Symptoms and Treatment

 

Not surprisingly, the symptoms and causes of feline diabetes seem to be the same as in humans. Feline diabetes usually occurs in overweight or middle-aged cats. Symptoms include frequent urination, excessive thirst, and unexplained weight loss. A veterinarian should be consulted if a cat exhibits any of these signs.

 

“(From a clinical perspective) diabetes in a cat is essentially the same condition as in dogs, but a cat’s unique nutritional needs makes the management of the disease much more challenging than in dogs,” said Gary Norsworthy, DVM, of the Alamo Feline Health Center in San Antonio, Texas. Norsworthy, an expert in feline veterinary care..”

Traditionally, veterinary diets for diabetic cats have followed canine models and have been formulated to be high in complex carbohydrates and fiber to help slow the absorption of glucose, a method that works well with diabetic dogs. Cats, however, are carnivores and have much higher requirements for protein compared to dogs. In addition, cats lack glucokinase, the enzyme used by most mammals to clear glucose from the bloodstream. They rely on a less efficient enzyme to metabolize carbohydrates and clear glucose, which can be a particular disadvantage for diabetic cats.

The treatment goal for diabetes is to gain better control over blood glucose levels and minimize the extreme highs and lows inherent with this disease. Insulin injections or oral medication, exercise, and regularly timed meals can help manage this chronic illness, but dietary management is also very important.

Managing cats with diabetes may be easier for your veterinarian and you thanks to a revolutionary new diet from Ralston Purina available only through veterinarians. Purina’s extensive research in feline nutrition has led to the development of CNM Clinical Nutrition Management® brand DM-Formula®, the first feline diet that works with the cat’s unique metabolism to help manage diabetes.

 

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