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How Much Insulin Does A Cat Need

Guide To A Diabetic Cat – What You Need To Know To Effectively Care For Your Cat

Guide To A Diabetic Cat – What You Need To Know To Effectively Care For Your Cat

Diabetes mellitus, commonly known by the shortened name “diabetes”, sugar diabetes or "sugar", is one of the most frequent and important medical disorders of both humans and cats. As a pet owner with a newly diagnosed cat with diabetes, it is difficult to know what you need to do. We created this article to help you know step by step what you need to know and what you need to do. The 6 keys to treatment of diabetes in cats include: Change your cat's diet If your cat is overweight – help your cat lose weight! (this is critical) Give insulin every 12 hours Monitor for response to treatment Maintain a consistent diet, exercise and insulin treatment plan Monitor for complications of the disease We will help you understand more about diabetes, how and when to give insulin how to deal with complications. We also included answers to the most common questions diabetic cat owners have as they start their journey as a diabetic cat owner. What is Diabetes? Diabetes is a disease that leads to chronic elevation of the blood glucose or sugar. Blood sugar is maintained by a group of hormones, the most important of which is insulin, which is manufactured by the pancreas, a small organ near the intestines. Insulin lowers the blood sugar after a meal, and deficiency of insulin, or an insensitivity of body cells to available insulin, leads to diabetes. With good care, your cat can have a very good life with diabetes. We will help tell you how. What Cats Get Diabetes? Diabetes mellitus usually affects middle-aged to older cats of either sex. The peak age seen in cats is 11 years. Juvenile-onset diabetes may occur in cats less than 1 year of age but is uncommon. Any breed can be affected but some breeds are at higher risk. Breeds at increased risk for diabetes mellitus include Burmese Continue reading >>

Dosing Overview

Dosing Overview

Go to site For Pet Owners For cats, the initial recommended dose of Vetsulin® (porcine insulin zinc suspension) is 1 to 2 IU per injection. Cats should be started on twice-daily injections of Vetsulin at 12-hour intervals. Note that in cats, Vetsulin dosing is calculated on a per animal basis; in contrast, initial dosing for dogs is based on body weight. Vetsulin 10 mL vials and 2.7 mL cartridges should be shaken thoroughly until a homogeneous, uniformly milky suspension is obtained. Foam on the surface of the suspension formed during shaking should be allowed to disperse before the product is used and, if required, the product should be gently mixed to maintain a homogeneous, uniformly milky suspension before use. Clumps or white particles can form in insulin suspensions: do not use an insulin vial or cartridge if visible clumps or white particles persist after mixing thoroughly. Taking the proper steps to prepare VetPen is critically important and must be done before each injection. It is essential to ensure that the VetPen is ready to use, that a new needle is being used, the insulin is mixed properly, and VetPen and the needle are working properly. See VetPen Instructions for Use leaflet or administration video for information on preparing VetPen. Using a U-40 insulin syringe or VetPen, administer the injection subcutaneously, 3/4 to 2 in (2-5 cm) from the dorsal midline, varying from behind the scapulae to the mid-lumbar region and alternating sides. To help your clients prepare and administer Vetsulin to their cats, there are resources available that guide them step-by-step through the process: In cats, initially administer twice-daily doses 12 hours apart concurrently with or right after meals fed twice daily. (No change in feeding schedule is required for cats Continue reading >>

Insulin 101

Insulin 101

1. KNOW THE TYPE OF INSULIN & HAVE THE RIGHT SYRINGE First of all, you need to know what type of insulin your cat is receiving. Lantus (glargine) and Levemir (detemir) are increasingly common insulins prescribed by veterinarians with current knowledge of feline diabetes. Some vets will still try to prescribe Humulin N. Do NOT use this type of insulin as it has unpredicatable results in cats. PZI is still used some although it is being phased out. Vetsulin is not the best choice for your cat. You need to be aware of the type of insulin you are using and you need to know its concentration, listed in units (U). The concentration, in the United States, is most often U-40 but some insulins are manufactured in U-100 concentration. To give the proper dose, the syringes you use must match the concentration of the insulin. To be sure you get the right syringe, take your insulin (or the insulin box) into your pharmacist when you go to buy syringes and the pharmacist will make sure you get the right syringes. When you buy the next batch of syringes, take the syringe packaging with you to make sure you buy the right type. If for some reason you must use a U-40 syringe for a U-100 insulin, or vice versa, use our conversion chart. 2. FOOD Always make sure your cat eats around the time (up to one hour before injection) of the insulin administration. This will insure that the cat has food in her stomach (and rising blood glucose levels as a result) to counteract the action of the insulin. Also, it is often easier to give the injection while your cat is eating. If your cat is having trouble with vomiting, be very careful and watch for possible hypoglycemic episodes. If your cat is not eating, consider skipping the insulin. Remember, if your cat does not eat for 24 hours, you should take Continue reading >>

Giving Your Client's Cat Insulin For Treating Feline Diabetes

Giving Your Client's Cat Insulin For Treating Feline Diabetes

...managing and tracking the cat's progress Giving your client's cat insulin to treat feline diabetes can begin to get difficult as most of the work begins after leaving the practice... Using Insulin to treat diabetes in felines Once you have to give them insulin, if you have an owner who is not terribly confident that they are going to be able to pick up a hypoglycaemic event, then I will use Caninsulin (a mix of porcine insulin’s 40iu/ml) because it is shorter acting and does not build up over the 18 – 24 hour period like the Glargine does (and which often results result in a hypoglycaemic event, that can last for hours). Nevertheless, Marshall and Rand think it is a risk worth taking. The cats usually only end up needing 1 – 4 units of either kind of insulin twice a day – the Glargine especially seems to keep them stable at 2 units twice a day. Once you push up into the 3 or 4 units, you can bring them into remission, but it is often via a sudden hypoglycaemic event, which is unpleasant all round. And is, I guess, the reason that the Glargine insulin protocol recommends treating them in hospital. After giving the cat insulin, the process to stabilise Fluffy at home, usually starts at 1 or 2 units of either kind of insulin twice a day. You need to get the owners to bring the cat in after a couple of days to measure its blood glucose 3 hours after their insulin dose and breakfast. It does not matter about meal-feeding cats, as they do not get the post-prandial glucose spike (ref: The Cat as Model for Human Obesity and Diabetes; Hoenig) – because they are digesting protein and balancing out the glucose release after it has been deconstructed from protein in the liver. It is more natural for a cat to graze-feed anyway, so if that is what the cat wants to do, th 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 >>

Tilly's Diabetes Homepage

Tilly's Diabetes Homepage

Home Story 6 important factors Blood glucose values The future? Links Guestbook About this site Disclaimer • see your vet and get his or her approval of this protocol before you start!!! • talk to your vet regularly about your cat's progress • see your vet immediately if your cat develops additional problems (e.g. ketones, hypoglycemia, vomiting, fever, bladder infections, etc) Read this first • this protocol was developed by lay people, including myself, who are members of the German Diabetes-Katzen Forum. It has since been published in the Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery. • the majority of cats do very well on this protocol, some cats do not (generally these are hard-to-regulate cats) • it is more time-consuming than most other protocols, but still definitely doable if you work a regular full-time work week • it is more expensive than most other protocols, but costs can be reduced by e.g. buying glucose test strips from online pharmacies or reputable sellers at eBay • members of the German Diabetes-Katzen Forum buy 3 ml Lantus/Levemir cartridges, refrigerate them after opening and routinely use them for 6 months or more - when refrigerated, opened cartridges of these insulins are extraordinarily stable • you will need to test the blood glucose levels of your cat multiple times per day • you will need to know about hypoglycemia and be prepared to deal with it • you will need to test for ketones regularly to start with and know about ketoacidosis, but be aware that ketones don't occur once a cat is (and remains) properly regulated • you will need a brand-name glucometer made for human diabetics that measures whole blood (not plasma-equivalent) and which uses 0.6 µL of blood per test or less • you will need to use syringes which allow yo Continue reading >>

2010 Aaha Diabetes Management Guidelines For Dogs And Cats

2010 Aaha Diabetes Management Guidelines For Dogs And Cats

Renee Rucinsky, DVM, ABVP (Feline) (Chair) | Audrey Cook, BVM&:S, MRCVS, Diplomate ACVIM-SAIM, Diplomate ECVIM-CA | Steve Haley, DVM | Richard Nelson, DVM, Diplomate ACVIM | Debra L. Zoran, DVM, PhD, Diplomate ACVIM | Melanie Poundstone, DVM, ABVP - Download PDF - Introduction Diabetes mellitus (DM) is a treatable condition that requires a committed effort by veterinarian and client. This document provides current recommendations for the treatment of diabetes in dogs and cats. Treatment of DM is a combination of art and science, due in part to the many factors that affect the diabetic state and the animal's response. Each animal needs individualized, frequent reassessment, and treatment may be modified based on response. In both dogs and cats, DM is caused by loss or dysfunction of pancreatic beta cells. In the dog, beta cell loss tends to be rapid and progressive, and it is usually due to immune-mediated destruction, vacuolar degeneration, or pancreatitis.1 Intact females may be transiently diabetic due to the insulin-resistant effects of the diestrus phase. In the cat, loss or dysfunction of beta cells is the result of insulin resistance, islet amyloidosis, or chronic lymphoplasmacytic pancreatitis.2 Risk factors for both dogs and cats include insulin resistance caused by obesity, other diseases (e.g., acromegaly in cats, hyperadrenocorticism in dogs), or medications (e.g., steroids, progestins). Genetics is a suspected risk factor, and certain breeds of dogs (Australian terriers, beagles, Samoyeds, keeshonden3) and cats (Burmese4) are more susceptible. Regardless of the underlying etiology, diabetic dogs and cats are hyperglycemic and glycosuric, which leads to the classic clinical signs of polyuria, polydipsia (PU/PD), polyphagia, and weight loss. Increased fat mobi Continue reading >>

Feline Diabetes Mellitus

Feline Diabetes Mellitus

Every veterinarian has their own method and map to treating diabetes in cats. It's usually a very bad idea to try to simultaneously follow the different directions of different veterinarians. If your cat is under the care of another veterinarian, please don't follow the plan on this page. Your cat will be much better off if you follow the guidelines of just one veterinarian. Overview Diabetes is a fairly common disease in obese cats that results when a cat is not able to produce adequate insulin and/or becomes resistant to the effects of insulin. Diabetes causes increased blood glucose (sugar), urine glucose, increased urine output and weight loss. If untreated, it will cause progressive weight loss and eventual death. It can lead to ketoacidosis; a severe, acute, life-threatening condition related to the buildup of ketones in the blood. Treatment of uncomplicated diabetes usually involves feeding a high protein diet and giving insulin. Some cats will respond to diet alone. Initial and Follow-up Testing There are a number of tests that are indicated for cats suspected of having diabetes. These include: • A full blood panel. This panel includes a measurement of blood glucose. It also helps determine if there are other diseases that may affect the health of the patient. The results of these tests help determine initial treatment as well as long term prognosis. • A urinalysis – will help determine: o Levels of glucose in the urine o If ketones are building up in the blood – if there are ketones, this is an indication of ketoacidosis and affects prognosis and treatment o If there is an infection. • Fructosamine – gives an indication of what the blood glucose has been over the past two to three weeks. It is used to confirm the presence of diabetes and to monitor 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 >>

Regulating & Monitoring A Diabetic Cat Using Insulin

Regulating & Monitoring A Diabetic Cat Using Insulin

Not all cats with diabetes will need to be treated with insulin (some cats with mild diabetes may respond to and dietary change), but a majority of them will. The goal of treatment is to resolve the signs of the disease, maintain proper body weight, eliminate or reduce the likelihood of any complications, and provide the cat with a good quality of life. This can be accomplished by maintaining the blood glucose at an acceptable level (100-290 mg/dL; normal is 55-160 mg/dL). In addition to treating the diabetes, any other concurrent diseases such as pancreatic exocrine insufficiency, hyperthyroidism, Cushing's disease, and infections need to be treated as well. What should an owner know before trying to 'regulate' a cat with diabetes? Before treatment is started, it is important that the owner be well-informed and have the time necessary to make the correct decision since regulating a diabetic cat requires commitment. Owners should know: The cat will need to be hospitalized for a number of days and one or more blood glucose profiles (described below) will need to be performed. The initial regulation of a cat on insulin generally takes 2-8 weeks. The process of getting a cat regulated can be costly. Insulin must usually be given twice a day, every day at specific times, probably for the life of the cat. Insulin must be handled properly (refrigerated, not shaken, etc). There is a proper technique for administering insulin to a cat that must be followed. The type of insulin and insulin syringe that are used should not be changed unless under guidance by the veterinarian. The type and amount of food and when it is fed must be consistent. In most cases, foods high in protein and low in carbohydrates are recommended. These are usually canned foods. The cat will need to be caref Continue reading >>

Diabetes: What Does It Mean For Me And My Cat?

Diabetes: What Does It Mean For Me And My Cat?

The incidence of feline diabetes is on the increase, with a recent UK survey suggesting that nearly one in 200 cats are diabetic. This article addresses the practicalities of dealing with a diabetic cat. Despite being such a common disease, feline diabetes is often surrounded by much confusion. The disease has many differences when compared with diabetes mellitus in people (and in dogs), and it can be difficult to manage. However, with the right information and support, and by working closely with their veterinary practice, owners of diabetic cats usually cope well. Indeed, as an owner, you play a vital role in maximising the chance of successful treatment. What to expect If your cat is diagnosed with diabetes, your vet or veterinary nurse will first want to ensure that you fully understand what the disease is, and what the implications are of having a diabetic cat. Any additional concerns that need to be addressed in order to successfully treat the diabetes in your cat, such as obesity, will be discussed. It will also be explained to you how to store insulin, how to draw up an accurate dose and how to give the injection. You will find out what to monitor your cat for - in particular, signs of an insulin overdose. You may be asked to collect some urine samples from your cat (and advised how to do this!) and, if necessary, given advice on what diet to feed, how much food to give and when to give it. Another appointment will be arranged for fairly soon afterwards to assess how you and your cat are getting on. Did you know? Obesity is a common cause of diabetes, so preventing obesity can prevent diabetes in some cats Early in the course of the disease you may not notice anything is wrong with your cat. Routine health checks at your veterinary surgery, including urine check Continue reading >>

The Danger Of Giving Diabetic Cats Too Much Insulin

The Danger Of Giving Diabetic Cats Too Much Insulin

If your cat is diagnosed with diabetes, you may soon find you're required to give the cat insulin injections once or twice a day, which can lead to an accidental overdose. Keep reading to learn what to do if your cat has received too much insulin. Insulin overdose can cause your cat to use too much of its body's blood sugar. This is a condition called hypoglycemia, and it can become fatal very quickly. Symptoms of Hypoglycemia Look for signs of disorientation, unusual hiding behavior and crying or yowling. Drooling and a ‘glassy-eyed' look are common. A cat with hypoglycemia might be lethargic. Be alert for other behaviors like walking in circles or poor coordination. Watch for a sudden extreme hunger or a total disinterest in food. Seizures or coma appear in extreme cases, and require immediate emergency treatment. Causes of Hypoglycemia Even when you're giving the dosage prescribed by your vet and following correct procedures, your cat can get too much insulin in its system. A cat's need for insulin can rapidly increase or decrease, requiring a change in dosage regimen. Some cats even go into a sudden remission, where the pancreas begins to secrete enough insulin, meaning the cat no longer needs insulin injections for a time. This is why your vet will arrange regular visits to check for changes in your cat's condition, and increase or lower dosages if necessary. Most of the time, when a cat has too much insulin in its body, it's because of a mistake or mishap related to giving injections. The most common mistake is an accidental double-dose. This usually occurs when two different people in the family each give the cat a regular insulin injection, or an incorrect measurement of a dose. If you give your cat its injection right before feeding time and it doesn't eat, o Continue reading >>

Feeding Tips For A Cat With Diabetes

Feeding Tips For A Cat With Diabetes

When Randy Frostig took his cat, Bill, to the veterinarian six years ago, he was seriously worried. “He was lethargic and he wasn’t eating, and his urine was sticking to his paws,” Frostig recalls. The diagnosis -- diabetes -- surprised Frostig. “I didn’t even know that a cat could have diabetes. I didn’t know what it meant,” he says. He was concerned about having to give his cat regular shots of insulin, and how the disease might affect his pet’s life. In reality, a diagnosis of feline diabetes is not a death sentence, and caring for a cat with the disease is far easier than Frostig had envisioned. “Giving him insulin is like brushing your teeth. It’s no big deal,” he says. Thanks to regular doses of insulin and a special diet, the gray tabby started acting more like his old self. “He was running around, and he gained his appetite again.” Why Do Cats Get Diabetes? Cats aren’t so different from people when it comes to diabetes. The disease affects insulin -- a hormone that helps the body move sugar (glucose) from the bloodstream into the cells. Feline diabetes tends to more closely resemble type 2 diabetes in humans, in which the body makes insulin but becomes less sensitive to the hormone. Sugar builds up in the bloodstream, leading to symptoms like increased urination and thirst. If it’s left untreated, eventually diabetes can lead to life-threatening complications. Although the exact cause of feline diabetes isn’t known, it’s more likely to affect overweight cats, because obesity makes the cat’s body less sensitive to the effects of insulin. Diabetes is also more common in older cats. Diseases like chronic pancreatitis and hyperthyroidism, as well as medications such as corticosteroids, may also make cats more prone to develop diab Continue reading >>

Diabetes Mellitus

Diabetes Mellitus

What is diabetes mellitus? Diabetes mellitus is a medical condition resulting in an excessive amount of glucose or sugar in the blood. It is literally starvation in the face of plenty, because the body cannot utilize the glucose in the blood stream. Glucose must attach to insulin, which then carries it into the cells to be used for energy. A deficiency in insulin, which is a hormone secreted by the pancreas, leads to too much glucose in the blood and not enough glucose inside the cells where it is needed. Diabetes mellitus affects an estimated one in four hundred cats, and is seen more frequently in middle to old-age cats and is more common in males than females. What are the clinical signs of diabetes mellitus? The clinical signs seen in diabetes are largely related to the elevated concentrations of blood glucose and to the inability of the body to use that glucose as an energy source due to the deficiency of insulin. The most common clinical signs seen in diabetic patients are an increase in water consumption and an increase in urination. Weight loss is also a common feature, and an increase in appetite may be noticed in some cats. Recognition of these signs is variable though, particularly because of the life-style of some cats. If a cat spends a lot of time outdoors, it may drink from ponds or pools of water outside rather than appearing to drink excessively from what is provided indoors. Cats that are fed canned or moist diets receive much of their water intake from their diet and increased water intake will be less easily recognized in these patients. How is diabetes mellitus diagnosed? The diagnosis of diabetes mellitus is made based on clinical signs, persistently elevated blood glucose concentration and the presence of glucose in the urine. However, a diagnosis 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 >>

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