Diabetes in cats is just as common as it is in people. It is also just as dangerous if not treated. Caring for a diabetic cat is not hard but does require consistency and diligence.
What are they symptoms of diabetes in your cat? The symptoms will be gradual and you may not think much about them at first. They will include increased eating and excessive water drinking and urination. He will likely become lethargic. And, in spite of eating more, he will lose weight.
As diabetes goes untreated, a cat may develop neuropathy. This will affect his ability to walk and jump. Instead of walking on the paws, the cat will begin walking on his haunches. This altered walk with be awkward for him and give him a hunchback posture. Jumps that would normally be simple are now impossible.
In essence, what is happening with neuropathy is that the signals being sent from the brain to make the muscles move do not make it back to the muscles. So, your cat will begin his jump but the muscles will fail before the jump is complete. He will miss the target and fall. It is scary to witness. If you have not noticed other symptoms of diabetes but see this behavior, get to the vet as soon as possible.
Fortunately once you have the diabetes under control, neuropathy will clear up on its own. In order to have control of diabetes, your cat will probably need to be on insulin. Insulin is made in the pancreas. When the pancreas fails, blood sugar is too high and insulin must be given. Usually it is given through injections every 12 hours. There are some pills available but in most cases they are not effective. Injected insulin is more effective and there are several different kinds.
The right choice of insulin and the proper dose is determined by tests performed by your veterinarian. The tests begin with a glucose curve. This is an analysis of the cat’s blood sugar several times during the day. A glucose curve is performed every few weeks with altered insulin amounts until the right amount is established for a particular cat.
Once you know the right dose, it is vital to maintain the injections regularly. This will usually be twice a day. Missing a dose is not a threat but you do not want to miss multiple doses. The more serious danger is actually too much insulin. This will send the body into shock causing seizures and possibly death. If you can’t remember whether you gave the cat his shot or not, play it safe and do NOT give him insulin, as you do not want to risk overdose. To prevent uncertainty, it is a great idea to keep a calendar and mark when shots were administered.
Also be sure to stay on top of your kitty’s appointments with his doctor. This is especially vital in diabetes cases. Amazingly, unlike dogs or people, cats’ pancreases have the ability to re-learn to produce insulin again. While this is good news, it is bad news if you continue to deliver insulin. As mentioned before, too much insulin will cause shock and maybe death.
Living with a diabetic cat is not complicated. It just takes care and dedication to proper care. In most diabetes cases cats may not even require a special diet. Just stay on top of the situation. A little ear scratching will be appreciated too.
It is important to know what you should look for regarding diabetes symptoms and their impact on your health. The Diabetes Advice Online services gives you information and details on the steps you should take when you might have diabetes.