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My Cat Has Ketoacidosis

Diabetic Ketoacidosis Is A Dire Diagnosis

Diabetic Ketoacidosis Is A Dire Diagnosis

Michelle Gerhard Jasny, V.M.D. has been practicing veterinary medicine on the Vineyard since 1982 and writing the Visiting Vet column for more than 25 years. She lives and works in West Tisbury. She can be reached at [email protected] Yves had always been a cat who liked to eat. A seasonal resident, I saw him every summer. When he was four years old, I suggested reducing the amount he was being fed. At six, I advised a prescription weight loss diet. It was a difficult regimen for his owners to maintain. Yves lived strictly indoors and didn’t get much exercise, and the other cat in the household had different health problems, requiring different food. By 11 years old, Yves was tipping the scale at 21 pounds. “He’s at risk for all kinds of diseases, especially diabetes,” I said, not unsympathetically, considering how many years I have struggled with my own battle of the bulge. His family committed again to helping him lose weight and last winter we sent them off with more diet food, recommending monthly weigh-ins with their winter veterinarian. Spring arrived. Seasonal folks began returning. Memorial Day weekend, Yves’s mother called. “We’ve been here two weeks,” she said. Yves had been fine until yesterday. “I am worried he might have some kind of blockage. He’s been vomiting and crying and he’s not eating.” “He’s still an indoor cat?” I asked. Cats who go out have greater risk of ingesting things that may upset their tummies, anything from mice to antifreeze, but Yves never ventured to the great outdoors. “Any flowers like lilies in the house?” I asked. Ingestion of houseplants is a common cause of gastroenteritis for indoor cats and lilies in particular are extremely toxic to cats, leading to potentially fatal kidney failure. “No, Continue reading >>

My Cat Has Diabetes :: Treatment

My Cat Has Diabetes :: Treatment

Living with a diabetic cat Each diabetic cat responds differently to different therapies. Some cats are easier to regulate; others require more complex types of treatment. Some cats can be treated successfully through changes in diet and with oral medications. In cats with more severe diabetes, insulin injections may be required for the remainder of their lives. In general, treatment for diabetes falls into three categories: Insulin injections Oral hypoglycemic medications Diet Home monitoring & testing Ongoing and frequent home monitoring of your cat's glucose level is important both for ensuring that diabetes is under control and the long-term health maintenance of your pet. Home monitoring usually results in less stress on the cat and allows for closer, more precise control of blood glucose levels on a regular basis, which helps avoid the risk of hypoglycemic episodes. Home testing of glucose levels can be done with a similar type of blood glucose monitor used by humans. This method requires a small sample of blood that is taken from the cat for testing and generally provides an immediate reading of your cat's blood glucose level. In addition to monitoring glucose levels through the blood, caretakers can use urine glucose monitoring. However, urine glucose monitoring is generally not as accurate due to the lag time for glucose to go from the blood to the urine in the cat's body. It is recommended to consult with your veterinarian on the best way to monitor your cat's glucose. They can also provide valuable advice on which type(s) of monitors work best in cats, as well as train you on how to use and interpret the test results. When at home, you also should continually be aware of your cat's appetite, water consumption and urine output to determine what is normal behav Continue reading >>

Diabetic Ketoacidosis

Diabetic Ketoacidosis

Also known as: DKA Severe diabetic ketoacidosis is a medical emergency and requires prompt treatment to correct dehydration, electrolyte disturbances and acidosis. It is a complication of insulin dependent Diabetes Mellitus. DKA is the result of marked insulin deficiency, and ketonaemia and ketoacidosis occur approximately 15 days after insulin concentrations are suppressed to fasting levels. Marked insulin suppression occurs on average 4 days after fasting glucose levels reach 30mmol/L. Many cats with DKA have other intercurrent conditions which may precipitate the condition including: infection, pancreatitis or renal insufficiency. Pathophysiology Insulin deficiency leads to increased breakdown of fat that releases fatty acids into the circulation. Free fatty acids are oxidised in the liver to ketones that are used by many tissues as an energy source instead of glucose. This occurs when intracellular levels of glucose are insufficient for energy metabolism as a result of severe insulin deficiency. In the liver, instead of being converted to triglycerides, free fatty acids are oxidised to acetoacetate, which is converted to hydroxybutyrate or acetone. Ketones are acids that cause central nervous system depression and act in the chemoreceptor trigger zone to cause nausea, vomiting and anorexia. They also accelerate osmotic water loss in the urine. Dehydration results from inadequate fluid intake in the face of accelerated water loss due to glucosuria and ketonuria. Dehydration and subsequent reduced tissue perfusion compounds the acidosis through lactic acid production. There is whole body loss of electrolytes including sodium, potassium, magnesium and phosphate and there is also intracellular redistribution of electrolytes following insulin therapy which may compound p Continue reading >>

Diabetes With Ketone Bodies In Cats

Diabetes With Ketone Bodies In Cats

Diabetic ketoacidosis is an extreme medical emergency that requires immediate veterinary attention. The condition can result in an accumulation of fluid in the brain and lungs, renal failure or heart failure. Affected animals that are not treated are likely to die. With timely intervention and proper treatment, it is likely that an affected cat can recover with little to no side effects. Diabetes mellitus occurs when the pancreas fails to produce sufficient insulin, creating an inability to efficiently process the sugars, fats, and proteins needed for energy. The resulting build-up of sugar causes extreme thirst and frequent urination. Since sugar levels help to control appetite, affected animals may experience a spike in hunger and lose weight at the same time due to the inability to properly process nutrients. In extreme cases, diabetes may be accompanied by a condition known as ketoacidosis. This is a serious ailment that causes energy crisis and abnormal blood-acid levels in affected pets. Cats affected with diabetic ketoacidosis are likely to present with one or more of the following symptoms: Vomiting Weakness Lethargy Depression Excessive Thirst Refusal to drink water Refusal to eat Sudden weight loss Loss of muscle tone Increased urination Dehydration Rough coat Dandruff Rapid breathing Sweet-smelling breath Jaundice The exact cause of diabetes in cats is unknown, but it is often accompanied by obesity, chronic pancreatitis, hormonal disease, or the use of corticosteroids like Prednisone. Ketoacidosis, the buildup of ketone waste products in the blood that occurs when the body burns fat and protein for energy instead of using glucose, is caused by insulin-dependent diabetes. Diabetic ketoacidosis is commonly preceded by other conditions including: Stress Surgery Continue reading >>

Can Cats Get Diabetes?

Can Cats Get Diabetes?

Can cats get diabetes? Unfortunately, the answer is yes, and it’s a condition that’s becoming increasingly common. The form of diabetes that cats are most prone to developing is diabetes mellitus type 2. Feline diabetes cannot be cured, but it can be managed. With a portion-controlled diet and regular exercise, diabetes in cats can be prevented, delayed, or its effects mitigated. Let’s learn more about diabetes in cats and what can be done about it! What is diabetes in cats? Any definition of diabetes mellitus must begin with understanding the role of insulin. Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas. Insulin helps to convert food into energy that can be absorbed and used by the cells that comprise a cat’s body. In type 1 diabetes, the pancreas does not create enough insulin. In type 2, more common in cats, the body is unable to make sufficient use of the insulin that is present. Left untreated, type 2 diabetes can develop into type 1, which is more severe. Diabetes mellitus is also called “sugar diabetes,” because the energy that a cat needs is derived from glucose, a sugar that can be processed by cells. A diabetic cat can be well fed and well cared for but still feel like he’s being starved because that food is not being converted to energy the cat needs to function. Although any cat can become diabetic, the cat demographic most frequently diagnosed with diabetes are older, overweight males. How do cats get diabetes? Regardless of gender, overweight and obese cats are at greatest risk of developing diabetes. While obesity is not causally linked to diabetes, obesity creates the conditions under which a cat’s digestion and filtration systems are overtaxed. Pancreatitis in cats, or inflammation of the pancreas, can limit or inhibit insulin productio Continue reading >>

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 >>

Jamie On Diabetic Ketoacidosis

Jamie On Diabetic Ketoacidosis

We lost our dear and gentle Jamie in 2009 to cancer and diabetes. Jamie and her cat Boots were long-time friends on the Feline Diabetes Message Board. Jamie will live forever in our hearts. I am copying here what she wrote about her own DKA episode. Thank you, Jamie, for one of your many legacies. What does DKA Feel Like? WARNING: Reading this story may be upsetting. The physical manifestations (and, to a lesser extent, the mental manifestations) of Diabetic Ketoacidosis, or DKA, as I have experienced and thus described, can be summed up very simply: suffering. Reading this story is reading about suffering. It's not all graphic; the bad bit begins and ends at the asterisks (***). You may want to just skip over this if you're not in a good place at the moment. "Not in a good place" might include: your kitty is newly diagnosed with feline diabetes and you are feeling overwhelmed; you have a kitty who is currently experiencing ketosis or DKA; you have lost a kitty to DKA, especially if you've lost your kitty recently; your kitty's diabetes is not under good control, and you're stressing. Please understand that in posting this story, I am not trying to cause or exacerbate pain, grief, or guilt on anyone's part. I only want people to be aware of the exceptional seriousness and danger of DKA, and how careful monitoring of our diabetic cats can help prevent suffering on their part. If, after reading this story, you find you need to talk, email me or send me a private message through the board. You may also want to visit the FDMB forums for Health, Community, and Grief where you can talk to others. Remember that everyone here understands the stress and worry that comes with having a beloved feline companion with diabetes. I tend to worry more about Boots' diabetes than I do my Continue reading >>

How Can I Get My Diabetic Cat To Eat?

How Can I Get My Diabetic Cat To Eat?

Diabetic cats need consistency in their daily schedule, including how much and what type of food they eat. If a diabetic cat is not eating well, this complicates his treatment, because if he receives too much insulin relative to the calories he is taking in, his blood sugar can fall dangerously low (hypoglycemia). If a diabetic cat won’t eat, you may need to adjust his insulin dosage. Contact your veterinarian for specific recommendations. Reasons that your diabetic cat might be eating less than usual—or not at all—include food-related issues, diabetes complications, and other medical issues. He might not like the food, particularly if it is a new food to which he is not accustomed, or if it is a canned diet when he is a ‘kibble junkie’. Medical reasons for diabetic cats not eating include complications of the diabetes itself, like hypoglycemia (low blood sugar, which may make cats lethargic) and diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA). In DKA, the diabetes and metabolism are out of regulation and the cat’s body starts metabolizing its fat for energy. This results in a buildup of chemicals called ketones, which make the cat feel sick. As well as a loss of appetite, a cat with DKA may also be vomiting, lethargic, and stop drinking. Other medical disorders that might explain why your diabetic cat won’t eat include problems that sometimes can be seen along with diabetes. Kidney disease, dental disease, urinary tract infection, pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas), inflammatory bowel disease, cholangiohepatitis (inflammation of the liver and gall bladder), and hepatic lipidosis (fatty liver) are all conditions that diabetic cats may be prone to develop. If your diabetic cat won’t eat, the first step is to have your veterinarian evaluate your kitty. He may want to Continue reading >>

's Experience With Ketoacidosis.

's Experience With Ketoacidosis.

Signs Treatment Zama's experience Diabetic ketoacidosis is caused by a lack of insulin or an insufficient amount of insulin. Since the lack of insulin means that glucose in not able to be used, the body searches for a new source of energy. In this condition, the diabetic breaks down body fat (lipolysis) to use as energy. During lipolysis, waste products called ketones are produced. Ketones are eliminated in the urine and through the lungs. Under normal conditions, the body can tolerate and eliminate ketones. But in diabetic ketoacidosis, fats are being broken down at such a high rate that the body can not eliminate the ketones fast enough and they build up in the blood. In high amounts, ketones are toxic to the body. They cause the acid-base balance to change and serious electrolyte and fluid imbalances result. Some of the signs of ketoacidosis include polyuria polydipsia lethargy anorexia weakness vomiting dehydration There will probably be ketones in the urine (ketonuria) The breath may have a sweet chemical smell similar to nail polish remover. However, some owners have said that even during documented ketoacidosis, their pet's breath did NOT have any unusual odor. Treatment Mildly ketoacidotic animals can be alert and well hydrated. After your pet is stabilized, your pet can return home and be treated with proper diabetes management techniques including insulin therapy, diet, and exercise. "Sick" ketoacidotic animals require intensive medical management in the vet hospital. This is a life-threatening emergency that requires complex medical management and monitoring. It may take several days for the animal to be out of danger. Treatment involves injections of regular insulin, intravenous fluids, electrolytes, and frequent monitoring of blood glucose, blood chemistry, Continue reading >>

Management Of Feline Diabetic Ketoacidosis

Management Of Feline Diabetic Ketoacidosis

Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) is a complication of diabetes mellitus with concurrent and often severe metabolic derangements associated with hyperglycaemia, glucosuria, metabolic acidosis, ketonaemia +/- ketonuria. Patients with ketonaemia/ketosis are usually still bright, eating and maintaining their hydration. Those with ketoacidosis are dehydrated, clinically unwell (e.g., anorexia, vomiting, lethargy) and typically require hospitalisation and intensive management. DKA is distinguished from uncomplicated diabetes mellitus (DM) by a relative insulin lack and increased counter-regulatory hormones. The latter are thought to occur secondary to intercurrent disease. Concurrent disease has been documented in approximately 90% of cats with DKA, with the most common being hepatic lipidosis, chronic kidney disease, acute pancreatitis, bacterial or viral infections and neoplasia (Bruskiewicz et al. 1997). Heinz bodies, neutrophilia with a left shift, increased ALT and azotaemia is common. Most cats presenting with DKA are newly diagnosed diabetics or recently diagnosed but poorly controlled diabetics. Diagnosis Hyperglycaemia, Glucosuria, Metabolic Acidosis Plus Ketones in Plasma and/or Urine Traditionally DKA has been diagnosed using urinary ketone dipsticks, which detect acetoacetate but not beta-hydroxybutyrate. However as the latter is the principle ketone body in DKA, measuring serum beta-hydroxybutyrate is a more sensitive indicator of DKA. In humans portable meters that measure beta-hydroxybutyrate in whole blood have largely superseded urine dipsticks. These ketone meters have recently proven useful in diagnosing DKA in cats, although they tend to underestimate beta-hydroxybutyrate at higher values (Zeugswetter, Rebuzzi 2012; Weingart et al. 2012). In the absence of a ke Continue reading >>

Ketoacidosis In Cats – Causes, Symptoms & Treatment

Ketoacidosis In Cats – Causes, Symptoms & Treatment

Ketoacidosis in cats at a glance Ketoacidosis is a serious complication of diabetes in which ketones and blood sugar levels build up in the body due to insufficient levels of insulin which is required to move glucose into the cells for energy. As a result, the body uses fat as an alternate energy source which produces ketones causing the blood to become too acidic. Common causes include uncontrolled diabetes, missed or insufficient insulin, surgery, infection, stress and obesity. Symptoms of ketoacidosis include increased urination and thirst, dehydration, nausea, diarrhea, confusion, rapid breathing which may later change to laboured breathing. What is diabetic ketoacidosis? Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) is a life-threatening complication of diabetes characterised by metabolic acidosis (increased acids in the blood), hyperglycemia (high blood glucose) and ketonuria (ketones in the urine). It is caused by a lack of or insufficient amounts of insulin which is required to move glucose from the bloodstream and into the cells to be used for energy. When this occurs, the body begins to search for alternate sources of energy and begins to break down fat. When fat is broken down (metabolised) into fatty acids, waste products known as ketones (acetoacetate, beta-hydroxybutyrate, acetone) are released from the liver and accumulate in the bloodstream (known as ketonemia). This causes the blood to become too acidic (metabolic acidosis). As well as metabolic acidosis, ketones also cause central nervous depression.The body will try to get rid of the ketones by excreting them out of the body via the urine, increased urine output leads to dehydration, making the problem worse. Meanwhile, the unused glucose remains in the bloodstream, resulting in hyperglycemia (high blood sugar).Insulin Continue reading >>

Diabetic Ketoacidosis In Dogs And Cats

Diabetic Ketoacidosis In Dogs And Cats

Ketoacidosis is a complication of diabetes in pets, and is one of the most severe side effects that can accompany the condition. Finding your pet seriously ill and receiving a diagnosis of diabetic ketoacidosis can be a big shock to the pet owner, as most presentations of the condition occur in animals that were not actually known to be diabetic in the first place. This is of course extremely worrying for the pet owner, as they will have to face not only the very serious and possibly life-threatening immediate issue of diabetic ketoacidosis itself, but have to face the reality that assuming their pet survives, they will have to deal with the serious and potentially expensive diagnosis of diabetes as well. What is ketoacidosis? Ketoacidosis occurs when the animal’s metabolism is thrown severely out of whack, as part of the development of diabetes in the pet. Usually, an additional trigger such as an inflammation, infection or condition such as pancreatitis is also required to trigger ketoacidosis, as any of these things can interfere with the way that the body regulates and processes glucose. Ketoacidosis starves the body’s cells of glucose, despite the fact that sufficient glucose is present within the blood. The diabetic element of this is that sufficient natural insulin is not being made available to the body to allow the glucose in the blood to enter the cells, as glucose requires insulin in order to metabolise. The body responds to this issue by metabolising all of the fat stores and other sources of fuel available to it, breaking down the very structure of the body itself. This process causes the production of ketones, which the body then attempts to burn as fuel, which is not a normal healthy process. In turn, the burning of ketones by the body leads to a dang Continue reading >>

Diabetic Ketoacidosis In Cats And Dogs

Diabetic Ketoacidosis In Cats And Dogs

Over the last few days the signs have been getting worse. Your pet isn’t doing well; it is depressed, isn’t eating, and may even be vomiting. You thought it would get better, but it hasn’t and in fact your pet looks really sick. So you decide to take your pet into the veterinarian, who runs a bunch of tests. It is most likely that the animal will be whisked away to a treatment room after the veterinarian confirms a diagnosis of diabetic ketoacidosis. What is diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA)? You didn’t even know that your pet was diabetic, so how could it have this problem? Diabetic ketoacidosis most commonly develops in animals with undiagnosed diabetes. However, animals with diabetes can develop this problem as well, if their diabetes gets out of control. The reason that your pet will be quickly taken to the treatment room is because DKA is an emergency. These animals look sick because their whole body is being affected by the problem. If the situation is not addressed quickly, DKA can cause irreversible damage. This doesn’t mean that your pet will be fixed overnight. Even uncomplicated, mild cases of DKA often stay in the hospital for two or three days. Before we explain DKA, let’s review the meaning of diabetes. Diabetes is a situation where the body does not have enough insulin. Insulin is needed for cells to absorb glucose (which is crucial for normal cell function) from the blood stream. When cells don’t have insulin, they don’t absorb enough glucose and the cells starve. This starvation causes the liver to release more glucose into the blood stream. But without insulin, cells cannot absorb the glucose that is in the blood, and they continue to starve. This is how the vicious circle goes on. Usually diabetes is caught at this point, and the pet is star Continue reading >>

About Diabetes Mellitus

About Diabetes Mellitus

If your dog or cat has been diagnosed with diabetes mellitus, it's easy to feel alone—but you're not. It is estimated that 1 out of every 100 dogs that reaches 12 years of age will develop diabetes.1 In cats, it's estimated that between 1 in 50 and 1 in 500 will develop diabetes mellitus.2 Diabetes mellitus occurs when your dog or cat has stopped producing insulin, has inadequate levels of insulin, or has an abnormal response to insulin. Learn more about what insulin is. In dogs, diabetes mellitus is common in middle-aged to older animals, especially in females, but it is also seen in young dogs of both sexes. When seen in younger animals, it can be a sign that your cat or dog is genetically predisposed to diabetes—this can mean that related animals may also be predisposed.3 Certain breeds of dogs also experience above-average rates of diabetes. These include4: In cats, diabetes mellitus is more common in middle- to older-aged animals as well, and also in cats that are overweight. Also, neutered males are at a greater risk than females. Certain breeds, such as Siamese cats, experience an above-average rate of diabetes. Some drugs, when used long-term, may interfere with insulin and lead to diabetes mellitus in your pet. These include glucocorticoids (cortisone-type drugs) and hormones that may be used to control heat cycles in female dogs.3 It is important to note the difference between diabetes mellitus and diabetes insipidus. Diabetes insipidus, also known as water diabetes, occurs when the kidneys are unable to regulate fluids in the body, and large amounts of dilute urine are produced. This condition is far less common than diabetes mellitus. Diabetes insipidus is caused by problems in part of the brain or in the kidneys, and there is no glucose (sugar) present Continue reading >>

Clinical Signs Of Diabetes Mellitus In Dogs And Cats

Clinical Signs Of Diabetes Mellitus In Dogs And Cats

Clinical signs are useful in the diagnosis and monitoring of canine and feline diabetes. Other laboratory tests are also necessary for diagnosis of Diabetes mellitus and the monitoring of treated diabetic pets. There are three distinct clinical pictures in diabetes mellitus: Uncomplicated diabetes mellitus The classical signs are polyuria,polydipsia, polyphagia, cachexia and increased susceptibility to infections (e.g. urinary tract infections). In long term diabetes complications due to protein glycosylation can be seen: cataracts (mainly in dogs) and peripheral neuropathy (mainly in cats). Diabetic ketoacidosis DKA develops due to long standing undiagnosed diabetes mellitus, insufficient insulin dose in treated diabetics and impaired insulin action and/or resistance, caused by obesity, concurrent illness or drugs. This is the cause of more than two thirds of cases of DKA. Due to the lack of insulin, glucose cannot be used as an energy source. Fats are broken down to provide energy. During lipolysis, high levels of ketones are produced. Ketosis and acidosis develop and are accompanied by electrolyte imbalances. Ketosis causes anorexia, nausea and lethargy. Treatment DKA is an emergency and treatment must be started as soon as possible. The goals of treatment are to correct fluid deficits, acid-base balance and electrolyte balance, lower blood glucose and ketone concentrations and recognize and correct underlying and precipitating factors. Therapy includes intravenous fluid therapy with isotonic fluids, e.g. 0.9% saline, and intravenous administration of rapid-acting insulin. If possible the electrolyte concentrations and acid-base balance should be measured and corrected. Caninsulin is an intermediate-acting insulin and is not suitable for intravenous administration. W Continue reading >>

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