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Diabetes in Cats



Most patients' diabetes can be managed without complications, but for some cats the situation may be more challenging. Your veterinarian will make an individual treatment and management plan for your cat based on the cat's current disease status. There are various types of insulin available and a selection of the type that is appropriate to your cat will made by your veterinarian. For instance, some patients need daily insulin therapy and the doses are calculated according to the weight, age, gender and individual insulin requirements of the affected cat. Depending on how severe the diabetic condition is, and how the amount of insulin in the body variates from day to day, you may need to evaluate your cat's blood glucose levels on a daily basis and adjust the insulin dose accordingly.


After the initial treatment has stabilized your cat, your veterinarian may recommend ovariohysterectomy, if you have a female cat, as hormones during heat make management of diabetes difficult.


Living and Management


Management of your cat at home is more important in overall treatment efforts. Your cat will require daily activity but strenuous exercise is usually best avoided. Obesity is one of the major risk factors for diabetes, and this condition can make management of diabetes difficult, but it can only be brought under control slowly and with great care.


Soft and moist foods will have to be avoided because they cause rapid accumulation of glucose in the body. However, do not change your cat food suddenly and without first discussing it with your veterinarian. Your cat will need a well-thought out and strictly enforced diet plan. Your veterinarian can help you to design a plan that is well suited to your cat's needs, with life-style changes to facilitate proper management of the diabetes.


Regular monitoring of glucose levels in diabetic cats is important for evaluating the overall status of the disease. Your veterinarian will brief you on what to look for in case of either hypoglycemia (low levels of glucose) or hyperglycemia (high level of glucose), both of which can be seen in diabetic cats. Keeping a daily and weekly chart of your cat's diet, glucose test results, daily insulin dose, and weekly body weight is highly recommended for following patterns and recognizing when your cat deviates from it's regular pattern.


Do not give any drug to your cat without first discussing it with your veterinarian, as many drugs will adversely affect diabetic patients.


The success of your cat's health will be dependent on your willingness to adhere to these dietary recommendations. If properly managed, diabetic patients do well and usually have normal life-spans.



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