5 Reasons to Test Your Cat for Diabetes
One of my least favorite diagnoses to make in cats is diabetes. I have a deep dislike for feline diabetes because of two indisputable facts:
1) It’s largely preventable and unnecessary
2) It’s a real challenge to treat for many owners
Fortunately, diabetes is also one of those diseases that benefits from early detection. I’d like to share my top five reasons you need to test your cat early and often for diabetes:
One of the most interesting aspects of feline diabetes is its potential reversibility or remission, especially when diagnosed in the earliest stages. Over the past twenty-three years, I’ve seen scores of kitties weaned off insulin when diagnosis and treatment was initiated quickly. Research has shown up to 60% of cats will experience diabetic remission within the first few months of treatment, reports Alice Huang (VMD, DACVIM) from Purdue University. Combining strict blood sugar regulation with precise insulin therapy, changes in diet and weight loss are a recipe for reversing diabetes in many cats. Some cats will remain diabetes-free for many months to years. My advice is to have blood work and urinalysis performed yearly, twice yearly if you have a flabby feline.
Many cat owners focus solely on blood sugar levels. That's good, but too often we forget the continuous and severe damage hyperglycemia is causing throughout the body. The longer diabetes goes unchecked, the more potentially irreversible damage occurs. Prolonged high blood sugar levels can lead to nerve damage (diabetic neuropathy that typically causes weakness in the rear legs), chronic infectio Continue reading