Let’s face it; when you have a diabetic cat, you must pay more attention to your feline friend’s health. Although cat diabetes doesn’t lead to blindness or circulatory problems like it does in humans, there are certain problems that go with this disease that you must be aware of. Here are some complications that a kitty with feline diabetes may face.
Your kitty’s body normally breaks down glucose for energy. However, if your kitty is an untreated feline diabetic, glucose is not available for fuel, so his body will try to break down fat instead. When this happens, ketones are produced as a waste product. These ketones will build up in his body, leading to some very serious problems.
Symptoms of feline ketoacidosis include:
- Either drinking excessive amounts of water, OR not drinking any water at all
- Urinating often
- Not eating for more than twelve hours
- Lethargy and weakness
- Breathing fast
- Breath smells sweet, or like nail polish remover
This is a veterinary emergency, and your kitty needs immediate treatment, or he’ll die.
This may be the first symptom you’ll notice of diabetes in cats. Your pet may walk on his “wrists” on his front legs, or on his hocks (the “elbows”) on his back legs. This strange walk is due to nerve damage caused by high blood glucose levels.
Diabetic neuropathy is sometimes reversed when your kitty’s blood sugar levels are regulated properly. It does take some time and patience, however, before this can happen.
Overweight kitties who suddenly stop eating are at risk for this problem. Like ketoacidosis, it’s a result of the body trying to use fat for fuel instead of glucose. In this condition, the fat builds up in your kitty’s liver, which causes swelling. The symptoms are similar to those of ketoacidosis, mentioned above, with the addition of jaundice. You’ll notice a yellowish cast to the whites of his eyes, his gums, and the insides of his ears.
This is an emergency situation. If your kitty won’t eat, your vet may have to tube feed him. Although hepatic lipidosis is fatal if not treated, most kitties get better after being fed by tube.
Hypoglycemia In Cats
If your feline diabetic gets too much insulin, or doesn’t eat on schedule, or has an unusually vigorous exercise session, his blood sugar levels can drop to dangerous levels. This affects the brain first, since it can’t store glucose like other organs can. Your pet may become dizzy, weak, listless, and uncoordinated. He can have seizures, and may go into a coma. This condition can be fatal very quickly.
Keep some Karo syrup on hand so you can put some into a syringe (without a needle) and squirt it into his mouth. If he’s already unconscious, rub some syrup on his gums and under his tongue. Wrap him in a blanket and get him to the vet right away.
Can Complications In Cats With Diabetes Be Prevented?
The best way to avoid these complications in your kitty is to try to keep the glucose levels in his blood where they should be. Natural remedies for cats that include the herbs goat’s rue, astragalus, and fenugreek, along with the supplement chromium, have been shown to help regulate blood glucose levels naturally. In fact, many people who live with diabetic cats have been able to reduce or even eliminate insulin injections by treating their felines with herbal pet remedies.
If your kitty has diabetes, you’ll want to prevent these complications. Don’t wait for your kitty to become a victim. Discover how you can protect your feline companion now.