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Feline Diabetes

By Dr. Christine Simon

Tampa, FL – Diabetes is a disorder of insulin production and utilization.  This causes an inability to properly absorb sugar into the tissues.  These patients are usually eating ravenously, drinking enormous amounts of water, producing amazing amounts of urine, and losing weight.  If allowed to continue without treatment, these patients may begin to produce ketones (a tissue toxin) which may then cause a reduced appetite, vomiting and lethargy.  There are many underlying causes such as obesity, chronic pancreatitis and certain medications.  Diabetes is managed with twice daily insulin injections and a high protein diet.  The most common complication of diabetes treatment is hypoglycemia (low blood sugar).  However, home monitoring of blood sugar, proper insulin selection, and vigilance keeps this to a minimum. If diagnosed early and treated properly greater than half of diabetic cats can come off insulin and continue the high protein diet as maintenance.

Also see: Diabetes Mellitus in Cats

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