Cats and diabetes, yes cats and diabetes. What’s with diabetes it doesn’t even spare our poor pets? When I first heard that cats also are exposed to the risk of developing diabetes it took me by shock and then I calmed down. As in humans, the symptoms are very mild initially then progress rapidly. Cats may not show glaring symptoms till the sugar in the urine sky rockets. Cats, I’m not a lover of them but there’s scores of folks who simply adore them and are gaga over them. This love compels them to have a pet cat and when they discover the cat has diabetes it shatters them. In reality it is very sad.
The symptoms of the disease include increase thirst, frequent urination; the cat displays an unusual sluggishness, it seems sad, tiredness is present (this is because the body is using up muscle and fat for energy). The cat loses weight even though it has an increased appetite. Movements are slow, as in getting in and out of the litter bin, climbing stairs and jumping. The muscles in the cat become weak due to diabetes. A prominent sign indicating nerve damage is the “plantigrade position” wherein the cat walks on its entire back hocks instead of on its toes only. Frosty paws are common in cats with this symptom.
Normally the cats are either obese or very thin by the time the symptoms show, this depends entirely on how much the insulin the beta cells are able to produce.
Some common symptoms that tell of the cat facing the risk of diabetes are frequent urination, weakness, unkempt hair and coat, difficulty in climbing and jumping, weight loss, lethargy, extreme thirst, abnormal walking position and a ravenous appetite. Among cats the males are more commonly affected by this disease. As the disease progresses it leads to metabolic disturbances which in turn leads to dehydration, loss of appetite, weakness and vomiting. The older, obese cats are at a higher risk of developing diabetes.
Cats remain active in the early stages and they are alert as well. But with the progression of the disease the cats become weaker in their rear legs; they develop liver infections as well as secondary bacterial infections. The cats develop breathing problems. They are likely to develop a dangerous condition called ketoacidosis, immediate and proper treatment is vital. Upon testing the cats always register high sugar content in the blood and urine. Watching the cats suffer brings heartache to the owner.
However as in humans, if the symptoms are detected in the early stages then it can be controlled and prevented with the efforts of the owner, also with a good understanding between the owner and the veterinarian. Cats are known to live long; healthy lives so don’t get all shook up and confess that your cat’s got diabetes and what am I going to do? If you love your cat like you say you do then hook up with the cat and the vet and soon you will have to take your word back!!
Three cheers for you and your cat!!
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