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Symptoms Of High Blood Sugar In Cats

How Do I Handle A Cat With Hyperglycemia

Diabetic Hypoglycemic Cat

In this scenario, the cat owner s complete assurance and commitment are needed for good management of diabetes. These cats also need a balanced diet with high fibre, low-fat, low-carbohydrate, and high-protein content.

If your vet recommends insulin, you should ensure that your cat never misses even a single dosage. Proper lifestyle changes and excellent care can avoid major health issues in diabetic dogs.

What Causes Hypoglycemia How Do I Recognize It And What Do I Do About It

Hypoglycemia means low blood glucose level. If the level is below 80 mg/dL it is considered too low. If it is below 40 mg/dL , it is life-threatening. A well-regulated cats blood glucose level should not be below 100 mg/dL at any time. Because hypoglycemia can be life-threatening, it is always better for the blood glucose level to be too high than too low.

Feeding Your Cat With Diabetic Ketoacidosis:

You can control the disease through a balanced diet, exercise, and insulin, in most cases. The best choice for cats suffering from any type of diabetic issue is a low carbohydrate, high protein diet. This is because such diets also encourage balanced weight in obese diabetics, and you will find them in both canned and dry variants.

For cats, fiber-based diets are ideal, as it helps them to become more sensitive to insulin. However, in many cases, your vet will prescribe a balanced diet for your cat with diabetic ketoacidosis, and sometimes cats may not need insulin.

Hence first consult the matter with the vet to achieve a balanced diet. However, avoid the meals and food items that have added preservatives or include sugar as a preservative. Similarly, dont feed them breads and sweet treats.

As mentioned earlier, try to feed them in every 12 hours before giving them an insulin injection. Therefore, it is not recommended to feed them treats or an extra meal in between these times as your cats sugar and glucose level will increase. Try to give diabetic-friendly homemade food to a diabetic cat after discussing it with the vet. Because the food that you prepare for your feline would have extra ingredients love and care.

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Is My Cat At Risk Of Diabetes

Diabetes can affect cats of all ages and breeds, but it is more common among middle-aged and older cats, those that are overweight and inactive, and males. There is also some evidence that certain breeds, such as Burmese, have a genetic predisposition to the condition. Those that are on long term courses of certain medications can also be more at risk of developing the disease.

Oral Diabetes Drugs For Cats

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Oral diabetes medication, such as Glipizide, can be used, but most veterinarians prefer that cats be treated with injectable insulins. The oral medications do not work as well in cats, and its often easier for people to give a cat injections rather than pills. However, there are some circumstances in which oral medication may be used. Some people are very uncomfortable around needles, and some cats will not allow injections, but will eat the oral medication in food.

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What Are The Clinical Signs Of Diabetes Mellitus In Cats

The four main symptoms of diabetes mellitus are increased thirst, increased urination, weight loss, and increased appetite. Because of the nature of cats, these signs may go unnoticed, especially in the early stages of disease or if a cat spends a lot of time outdoors. Cats that are fed canned or semi-moist diets receive much of their water intake from their food, and increased water intake will be harder to recognize.

What Type Of Diabetes Can Cats Suffer From

Unlike dogs, cats affected by diabetes will normally suffer with the type two form of the disease, which is caused by abnormalities in the pancreas. It is very similar to the type two form of the disease in humans. The type one form of the condition, which is common in dogs but very rare in cats, is caused by an auto-immune response which destroys the cells which process insulin in the pancreas. Diabetes in cats can sometimes be a secondary disease or develop in response to certain drugs.

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Treatment For Feline Hypoglycemia

Intravenous glucose is typically the best treatment for hypoglycemia.

Intravenous glucose solution is the most effective treatment. This is often available at high concentrations but it must be diluted to less than 10% if being given intravenously, as higher concentrations can cause irritation to the tissues around the vein, as well as damaging red blood cells in the circulation.

The usual protocol is to give 5 mL/kg body weight as an initial intravenous bolus of 10% glucose or dextrose. After this, a continuous rate infusion may be given using 2.5-5% dextrose until the precise cause of hypoglycemia is identified and treated.

In most cases, the signs of hypoglycemia begin to resolve almost immediately after the intravenous injection is given.

If an owner is at home, and the signs of hypoglycemia combined with the history , then corn syrup or honey can be applied directly to the lining of the mouth while the animal is being brought to the vet. This is not as effective as intravenous glucose, but it may be lifesaving in some cases.

For cats with more complex causes of hypoglycemia , more complex treatments may be needed, including the hormone glucagon. Hypoglycemic episodes are more likely to be recurrent, needing a different approach to other one-off situations.

Once the initial hypoglycemic crisis has been resolved, an accurate diagnosis of the cause needs to be confirmed, and appropriate treatment is then given to remedy this primary problem.

How Do Cats Get Hypoglycemia

Family says cat can sense low blood sugar

Cats with Feline AIDS exhibit symptoms including lethargy, inappetence, and fever.

Blood glucose levels are normally kept between 60 and 150mg/dl in the body by a complex interaction of secretion of hormones.

  • When a cat eats, as the carbohydrate from the food is absorbed into the bloodstream, the blood glucose starts to rise.
  • As the body detects this, the beta cells of the pancreas start to produce more of a hormone called insulin, which lowers the blood glucose back to normal.
  • If too much insulin is produced, pushing the blood glucose down towards 60mg/dl , the body stops producing so much insulin and starts to produce hormones that push the blood glucose up.
  • The main upwards hormone is glucagon, but other hormones such as adrenaline , cortisol, and growth hormone also have this effect.
  • Its through the balance of these down hormones and up hormones that the blood glucose is kept within normal limits.
  • When the balance of hormones is upset , then the blood glucose can fall too low, resulting in hypoglycemia.
  • Hypoglycemia can also occur if there is a simple shortage of glucose in the body e.g. in young kittens that are not getting enough food and do not have carbohydrate or fat stores in the body to create new glucose.

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Monitoring Your Cats Glucose Levels

At-home monitoring of your cats blood-glucose levels is important for monitoring your cats glycemic control long-term. This typically involves pricking the inside of your cats ear and using a glucometer .

Glucose levels can also be monitored in a less invasive manner, by measuring glucose levels in the urine, although this method is not as accurate as blood measurements.

Not all cats are amenable to blood-glucose monitoring at home. Your veterinarian will work with you to determine the method of monitoring that works best for you and your cat.

Ongoing Treatments For Dka:

This includes regular monitoring of insulin, controlling the bodys blood sugar levels. Your cat will remain under strict observation during the treatment, and monitoring of the cats blood sugar along with blood samples will get regular during the treatment. In some cases, your vet might suggest dietary management plans for your pet.

Once the vet confirms diabetic ketoacidosis in your cat, they recommend further diagnostic investigations to determine concurrent problems such as acute pancreatitis or urinary tract infection. Some tests that your vet might recommend are as follow:

  • Detailed blood count
  • Screening of other infectious diseases

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New And Emerging Therapies

Incretins are gastrointestinal hormones released in response to food intake that stimulate the release of insulin and include glucagon-like peptide 1 agonists and dipeptidylpeptidase-4 inhibitors.89 In humans with type 2 diabetes, exenatide and extended-release extenatide are injectable GLP-1 agonist preparations used as an adjunctive or sole therapy. In newly diagnosed diabetic cats treated with glargine and a low-carbohydrate diet, 15 cats also treated with extended-release exenatide had improved glycemic control and remission rates compared with 15 cats that received a placebo, though this was not significant.90 Further studies are required to investigate their cost-effectiveness in diabetic cats.

Diagnosis Of High Blood Sugar In Cats

Diabetes in cats  how to treat and feed a diabetic cat

Your doctor will do a thorough examination of your cat to reach a diagnosis. First, he will ask you some questions regarding your cat’s health and medical history. He will also perform a physical examination and take his vital signs such as temperature, weight, heart rate and respiration rate. Diagnostic tests are a critical part of diagnosing high blood sugar in cats. Your veterinarian will draw blood from your cat and run a CBC, biochemical profile and blood sugar analysis. A urine sample will also be taken to determine the level of sugar in his urine.

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What Is Diabetic Remission In Cats

In some cats, it is possible for treatment of diabetes to lead to the disease resolving. The regularity with which this occurs is variably reported and depends greatly on the intensity of management and the circumstances within which the diabetes occurred. Estimates of rates of remission vary from around 17-60% , and so, whilst remission can always be aimed for, expectations need to be tempered about the likelihood of success. Remission is considerably more likely in patients who were previously treated with drugs that cause diabetes , patients who were significantly overweight or obese and who have undergone a controlled weight loss programme, and patients whose blood glucose can be tightly controlled relatively quickly after diagnosis. Remission is also more likely in cats who will consistently eat a diabetic diet.

Remission is thought to occur because of a combination of reduced pre-disposing causes of diabetes and reversal of the toxic effects of high blood sugar on the cells in the pancreas that produce insulin, allowing return to normal production levels. In cats who begin to enter remission, insulin treatment can be gradually reduced and eventually discontinued. It is important to note that cats who have entered remission will frequently develop diabetes again in the future and so continued monitoring is required even once treatment has stopped.

The Bottom Line On Feline Diabetes

If you suspect your cat is sick, visit your veterinarian as soon as possible. Excessive urination, thirst, heightened appetite, vomiting, lethargy, and inactivity are symptoms of diabetes mellitus. At The Cat Hospital of Tucson, were committed to helping pet parents care for their cats throughout their lives. to book an appointment for a check-up and diagnosis of your cat.

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Can A Special Diet Help Control My Cats Diabetes

Alongside insulin, diet and keeping weight under control is an extremely important part of managing diabetes. Overweight cats will need to shift excess pounds in some cases this can reduce the severity of diabetes and in rare cases resolve it altogether. Exercise is an important part of losing weight, too.

Your vet will advise on what diet best suits your cat and you will need to talk through your options with them. In general, diets that are low in carbohydrates are beneficial to diabetic cats. There are also some diets specifically formulated for cats with diabetes available from vets. If your cat roams, it is a good idea to tell neighbours about their illness so that they arent tempted to feed your pet or offer titbits.

How Did My Cat Get Diabetes

How to test your cat’s blood glucose at home

Diabetes mellitus occurs either when your cats pancreas doesnt produce the amount of insulin your cat needs or when your cat doesnt respond appropriately to the insulin that is being produced . Just as with people, high glucose levels produce adverse effects that can be life-threatening if not treated.

Common causes:

  • Destruction of pancreatic beta cells

  • Chronic inflammation of the pancreas

You may be familiar with type I and type II diabetes. Cats more commonly suffer from type II diabetes, which occurs when the pancreas becomes less sensitive to insulin. Type I, conversely, occurs when the body stops producing enough insulin.

Diabetes insipidus, which as mentioned above is extremely rare in cats, is caused by congenital defects or results as a complication of another condition, like a brain tumor.

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Recovery Of High Blood Sugar In Cats

If your cat has high blood sugar, you must learn how to care for him so that he does not have serious complications that could threaten his life. Cats with diabetes often do not want to eat, but they need regular nourishment to keep blood sugar steady. Your doctor may prescribe special food and it is important that he eats regularly. He may also require oral medications and insulin injections on a daily basis. Most injections are given twice a day. Your doctor will teach you the best way to give insulin injections. It is important to be comfortable with this, as it is necessary to prevent a health crisis. You may also need to check your cats glucose levels each day at home. This is very important because when your cat’s blood sugar is high, it spills into his urine. Once it has done so, his sugar levels are most likely very high. You can check his urine output for sugar by placing a detector in his litter box, but this can be a bit unreliable. Your doctor will most likely advise you to check his blood sugar with a blood sample obtained from his ear or foot. There are special units designed to check your cat’s blood sugar.

While it is challenging to care for cats with high blood sugar, it can be managed with medication and dietary changes. Developing a good relationship with your veterinarian is key to helping your cat stay healthy while managing his disease.

Treatments Available For Cats With Diabetic Ketoacidosis

Treatment for DKA differs from case to case, but generally, it has two stages. The first stage is called as initial, while the second is ongoing. DKA in cats demands intense and rapid management, especially at the start. This initial treatment process includes analyzing and addressing the cats medical history and clinical problems.

Furthermore, you might have to admit the pet to the hospital for several days. Cats suffering from DKA are usually treated through these methods, but as mentioned above, it may differ from patient to patient. The general DKA treatment plan includes:

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Diabetic Ketoacidosis In Cats

Diabetic ketoacidosis in cats is a serious condition that can lead to coma and death. It occurs when your cats body does not produce enough insulin, which means it cannot use sugar for fuel. Your cat may also develop diabetic ketoacidosis if the pancreas does not produce enough insulin or if cells are resistant to insulin.

This blog post will explain diabetic ketoacidosis in cats, how it affects pets, why diabetic ketoacidosis happens in cats specifically, and what signs to look out for so you can take care of your pet before any accidents happen.

Screening And Fasting Blood Glucose Concentrations

Diabetes in Cats: Diagnosis, Treatment, and Management

Diagnosis is made based on blood glucose concentration however, currently, there is no commonly accepted lower cut point for diabetes in cats, with values of 180288 mg/dL reported as diagnostic.35,36

Fasted blood glucose concentration in cats is ~3.06.5 mmol/L when measured using a portable glucose meter calibrated for feline blood after overnight hospitalization and withholding food for 1824 hours.37,38 Screening blood glucose has an upper reported cut point of 166 mg/dL , showing the potential effect of stress on diagnosis of diabetes in cats.39 Acute stress can markedly increase glucose concentrations within 5 minutes and may last for 3 hours or longer.40 Struggling can increase glucose concentration on average by 74 mg/dL and up to 195 mg/dL within 10 minutes, associated with increased lactate and norepinephrine concentrations.40 Cats 8 years of age with a screening blood glucose > 117 mg/dL should be admitted and retested 4 hours later, and if not < 117 mg/dL then should be retested after 24 hours. While there are no longitudinal studies looking at nondiabetic cats with increased blood glucose concentrations, cats in diabetic remission with mildly increased blood glucose concentration are at increased risk of becoming diabetic within 9 months.38 Therefore, identification of possible prediabetes and subclinical diabetes and appropriate intervention are likely useful for delaying or preventing progression to clinical diabetes in cats.

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Continuous Blood Glucose Monitoring

Blood glucose concentration is best measured either with a portable glucose meter calibrated for feline blood, and measured from the ear or paw pad, or with a continuous glucose meter which is internally calibrated and has a long sensor life. Continuous blood glucose monitors measure glucose concentration in the interstitial fluid, mostly using an electrochemical sensor attached to a small monitor or transmitter implanted subcutaneously in the flank, lateral thorax, interscapular space, or dorsal neck in cats.48 The Min-iMed Gold , Guardian Real-Time , GlucoDay , iPro , and FreeStyle Libre have been reported for use in cats and dogs.48,49 However, many models still require calibration three times a day with blood glucose measurements obtained by traditional methods, most sensors need replacing every 37 days, and the glucose recording range can be limited. The FreeStyle Libre is a newer model that is calibrated in the factory and does not require additional blood glucose measurements to calibrate at home, and the sensor is suitable for 14 days of use.50


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