The Pet Tree House - Where Pets Are Family Too : Diabetes In Cats - A Complex Disease

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Diabetes In Cats - A Complex Disease

The American Society for the  Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA)  says, Diabetes in cats is a complex disease caused by either a lack of the hormone insulin or an inadequate response to insulin. After a cat eats, their digestive system breaks food into various components, including glucose which is carried into their cells by insulin.

While diabetes mellitus can affect any cat, it most often occurs in older, obese cats. Male cats are more likely to have diabetes than females. The exact cause of the disease in cats is not known, although obesity, is the major predisposing condition, and may cause chronic pancreatitis.

If left untreated, diabetes will shorten a cat's life. A dangerous, sometimes fatal condition called ketoacidosis may develop, indicated by some of the following symptoms: loss of appetite, diarrhea, vomiting, lethargy, weakness, dehydration, and breathing abnormalities. Diabetes can lead to a secondary bacterial infection, or a diabetes related disorder called diabetic neuropathy  that may cause cats to become progressively weaker, impairing their ability to jump.

There are three types of diabetes seen in cats:

Type I diabetes
These cats are insulin dependent, and need to receive daily insulin injections.

Type II diabetes
The cat’s pancreas may make enough insulin but the cat’s body does not use it properly. This is the most common type of feline diabetes.

The third type is known as Transient Diabetes. These are type II cats who present as diabetics and require insulin initially, but over time, their system re-regulates so they can go off insulin-especially with a change of diet.


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