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Primary and Secondary Symptoms Of Diabetes In Cats:
Male cats are more susceptible to diabetes as are overweight and obese cats of either gender. Genetic predisposition is often suspected to be behind diabetes.
However, steroids and other clinical conditions such as a pancreatic disease, as well as the use of steroidal type drugs in treating other diseases, are also known to cause feline diabetes. An increased incidence has also been observed in neutered male cats over six years old.
Feline Diabetes is a metabolic disease where insufficient insulin production causes the blood sugar levels to rise. As the disease develops within the cat’s body, sugar is revealed in the urine as well. It is a complex disease and symptoms of diabetes in cats can remain concealed for a long time. Many times the disease is discovered when the cat’s blood is checked for another evident disease.
The pancreas in the cat’s body, situated close to the stomach, has two primary functions. These are releasing insulin and enzymes meant for digestion. Due to certain reasons, not yet firmly known to veterinarian science, the pancreas are unable to produce sufficient insulin, necessary for the storage of glucose in the liver and the oxidation of sugar in cells.
In some cases tissues develop resistance to insulin and cannot make good use of the glucose, which is necessary for building energy. Both the conditions lead to high sugar levels in the blood, a condition known as hyperglycemia.
Chronic hyperglycemia persists even on fasting and is a common characteristic of diabetes mellitus. Even if your cat has high blood sugar it is wrong to presume that it is suffering from diabetes. In certain cases stress and medication can cause a temporary condition of transient hyperglycemia.
Prognosis of diabetes is fair to good provided it is detected early. Knowledge of symptoms of diabetes in cats can enable owners to assess them and seek early medical aid.
Primary Symptoms of Feline Diabetes:
- Polyuria: This is a primary symptom associated with diabetes in cats. It is a renal disorder characterized by large volumes of pale dilute urine
- Polydipsia: It is the excessive thirst caused by diabetes or a kidney dysfunction. There is an apparent obsession with water and you may see your cat hanging around taps and faucets.
- Excessive weight loss
- Changes in appetite: The cat may start eating three times its normal diet or go the other way and refuse to eat at all
As the diabetes progresses, it will often result in poor hair quality, liver disease and frequent secondary bacterial infections.
Feline diabetes is a highly progressive disease and severe conditions may lead to diabetic neuropathy. It is caused by glucose toxicity and cell starvation, which damages the myelin sheath of the peripheral nerves. The hind legs of the cat become weaker and the cat abandons its normal stance of standing on its toes. Instead the cat assumes a plantigrade stance, which is walking on the whole sole of feet like humans.
In quadrupeds this translates into walking on hocks. The cat may also have difficulty in walking and jumping and may need to sit down after a few steps. Weak legs can be caused by other conditions as well. Before assuming neuropathy it is advisable to consult a specialist first.
Feline diabetes is also associated with acidosis, abnormally high acidity of the blood and other body tissues leading to accumulation of ketone bodies. This may lead to a dangerous condition called ketoacidosis. Such a condition may cause refusal of food, vomiting, diarrhea and respiratory problems.
Ketoacidosis is extremely dangerous and should be attended to immediately. If left untreated it ultimately leads to death of the animal.
The Symptoms Of Diabetes In Cats
Here is a quick Video that explains in simple terms the symptoms of Feline Diabetes:
Feline Diabetes Natural Treatment
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Changing A Cat’s Diet May Help
With many health issues in cats – as well as in people, an improvement in the diet can often work wonders. If your diabetic cat is NOT already eating a raw diet, please consider changing to one. You can read more about this here: Best Food For Cats