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General Health Concerns
Diabetes

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Diabetes, also referred to as Diabetes Mellitus (DM), affects a pet’s ability to properly use or produce insulin; their body stops producing insulin altogether or cannot produce the quantity necessary. With diabetes, a pet’s body also inhibits organs and muscles from converting sugars into energy, creating a condition known as hyperglycemia – an excess of glucose in the bloodstream.

Female, obese, and elderly canines run a much higher risk of obtaining diabetes, whereas male felines have twice the risk as female cats. While the cause of each individual pet’s case is difficult to determine, genetics and obesity are believed to be the top two risk factors.

Symptoms that may indicate diabetes: 

  • Anorexia 
  • Dehydration
  • Depression
  • Excessive thirst
  • Increased urination
  • Labored breathing
  • Sudden increase in appetite and excessive hunger
  • Sweet smelling breath
  • Tiredness combined with weakness
  • Unexplainable weight loss
  • Vomiting

Treatment for diabetes

If we suspect that a cat may have diabetes, we usually perform a blood count, chemical profile, and urinalysis as standard tests to diagnose diabetes. Once a positive diagnosis is made, our veterinarian will discuss a custom treatment plan with you. Disease management differs for every pet depending upon their current health status and activity level. 

Nutrition is also an important aspect of care. We commonly enforce a strict nutritional diet alongside owner-administered insulin. You will receive proper instruction about correct dosages and timing prior to administering the insulin on your own.  Diabetic cats perform best with regularly scheduled meals, and insulin dosages should be given at the same time every day. Diabetes is incurable, but the sooner a pet is examined and diagnosed, the sooner the disease can be managed; and the better the pet’s outlook is.  There are some cats who will become transient (stop needing insulin) after appropriate management especially if they became diabetic after steroids or an infection of the pancreas.

Please contact our veterinary office if you suspect that your pet might be suffering from diabetes.


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