Caring for our older felines with Diabetes
Our feline friends can develop diabetes, which is when the body cannot produce enough insulin to balance blood sugar, or glucose, levels.
This is when their pancreas does not produce enough insulin, or they have a poor response to the hormone. The insulin is needed to absorb glucose (sugar) into the bloodstream after eating and carry it to cells around the body to enable them to develop and grow.
They commonly get the type two form which is caused by problems in the pancreas. Sometimes, this can be a secondary disease or advances in response to certain drugs.
With no regulation over their amount of glucose in the blood, their levels can become hyperglycaemia (dangerously high) or hypoglycaemia (very low).
Each cat is different, and some cases can be well-managed, but some may have hidden health conditions which can mean they do not behave so well to treatment.
Depending on veterinary guidance they will need a good diet as well as insulin injections.
Those within the higher risk bracket (hyperglycaemia), are usually the older felines and those overweight. Unfortunately, this can affect any age or breed, but it is more common with middle-aged animals.
Common symptoms (can also be a sign of other conditions) to look out for are
- Excess thirst
- Weight loss
- Increase in peeing
- Increase in appetite
- Poor coat
Your vet will provide information and guidance concerning medication and weight. It is very important to keep their weight under control with exercise and the right diet.
As their guardian, you know you rcat well and if you ever become worried or concerned always seek veterinary advice and help.