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Untreated Ketoacidosis In Cats

The Signs, Diagnosis & Types Of Diabetes Mellitus In Cats

The Signs, Diagnosis & Types Of Diabetes Mellitus In Cats

There are certain signs or symptoms which are commonly seen in cats with diabetes mellitus. Unfortunately, these signs also occur in other diseases and conditions. Therefore, laboratory tests are necessary to diagnose diabetes mellitus in cats. The following article includes a discussion of how this diagnosis is made and the types of diabetes found in cats. What are the signs of diabetes mellitus in cats and why do they occur? Depending on how severely insulin production is impaired, there may be few signs of disease, or the signs may be severe. Dogs with diabetes often develop cataracts; cats do not. The most common signs of diabetes are: Increased thirst (polydipsia) and urination (polyuria) Change in appetite Weight loss Change in gait (walking) Decreased activity, weakness, depression Vomiting Increased Thirst and Urination: Because the glucose cannot enter the cells, the glucose levels in the blood become abnormally high (hyperglycemia). The glucose is filtered out by the kidneys and is found in the urine (glucosuria). When it is filtered out, it carries water with it. The animal, then, is losing more water through the urine than normal and has to make up for it by drinking more. Inappropriate Elimination: The increased urination may result in the cat not always urinating in the litter box. This inappropriate urination may be one of the first signs of diabetes in cats. In addition, cats with diabetes can often develop urinary tract infections, which may also result in inappropriate elimination. Change in Appetite: Some diabetic cats eat less, because frankly, they do not feel well. Other cats may have voracious appetites and eat a lot (polyphagia) because their hypothalamus keeps telling them they are hungry. Weight Loss: Because the cat cannot use the calories he Continue reading >>

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 >>

Recognizing Signs Of Diabetes In Cats

Recognizing Signs Of Diabetes In Cats

Cats can develop diabetes just as humans can, and the treatment and management of the condition are very similar. Treatment may include dietary changes, adequate exercise and insulin. Feline diabetes mellitus is more common that most people realize. It is thought that the condition is becoming more prevalent in cats due to factors such as diet and low activity levels. Male, neutered cats are at increased risk, as are cats who are overweight or obese. Age and underlying health issues may also be components in the development of diabetes. Because cats often mask illness quite well, being aware of the signs of this disease is important. What is diabetes? Diabetes can be classified into two categories. Type 1, which is the less common of the two, results when there is a lack of insulin being generated by the pancreas. Type 2 occurs when the feline body develops a resistance to insulin. Both types lead to abnormally high levels of glucose in the blood and the urine. Symptoms of diabetes Early symptoms such as lethargy may be inconclusive and possibly indicators of other diseases, which is why a veterinary exam is an important part of getting a correct diagnosis and treatment. The following symptoms may be strong indicators of diabetes: Weight changes Weight gain in the early stages of diabetes will eventually change to weight loss as the disease progresses. Insulin, normally released by the pancreas, aids in the transfer of glucose to the cells. A lack of insulin, or an abnormal response to the insulin, affects the regular production of energy. When this energy is missing, the body will start to use fat and protein stores, which culminates in weight loss no matter how much a cat eats. The majority of cats with undiagnosed diabetes will have voracious appetites, although some Continue reading >>

When And How To Check For Them

When And How To Check For Them

Information provided about specific medical procedures or conditions is for educational purposes to allow for educated, on-going discussion with your vet and is not intended to replace veterinary advice. Diabetic Cat Care Ketones Many of us have heard of ketogenic diets; used often by bodybuilders, or to help with weight loss. The science is that by keeping the body in a ketone producing state, fat stores will be used by the body, weight will drop off much more quickly. That may be fine for humans, but producing ketones is the last state we want our diabetic cats to be in. Ketones occur when the body cannot access blood glucose for energy. Left untreated, ketones build up in the system and can lead to a life threatening situation called Diabetic Ketoacidosis, also known as DKA. While development of ketones is not an "immediate emergency", the progression of excessive ketones which develop into diabetic ketoacidosis IS a very real emergency situation requiring immediate veterinary care and very aggressive treatment. Catching ketones at low levels, before they get out of control, and then taking immediate and appropriate action can save your cat’s life. Ketones are a direct result of hyperglycemia (high BG). Ketones can develop because of not enough insulin, illness, infection, and/or anorexia. In humans, ketones can be produced when the body burns too much fat storage for energy. While practicing TR it is very rare for a cat to produce ketones once the BG is well regulated. That said, at the start of TR, right after diagnosis, if your cat is sick, or when making an insulin switch, its strongly recommended as a precaution to test for ketones if your cat is over renal threshold (225/12.5) for longer than a day. For those cats prone to quick ketone production, checking fo 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 >>

Feline Diabetes Mellitus

Feline Diabetes Mellitus

4 0 Diabetes Mellitus is a metabolic disease caused by a failure of the pancreas to produce enough insulin. Insulin allows cells in the body to absorb glucose (sugar) from the blood. Glucose is the cells’ main energy source and is critical to cellular function. Without insulin, the cells do not get the energy they need to function, and glucose levels in the blood rise. The body can use fats as an energy source; however this can occasionally lead to a life threatening condition called diabetic ketoacidosis which requires emergency treatment. Symptoms of diabetes include the following: 1. Weight loss – as fats are mobilized for energy instead of glucose 2. Increased appetite – as the body tries to increase its energy supplies 3. Increased drinking and urination – the glucose in the blood overwhelms the kidneys and spills into the urine drawing excessive amounts of water with it 4. Untreated diabetics can develop diabetic ketoacidosis. If this happens, the cat will show signs of severe illness including loss of appetite, lethargy and vomiting. Diagnosing diabetes is generally straightforward. Most diabetic patients have significantly elevated glucose levels in their blood as well as in their urine. In many cats we recommend a fructosamine test to confirm the diagnosis and make sure the elevated glucose was not due to stress. Most diabetic cats do very well with treatment and can live for many years with the disease. In addition to treating the diabetes, it is important to closely monitor all aspects of your cat’s health, since diabetes can make cats more susceptible to other problems such as infections. Dental health is especially important! Treating diabetes involves several steps: 1. Diet – Recent studies have shown that decreasing the intake of carbohydrates 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 >>

Ketoacidosis

Ketoacidosis

Ketones in the urine, as detected by urine testing stix or a blood ketone testing meter[1], may indicate the beginning of diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA), a dangerous and often quickly fatal condition caused by low insulin levels combined with certain other systemic stresses. DKA can be fixed if caught quickly. Diabetics of all species therefore need to be checked for ketones with urine testing stix, available at any pharmacy, whenever insulin level may be too low, and any of the following signs or triggers are present: Ketone Monitoring Needed: Little or no insulin in last 12 hours High blood sugar over 16 mmol/L or 300 mg/dL (though with low insulin, lower as well...) Dehydration (skin doesn't jump back after pulling a bit gums are tacky or dry)[2] Not eating for over 12 hours due to Inappetance or Fasting Vomiting Lethargy Infection or illness High stress levels Breath smells like acetone (nail-polish remover) or fruit. Note that the triggers and signs are somewhat interchangeable because ketoacidosis is, once begun, a set of vicious circles which will make itself worse. So dehydration, hyperglycemia, fasting, and presence of ketones are not only signs, they're also sometimes triggers. In a diabetic, any urinary ketones above trace, or any increase in urinary ketone level, or trace urinary ketones plus some of the symptoms above, are cause to call an emergency vet immediately, at any hour of the day. Possible False Urine Ketone Test Results Drugs and Supplements Valproic Acid (brand names) Depakene, Depakote, Divalproex Sodium[3] Positive. Common use: Treatment of epilepsy. Cefixime/Suprax[4] Positive with nitroprusside-based urine testing. Common use: Antibiotic. Levadopa Metabolites[5] Positive with high concentrations[6]. Tricyclic Ring Compounds[7][8] Positive. Commo 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 >>

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 >>

Diabetes Mellitus

Diabetes Mellitus

Diabetes Mellitus (sugar diabetes) is a common endocrine disorder in middle- aged to older cats. There is a higher incidence in overweight cats, and males outnumber females 1.5 to 1. Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas that allows glucose (sugar) to be utilized by the cells in the body. Body cells need glucose as fuel just as automobiles need gasoline to function. A small percentage of cats will become ketoacidotic. This is a serious and life-threatening syndrome caused by the production of ketone bodies in the liver. The ketones are produced when the body attempts to metabolize fat and protein in an effort to manufacture more glucose. This process causes acidosis of the blood and electrolyte disturbances which can lead to death. Clinical Signs: Excess glucose in the blood will “spill” into the urine carrying water with it causing excessive urine production. To prevent dehydration, the cat will increase his water intake. Weight loss is always present despite increased appetite. Often an owner will think the cat’s weight loss program is finally working. As the disease progresses vomiting, loss of appetite (anorexia), weakness, dehydration, hair and skin problems, kidney and liver disease, cataracts, and potentially ketoacidosis may become evident. In rare cases, the cat will develop a nerve disorder where he walks down on his hocks (“ankles”). This may or may not resolve with treatment. Diagnosis: Elevated blood glucose, glucose in the urine, and weight loss are needed to diagnose diabetes mellitus. A thorough physical exam and blood testing are needed to assess the overall health of the patient and rule out other conditions. Treatment of Uncomplicated Diabetes Mellitus: The treatment of diabetes mellitus in the cat initially involves a commitment of Continue reading >>

Causes Symptoms And Treatment Of Feline Diabetes

Causes Symptoms And Treatment Of Feline Diabetes

Feline diabetes (also called diabetes mellitus) is similar in nature to human diabetes and occurs in middle age or older cats. Diabetes is a disease in which the pancreas does not produce enough insulin (the hormone that controls how the body absorbs and uses sugar) or the insulin produced is not effective at controlling blood sugar levels.. Your cat needs insulin to metabolize or use sugar, fat and protein for energy. Without insulin, sugar builds up in the blood and spills into the urine. Sugar in the urine causes your cat to pass large amounts of urine and to drink lots of water. The level of sugar in the brain controls appetite. Without insulin, the brain becomes sugar deprived and your cat becomes constantly hungry, even though she is experiencing weight loss due to the improper use of nutrients from the diet. Untreated diabetic cats are more likely to develop infections and commonly get bladder, kidney, or skin infections. There are two types of feline diabetes: Uncomplicated diabetes: your cat will not be extremely ill and show basic signs of the disease such as excessive drinking, frequent urination and susceptibility to kidney and bladder infections. Diabetes with ketoacidosis: your cat would be very ill and may be vomiting and depressed. Ketoacidosis happens when Ketosis and Acidosis occurs. Ketosis is the accumulation of substances called ketone bodies in the blood. Acidosis is increased acidity of the blood. Cat with feline diabetes will sometimes regain the ability to produce their own insulin in the pancreas. Cats that developed diabetes after receiving long term glucocorticoids or hormones are more likely to stop needing insulin after a while compared to cats that developed diabetes without a known cause. Your diabetic cat should be evaluated by a veterin 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 >>

Diabetes In Cats Part 2 – Things You Should Know About Diagnosis & Treatment

Diabetes In Cats Part 2 – Things You Should Know About Diagnosis & Treatment

3 53 Remember Stephen? Stephen is having a cat nap. So I guess it’s up to me to tell you all a little bit more about diabetes in cats. In my previous article – What Does a Cat With Diabetes Look Like? I talked about what diabetes mellitus actually is, what I think about people who taste urine to check for its sweetness, and gave some pointers on signs to watch out for that might indicate your cat has this disease. Now it’s time to have a quick look at how diabetes in cats is diagnosed and most importantly, what the heck we can do about it. How Can My Veterinarian Tell if My Cat has Diabetes? There are two main test results required for a vet to be able to diagnose diabetes in a symptomatic cat: A high fasting blood glucose (i.e. loads of glucose floating around in their blood even when they haven’t eaten recently) Testing these parameters is a piece of cake! See what I did there? But here’s where it gets tricky. Cats can get enormously stressed out by a visit to the vet (kind of like I feel about sitting in the dentist’s chair), and a really important effect of this stress can be a transient elevation in their blood glucose, which can even be significant enough to see glucose spilling over into the urine. What this means is that cats who do not have diabetes may have a high blood glucose reading, and even occasionally glucose in their urine. These tests aren’t always diagnostic on their own. It is best to run a full blood profile rather than just checking the glucose alone. This assists us with detecting any other illnesses that may either be the sole cause of your cat’s problems or could just be lurking around complicating the situation. If there is any doubt about the diagnosis of diabetes, a good test to do next is a plasma fructosamine level. This te Continue reading >>

Diabetes Mellitus (diabetes) In Cats

Diabetes Mellitus (diabetes) In Cats

Animals Affected Cats of any breed, usually middle-aged. Overview Diabetes mellitus (known simply as diabetes) is a common and serious disease of cats. The main characteristic of diabetes is an inability to control the level of sugar in the blood. This leads to chronically high blood sugar levels, which in turn lead to the symptoms of the disease. Management of diabetes in cats is challenging but, in most cases, it is successful. With proper treatment, many diabetic cats lead essentially normal lives. However, without treatment the disease inevitably leads to serious complications. Diabetes in cats is similar to type 2 (adult onset) diabetes in humans. Symptoms Symptoms of diabetes include: Weight loss Normal or increased appetite in the early stages of the disease; appetite may decline in the later stages. Lethargy In the end stages of the disease, coma and death An individual genetic or hereditary predisposition to diabetes very likely is involved in most cases. Dental disease leads to chronic inflammation which may predispose cats to diabetes. Some authorities contend that high levels of sugar and carbohydrates in dry commercial cat foods play a role in the development of diabetes. However, this belief is not universally accepted. Recent studies have not found a link between dry food consumption and diabetes in cats. Some medications, especially prednisone or depo-medrol (a long-acting, injected form of prednisone) can trigger diabetes. Complications Untreated diabetes leads to emaciation, chronic lethargy and weakness. Diabetic cats are prone to urinary tract infections. House soiling may occur as well, due to increased frequency of urination. Insulin administration is the main method of treating diabetes in cats. However, some cats may be subject to accidental over Continue reading >>

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