really Cause Feline Diabetes The link between food and feline diabetes is a subject that weve talked about before but it keeps coming up so I think its a good idea to revisit the subject. One of the concerns surrounding dry food is the carbohydrate content in the foods. Dry foods tend to have moderate to high levels of carbohydrates. Many sources on the internet will tell you that feeding dry foods that contain high levels of carbohydrates will cause your cat to develop diabetes. But is this true and what is the real relationship here? We know that feeding a high-protein low-carbohydrate diet can be effective for controlling the glycemic response in diabetic cats and many diabetic cats fed this type of diet will actually go into diabetic remission. Many people make the claim that since feeding these diets to a diabetic cat is beneficial, then feeding a healthy cat a high-protein low-carbohydrate diet should prevent diabetes. However, the situation is actually much more complex than that. In 2011, at the World Small Animal Veterinary Association World Congress, Claudia A. Kirk, DVM, PhD, DACVN, DACVIM presented a session entitled Cats and Carbohydrates What is the Impact? These are some of the highlights of her presentation: Several studies have evaluated the potential role of carbohydrates in the pathogenesis of DM (diabetes mellitus) in cats. An epidemiological study of cats from the Netherlands found indoor confinement and low physical activity and not amount of dry food were associated with DM. High carbohydrate intake was not considered a risk factor for feline DM. But recent reports from these investigators have suggested an association of high carbohydrate foods with calcium oxalate urolithiasis. Indoor confinement and physical inactivity rather Continue reading >>

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