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Untreated Ketoacidosis In Cats

Untreated Diabetes In Cats

Untreated Diabetes In Cats

If you notice your cat eating like there's no tomorrow but losing weight, don't be jealous of his ability to keep a slim figure. Odds are your skinny kitty actually has feline diabetes, a serious health condition that prevents his body from absorbing glucose properly. What is Diabetes Feline diabetes sounds like a dieter's dream, as it prevents the body from absorbing glucose, or blood sugar. No sugar means no fat gain, which is good, right? Not really, as your cat needs that glucose to give his body enough energy to stay healthy and metabolize his food properly. Diabetes occurs when your cat doesn't produce enough insulin, which helps his body's cells absorb the glucose in his blood. Not enough insulin means the glucose stays in the bloodstream until it works through his kidneys and is eliminated through his urine. Symptoms Your cat will not simply wake up one day and have full-blown diabetes. It's a slow progression with various seemingly unrelated symptoms that all stem from the excess sugar in his body. Because he can't absorb the glucose from his food, he'll feel hungry more often and eat much more than usual. Despite this increase in appetite, he may lose weight. You may notice more frequent trips to the water dish as he tries to remove the excess sugar in his bloodstream by flushing it out through his kidneys. You may also find yourself needing to clean his litter boxes more often as his trips there increase. Complications When it comes to diabetes, ignorance is not bliss and your cat will not eventually get better if you just buy him the right high-priced specialized food from the pet store. Serious complications can develop if your cat's diabetes is left untreated, causing a decrease in his quality of life and even an early death. As his condition worsens, his Continue reading >>

Tilly's Diabetes Homepage

Tilly's Diabetes Homepage

Home Story Blood glucose values The future? Protocol Links Guestbook About this site Cats are carnivores. Their metabolism is optimized for a meat-based diet: they primarily require protein and fat as energy sources. Therefore, feeding cats carbohydrates (contained in dry cat food in large amounts) may potentially have a negative effect on their health. Diabetic cats in particular should eat as few carbohydrates as possible, since carbohydrates rapidly raise blood sugar levels. The typical prey of a cat - a mouse or a small bird - is composed of 3-5% carbohydrates. Most brands of dry food range from 35% to almost 50% carbohydrates. Low quality canned foods have 20% carbohydrates, while many of the better ones have under 10% (or even <5%). You can get a good overview of these figures from Janet & Binky’s tables, which illustrate the general differences between canned and dry food, even though not all of the brands mentioned are necessarily available in Europe. Diabetic cats, until they are well regulated on insulin, also require more water. When cats eat dry food, they need to compensate for the lack of moisture by drinking more. It has been observed that even healthy cats do not do this sufficiently, because they have a low thirst drive. A sufficient intake of water is even more important in diabetic cats. Canned food makes it easier to keep your cat well hydrated. Therefore, I fed Tilly canned food only. The ingredient information which manufacturers are required to provide in Germany is extremely minimal - it is next to impossible to reliably determine the carbohydrate content of cat food. Therefore, my rule of thumb is that the food may only ever contain the following ingredients: • meat • meat by-products • fish • fish by-products • minerals In particula Continue reading >>

Diabetic Ketoacidosis In Dogs

Diabetic Ketoacidosis In Dogs

My dog is diabetic. He has been doing pretty well overall, but recently he became really ill. He stopped eating well, started drinking lots of water, and got really weak. His veterinarian said that he had a condition called “ketoacidosis,” and he had to spend several days in the hospital. I’m not sure I understand this disorder. Diabetic ketoacidosis is a medical emergency that occurs when there is not enough insulin in the body to control blood sugar (glucose) levels. The body can’t use glucose properly without insulin, so blood glucose levels get very high, and the body creates ketone bodies as an emergency fuel source. When these are broken down, it creates byproducts that cause the body’s acid/base balance to shift, and the body becomes more acidic (acidosis), and it can’t maintain appropriate fluid balance. The electrolyte (mineral) balance becomes disrupted which can lead to abnormal heart rhythms and abnormal muscle function. If left untreated, diabetic ketoacidosis is fatal. How could this disorder have happened? If a diabetic dog undergoes a stress event of some kind, the body secretes stress hormones that interfere with appropriate insulin activity. Examples of stress events that can lead to diabetic ketoacidosis include infection, inflammation, and heart disease. What are the signs of diabetic ketoacidosis? The signs of diabetic ketoacidosis include: Excessive thirst/drinking Increased urination Lethargy Weakness Vomiting Increased respiratory rate Decreased appetite Weight loss (unplanned) with muscle wasting Dehydration Unkempt haircoat These same clinical signs can occur with other medical conditions, so it is important for your veterinarian to perform appropriate diagnostic tests to determine if diabetic ketoacidosis in truly the issue at hand Continue reading >>

Many Cats With Diabetes Can Achieve Remission

Many Cats With Diabetes Can Achieve Remission

If your cat seems to be thirstier than usual, is urinating frequently, is hungry all the time but also losing weight, you should have him checked by your veterinarian for feline diabetes. Other signs to watch for include urinating outside the litter box, sweet-smelling breath, lethargy, dehydration, poor coat condition, and urinary tract infections. Left untreated, diabetes can cause your kitty to lose his appetite and a significant amount of weight, and develop muscle weakness. Uncontrolled, the disease can ultimately result in diabetic neuropathy, a condition in which there is profound rear limb weakness and a plantigrade walk, meaning the ankles are actually on the ground as the cat walks. Feline Diabetes Mellitus Diabetes mellitus is a common disease in older cats, and is especially prevalent in kitties fed dry food diets. In fact, a study published in the Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery concluded that high-protein, low-carb diets are as or more effective than insulin at causing remission of diabetes in cats. The pancreas produces insulin based on the level of glucose in the blood. Insulin is necessary in order for glucose to enter the cells of the body. When glucose levels are high (which normally occurs after a meal), insulin is released. When there is not enough insulin being released from the pancreas, or there is an abnormal release of insulin coupled with an inadequate response of the body’s cells to the insulin, diabetes mellitus is the result. Sugar in the bloodstream cannot get into the cells of the body, so the body starts breaking down fat and protein stores to use as energy. As a result, no matter how much the cat eats, she loses weight. In addition, the glucose builds up in the bloodstream and is eliminated through urination. This leads to exce Continue reading >>

Feline Diabetes

Feline Diabetes

Diabetes mellitus, or “sugar” diabetes, is a common disorder in cats, striking one in every 400. It is caused by the inability of the hormone insulin to properly balance blood sugar (glucose) levels. Symptoms Symptoms of diabetes in cats are similar to those in humans, including: increased appetite weight loss lethargy poor hair coat excessive urination weakness in the rear legs Diagnosis Your veterinarian can determine if your cat is diabetic by checking blood, urine and clinical signs. Treatment Diabetes is definitely treatable and need not shorten an animal’s lifespan or life quality. However, diabetes is life-threatening if left alone. Untreated, the condition leads to increasingly weak legs in cats, and eventually malnutrition, ketoacidosis and death. Early diagnosis and treatment by a qualified veterinarian can not only help prevent nerve damage, but in some cases even lead to remission so that the cat no longer needs injected insulin. Treatment generally entails giving insulin injections once or twice a day, though in a small number of cats, diabetes may be controlled through diet and oral medication. Diet is a critical component of treatment, and is in many cases effective on its own. It is becoming clear that lower-carbohydrate diets will significantly lower insulin requirements for diabetic cats. Carbohydrate levels are highest in dry cat foods, so diabetic cats are best off with a low-carbohydrate, healthy canned diet. Oral medications that stimulate the pancreas and promote insulin release work in some small proportion of cats, but these drugs may be completely ineffective if the pancreas is not working. A slow-acting dose of insulin injected twice daily, along with a low-carbohydrate diet, keeps the blood sugar within a recommended range for the entir Continue reading >>

Feline Diabetes

Feline Diabetes

Definition: Diabetes mellitus is an endocrine disease in which the blood sugar level rises because of failure of insulin to control it. This occurs either because the pancreas has lost its ability to manufacture insulin (known as Type I diabetes) or that mechanisms of insulin release and tissue responsiveness are dysfunctional (Type II diabetes). Without proper insulin regulation, the body is unable to transport glucose (a simple sugar obtained from digested food) into cells. Because glucose remains trapped in the bloodstream, the tissues of the body are deprived of the energy needed to function normally. Risk factors: In many cases, the cause for why a cat has developed diabetes cannot be determined. However, it is known that obesity predisposes cats for Type II diabetes. Other causes or factors include: damage to the pancreas caused by inflammation, infection, immune mediated disease, tumors, genetic predisposition, and exposure to certain drugs. Cats receiving steroids are also predisposed to diabetes. Symptoms: The most common symptoms of diabetes are weight loss (often with a healthy appetite), excessive water consumption and excessive urine output. Because so much urine is being produced, some diabetic cats will urinate in unusual places (i.e., outside of the litter box). Owners may notice that litter has suddenly begun to stick to their cat’s paws because of the excess volume of urine being produced. Some cats will also show weakness, lethargy, vomiting, abnormal gait, poor grooming habits and changes in behavior. Diagnosis: Physical examination may show poor body condition, dehydration, jaundice, and an enlarged liver. Laboratory testing is essential to diagnose diabetes. Blood tests show hyperglycemia (high blood sugar, usually above 300 mg/dl), and often the Continue reading >>

Feline Diabetes

Feline Diabetes

Source Feline diabetes is very similar to diabetes in humans. Cats can experience the same two types of diabetes that afflict their human owners. Where Type I diabetes is concerned, the pancreas does not produce enough insulin. Type II diabetes is marked by an improper cellular response to insulin. Both types of diabetes can produce severe and dangerous symptoms. How Diabetes Works When there is not enough insulin in a cat's system, or there is an inadequate insulin response, glucose cannot enter the body's cells. This results in a high blood sugar level. The sugar stays in the blood, but the body is actually sugar starved. Some diabetic cats lose weight while eating more because their body cannibalizes its own tissues in an attempt to obtain the needed sugar. The extra sugar in the blood stream is eliminated through urine causing increased urination, thus dehydrating the body. What Causes Feline Diabetes? Cats are inherent carnivores. Their bodies do not tolerate carbohydrates well. Grains are carbohydrates. Commercial cat food is loaded with grains, and carbohydrates elevate glucose levels. In an effort to compensate for the high glucose levels, the pancreas produces more and more insulin, eventually becoming overworked and inevitably failing. Certain medications and diseases can contribute to the development of diabetes. Megestrol acetate, otherwise known as Ovoban, and corticosteroids, such as prednisolone, have been linked to diabetes, as have obesity, chronic pancreatitis, hyperthyroidism, Cushing's disease and acromegaly. Feline diabetes is more common in males than females and in cats over seven years old. Diabetic cat food then becomes necessary. Symptoms of Diabetes If your cat displays any symptoms of diabetes, seek medical attention immediately. Untreated di Continue reading >>

Complications Of Diabetes In Cats

Complications Of Diabetes In Cats

What Complications You Have to Fear in Case Your Cat’s Diabetes is Not Well Controlled A complication is a disease, an injury or any side effect resulting from the initial disease and that usually aggravates the initial condition. In the case of cat diabetes, complications are often more severe than the diabetes itself and always occur if the diabetes is not treated. The primary goal of diabetes treatment is to prevent the onset of complications: Diabetic ketoacidosis Diabetic neuropathy Diabetic nephropathy Eye Damage Increased infection episodes Hepatic lipidosis Diabetes usually occurs in aging cats that have a limited life expectancy at the time they get their diabetes. Thus, complications of human diabetes that takes many years to develop are not usually seen in cats: nephropathy, vasculopathy, coronary artery disease… Diabetic ketoacidosis Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) is a very severe disease, fatal in many cases. It is an unavoidable outcome of untreated diabetes mellitus. Diabetic ketoacidocis is caused by an excessive amount of ketones in the blood. Ketones are a result of the metabolic process that uses free fatty acids (FFAs) as source of energy when glucose is missing. Insulin is a potent inhibitor of the formation of ketones from FFAs as well as an essential promoter of glucose utilization within the cells. Cats with DKA have an overt insulin deficiency. The lack of insulin is not the only reason for the development of a diabetic ketoacidosis. Glucagon hormone, catecholamines and epinephrine are believed to have a strong influence in the production of ketones. The production of ketones is not a problem in itself. In healthy animals, free fatty acids provide the body the energy it needs when food is lacking, and when glucose levels are low. However, in ca Continue reading >>

Feline Diabetic Ketoacidosis

Feline Diabetic Ketoacidosis

Fall 2008 Ketoacidosis is a metabolic imbalance that is most commonly seen as a sequel to unmanaged or poorly regulated diabetes mellitus. It is caused by the breakdown of fat and protein in a compensatory effort for the need of more metabolic energy. The excessive breakdown of these stored reserves creates a toxic by-product in the form of ketones. As ketones build up in the blood stream, pH and electrolyte imbalances proceed. This condition is a potentially life-threatening emergency that requires immediate medical attention. Diabetes mellitus is a common endocrine disease in geriatric felines. It is caused by a dysfunction in the beta cells of the exocrine pancreas resulting in an absolute or relative deficiency of insulin. Insulin has been called the cells' gatekeeper. It attaches to the surface of cells and permits glucose, the cells' primary energy source, to enter from the blood. A lack of insulin results in a build up of glucose in the blood, physiologically causing a state of cellular starvation. In response to this condition the body begins to increase the mobilization of protein and fat storage. Fatty acids are released from adipose tissue, which are then oxidized by the liver. Normally, these fatty acids are formed into triglycerides. However, without insulin, these fatty acids are converted into ketone bodies, which cannot be utilized by the body. Together with the increased production and decreased utilization an abnormally high concentration of ketone bodies develop. These fixed acids are buffered by bicarbonate; however, the excessive amounts overwhelm and deplete the bicarbonate leading to an increase in arterial hydrogen ion concentration and a decrease in serum bicarbonate. This increase in hydrogen ions lowers the body's pH, leading to a metabolic ac 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 >>

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 >>

Feline Diabetes Symptoms List

Feline Diabetes Symptoms List

Feline diabetes symptoms will vary depending upon the type and stage of the disease. Excessive urination (polyuria), and excessive thirst (polydipsia) are the classic signs of diabetes in cats. In the early stages of the disease, otherwise healthy cats will often show few other symptoms, if any. The prime candidate for diabetes is an older obese male, but it can affect male or female cats of any age. Although this is one of the most serious cat health problems, this is often a very manageable disease. Most cats with diabetes can live out full, normal lives, except for the need for treatment. Some cats that receive treatment may experience only mild forms of these symptoms, and others will stop requiring treatment after a time. As in humans, weight management is a key factor, as is level of exercise. Both weight reduction and exercise help your cat to regulate blood sugar levels. You can help to prevent the onset of this disease by doing two things. Ensure that you don't overfeed your cat, and also that your cat is getting regular exercise. If your cat tends to be sedentary, stimulate her to exercise by regularly engaging her and providing plenty of toys. Feline Diabetes Symptoms Polyuria (excessive urination) Polydipsia (excessive thirst) Increased appetite Weight loss Lethargy Diabetic neuropathy (causes progressive weakness in the rear legs) Progressive Feline Diabetes Symptoms As the disease progresses, other signs and symptoms become more common. Vomiting Lose of appetite Dehydration Poor haircoat Liver disease Secondary bacterial infections Dehydration leads to electrolyte imbalance, which can cause a number of problems. Low water volume in the stool can lead to constipation. While periodic bouts of constipation are common among domestic cats, it's possible that de Continue reading >>

Understanding And Treating Diabetic Ketoacidosis

Understanding And Treating Diabetic Ketoacidosis

Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) is a serious metabolic disorder that can occur in animals with diabetes mellitus (DM).1,2 Veterinary technicians play an integral role in managing and treating patients with this life-threatening condition. In addition to recognizing the clinical signs of this disorder and evaluating the patient's response to therapy, technicians should understand how this disorder occurs. DM is caused by a relative or absolute lack of insulin production by the pancreatic b-cells or by inactivity or loss of insulin receptors, which are usually found on membranes of skeletal muscle, fat, and liver cells.1,3 In dogs and cats, DM is classified as either insulin-dependent (the body is unable to produce sufficient insulin) or non-insulin-dependent (the body produces insulin, but the tissues in the body are resistant to the insulin).4 Most dogs and cats that develop DKA have an insulin deficiency. Insulin has many functions, including the enhancement of glucose uptake by the cells for energy.1 Without insulin, the cells cannot access glucose, thereby causing them to undergo starvation.2 The unused glucose remains in the circulation, resulting in hyperglycemia. To provide cells with an alternative energy source, the body breaks down adipocytes, releasing free fatty acids (FFAs) into the bloodstream. The liver subsequently converts FFAs to triglycerides and ketone bodies. These ketone bodies (i.e., acetone, acetoacetic acid, b-hydroxybutyric acid) can be used as energy by the tissues when there is a lack of glucose or nutritional intake.1,2 The breakdown of fat, combined with the body's inability to use glucose, causes many pets with diabetes to present with weight loss, despite having a ravenous appetite. If diabetes is undiagnosed or uncontrolled, a series of metab Continue reading >>

Beta Cell And Insulin Antibodies In Treated And Untreated Diabetic Cats

Beta Cell And Insulin Antibodies In Treated And Untreated Diabetic Cats

Abstract Beta cell and insulin antibodies are involved in the pathogenesis of diabetes in human patients. Beta cell antibodies have also been found in about 50% of newly diagnosed diabetic dogs. This study’s objective was to examine these antibodies’ role in feline diabetes. The serum of 26 newly diagnosed untreated diabetic cats, 29 cats on insulin therapy, 30 cats with diseases other than diabetes, and 30 healthy cats was examined for beta cell and insulin antibodies. For beta cell antibody testing, purified beta cells from a radiation-induced transplantable rat insulinoma were used. Serum from cats in which anti-beta cell antibodies were induced by injecting a purified beta cell suspension subcutaneously was used as a positive control. Following incubation with test sera, fluorescein-labeled anti-cat immunoglobulins were used to visualize binding between the beta cells and cat gamma globulins. Each serum was tested on two different tumor preparations. For the detection of insulin antibodies, a charcoal separation method was used. It was found that none of the healthy cats, none of the newly diagnosed, untreated diabetic cats and none of the cats with diseases other than diabetes had antibodies against beta cells or against endogenous insulin. Four diabetic cats (14%) that had been treated with different insulin preparations had insulin antibodies. It is concluded that immune-mediated processes are not causing diabetes in the cat. Further studies are needed to evaluate if antibodies directed against exogenous insulin alter the response of diabetic cats to insulin. Continue reading >>

Diabetes In Cats – Symptoms And Treatment Of Feline Diabetes

Diabetes In Cats – Symptoms And Treatment Of Feline Diabetes

Diabetes in cats occurs less frequently than in dogs however, recent veterinary studies show that feline diabetes is on the rise. Symptoms can develop gradually over time making them difficult to detect and often by the time diabetes is diagnosed insulin is required for treatment. Diabetes in cats is usually treatable once it has been identified and when insulin and diet are regulated properly there is a good prognosis for a normal life span. "Untreated, the condition leads to increasingly weak legs in cats, and eventually malnutrition, ketoacidosis and/or dehydration, and death" (1). Symptoms of diabetes in cats Feline diabetes is less common in cats under seven years of age and symptoms typically come on gradually over a period of weeks. Because of the slow onset symptoms can often be overlooked; it is important that pet owners pay close attention to their pet’s normal behaviors and routines so any changes are detected. Notify your veterinarian if any of the following symptoms arise: A sudden drop in weight (some cats may show an increase in weight) Excessive drinking. Some cats may appear to be obsessed with water and hover around their water bowl or other water sources such as faucets Excessive urinating Excessive appetite (some cats may lose interest in eating) Weakness in the back legs General lethargy An unusual sweetness or acetone-smell to the cat’s breath due to ketoacidosis Presence of these symptoms can be serious and you should not hesitate to take your cat to the vet for testing of urine or blood to properly diagnosis diabetes. Treatment of diabetes in cats Early diagnosis will help treatment and may prevent complications and in some cases cats can go into remission. If your cat is found to have diabetes, then the normal course of treatment involves di Continue reading >>

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