What are the symptoms of feline diabetes?
You might want to be a fat cat, but you sure don't want your feline to become one. There are a many reasons to keep your cat at a healthy weight, but avoiding feline diabetes may be the biggest.
Feline diabetes, or diabetes mellitus, is a common disease often found in older and overweight cats. Similar to diabetes in humans, feline diabetes occurs when there is not enough insulin (a hormone made in the pancreas) in the cat's body to balance out the glucose (sugar) in the cat's diet. In normal cats, food is broken down during digestion and the resulting glucose enters the bloodstream. Insulin is then released to regulate the blood's glucose levels. If your cat isn't producing enough -- or any -- insulin, he will become diabetic. And if too much glucose builds up in his body due to the lack of insulin, the disease can become dangerous and even life threatening.
So what symptoms should you look for? Begin by monitoring your cat more closely, especially if he's older or is overweight. Have you observed him drinking or eating a lot more than usual? Take note if his water bowl goes dry or his food dish empties faster than it used to -- especially if he's eating more and still losing weight. Another symptom to watch for is unusually frequent urination. All of these are key signs that his glucose levels are going unregulated -- the lack of insulin is preventing his cells from absorbing and getting energy from glucose, and the resulting excess glucose in his blood is making him thirsty. If you observe these symptoms, make an appointment to see your vet. She can run a laboratory test Continue reading