A diabetic cat is unable to move glucose into their cells to metabolise it for energy.
In Type 1 diabetes (insulin-dependent), the pancreas produces insufficient insulin, whereas in Type 2 diabetes (non-insulin-dependent), the body’s cells do not respond appropriately to insulin. Up to 90% of diabetic cats are Type 2, primarily because their tissues have developed a reduced insulin sensitivity.
In a diabetic cat, glucose accumulates in the blood and urine, instead of fueling the body.
Diabetes management depends on the severity of signs and stage of the disease.
Diabetic ketoacidosis is a more advanced form of diabetes that often requires hospitalisation. Concurrent infections should be addressed, because they can affect treatment success.
Cats with diabetes need a low-carbohydrate diet and many require twice-daily insulin injections to normalise the glucose metabolism, which is reflected in blood glucose levels. Blood glucose in diabetic cats on insulin can drop dangerously, so regular diagnostic testing and close observation are essential.
Most cats with well-controlled diabetes can live a good quality of life. Some cats may lose their need for insulin altogether, whereas others may require increasing amounts of insulin to maintain control.
Each cat is different and treatment response can vary.
Immediately seek help from your veterinarian if your cat stops eating, or shows signs of low blood glucose, such as lethargy, weakness, stumbling, seizures, tremors, or unconsciousness.
It is vital to begin end-of-life care discussions before your cat’s condition becomes unmanageable, or they begin losing their quality of life.
The team at Goodbye Good Boy offers individualised support to help you and your family navigate this difficult time by providing quality-of-life checks, in-home euthanasia, cremation and aftercare services, and personalised memorialisation options.
To learn more about our pet end-of-life services, give our team of passionate pet lovers a call on 1800 953 619.
This article was reproduced with permission from Goodbye Good Boy advisor Dr Dani McVety, of Lap Of Love.