Diabetes mellitus is a pathology of the endocrine system associated with impaired glucose uptake. In cats, this disease is diagnosed no less often than in humans.
Causes of the disease
Diabetes, which until 20 years ago was considered an exclusively human disease, is not uncommon among our younger brothers today. The disease develops due to the fact that specific cells of the pancreas do not produce enough insulin or do not produce at all.
The factors that trigger the formation of the disease, include:
- An unbalanced diet, vitamin deficiency.
- Diseases of the digestive system.
- Chronic pathologies of the gallbladder, kidneys, and liver.
- Overeating, overweight. Under this, veterinarians usually understand the weight, which is more than normal by 1.5-2 kilograms.
- Genetic predisposition. Taking into account this fact, breeders do not use individuals who have been diagnosed with diabetes in breeding work.
- Viruses, infections that weaken the animal’s immune system.
- Long – term use of hormones, including contraceptives.
- Psycho-emotional stress.
There are the first and second types of diabetes mellitus. In the first case, an insulin-dependent pathology develops. Destructive changes occurring in the pancreas provoke the breakdown of cells responsible for the production of insulin. A dangerous type of pathology, fortunately, it happens in our smaller brothers in rare cases.
The second type of diabetes is characterized by the fact that beta cells produce insulin, but in a very small amount for the normal functioning of organs and systems. Occurs in 70-80% of all cases. The disease does not involve the use of hormones, but specific treatment is necessary. Otherwise, complications in the form of insulin dependence, characteristic of the first type, can not be avoided.
Which breeds are more susceptible
Veterinary statistics show that in 50% of cases, diabetes develops in older animals. As soon as a pet has crossed the 5-year mark, the higher its chances of developing this dangerous pathology of the endocrine system. Veterinarians also note that the disease is more common in representatives of the Burmese breed.
The clinical picture
Symptoms of diabetes depend on the type of disease. The insulin-dependent form has a pronounced clinical picture. A characteristic feature is a strong thirst due to an increased concentration of glucose, which is experiencing acute insulin deficiency.
The urinary system cannot cope with the load, so its volume increases. Along with polydipsia, dehydration occurs.
- Polyuria. Urine discharge is frequent and painful.
- Increased or no appetite.
- Weight loss.
- Changing the appearance of the wool cover. It loses its Shine, sheds and looks untidy.
- Diarrhea, vomiting.
- Acrid smell of acetone from urine and skin.
- Lethargy, apathy.
- Lack of coordination.
In severe cases, there are loss of consciousness, convulsions. The further the disease develops, the worse the animal looks: ulcers appear on the skin, the hair falls out, and fatty liver dystrophy develops.
The second type of diabetes mellitus is characterized by the absence of the smell of acetone, painless but frequent urination, and increased appetite. The cat loses weight, drinks a lot, but the condition is satisfactory.
Diagnostics in the veterinary clinic
If diabetes is suspected, a comprehensive diagnosis is performed. The correct diagnosis can not be made based only on the study of clinical signs and determining the amount of water consumed by the pet.
The veterinarian conducts laboratory and clinical studies of the animal’s urine and blood. The main indicators that indicate diabetes are the sugar content in the urine and the presence and concentration of glucose in the blood.
Important: healthy adult cats have normal sugar levels of 5-7 mmol per liter.
To get complete information, you need to determine the level of insulin, acid-base balance, for which a General blood test is performed. To make the analysis accurate, it is performed on an empty stomach.
Ultrasound examination is performed to establish the pathology of the pancreas. Examinations of the digestive system, liver, and heart – for a differentiated diagnosis.
Treatment method and prognosis
Treatment for the first and second types of diabetes will differ. In the first case, insulin therapy (short-acting drugs) is performed. If the disease develops in the second type, the veterinarian prescribes long-term or medium-acting insulin, or replaces hormones with drugs that reduce blood sugar and increase glucose levels.
Compliance with the dosage is the key to successful treatment. Drugs that lower sugar have a lot of side effects.
Insulin is used in the form of injections, which is associated with certain difficulties. It is quite difficult to calculate the optimal dose. Measurements are carried out in a veterinary clinic. It will take from 18 hours to 24 hours to determine the glucose level after the introduction of an insulin drug.
Next, the veterinarian calculates the time, duration and strength of the hormonal drug. The information obtained helps to correctly create an individual scheme, according to which the cat will have to take insulin.
As for the prognosis, for diabetes, it is cautious or unfavorable (for the first type)
What to do at home
The owner is required to follow the instructions of a specialist and provide the sick pet with the best possible care. Diabetes is not a sentence. Even if it is impossible to cure it, it is quite possible to extend the life of a four-legged pet to a person.
The owner will have to constantly monitor the sugar in the blood and urine of fluffy. Most cat owners use special test strips to determine sugar.
Seeing the result, the owner can make the necessary adjustments to the diet and take appropriate measures to reduce this dangerous indicator. Glucose meters give a more accurate result, as a rule, they are used in severe stages of the disease.
Cat nutrition is of great importance. The diet is made individually. The specialist takes into account the General condition of the cat, sugar indicators. The diet must contain protein and fiber. Carbohydrates are allowed, but they can not be abused! Food is fractional, but no more than 6 times.
With this treatment regimen, the pancreas experiences minimal stress, and glucose is maintained at an optimal level throughout the day. The specialist usually recommends certain medicinal foods for use. The owner needs to understand that a sick pet will have to adhere to this diet for life.
Pathology is dangerous with serious complications. An increased concentration of glucose has a detrimental effect on health. Among the most common consequences that diabetes leads to is, first of all, ketoacidosis, which can result in the death of a four-legged pet.
Infusion and insulin therapy can save him, but you need to act quickly. Other complications are diabetic neuropathy, hypoglycemia, hypokalemia, which also often lead to death.
Veterinarians say that almost any disease can be prevented. You can avoid diabetes, but you need to follow prevention measures. First of all, you need to properly feed your pet. His diet should be balanced.
Premium and super premium food classes are best suited for this purpose. They contain vitamins and minerals in an ideal ratio. Of course, they are not cheap, but you should not try to save on your pet’s health.
The cat must move, as the disease is diagnosed in most cases in inactive individuals with excess weight.
Before buying a kitten, it is advisable to familiarize yourself with its pedigree. If he had diabetes patients in his family, the risk that the pathology will be inherited is very high.
Finally, do not neglect routine checkups at the veterinarian, so that the disease can be detected at the initial stage.
Hi, my name is Mike Fletcher. I am 36 years old and a veterinarian at a veterinary clinic in Granby Colorado. And this is my blog about Pets. I hope I can answer your questions here.