Understanding Diabetes Mellitus in Cats

November marks National Pet Diabetes Month. This pet health awareness event is designed to spread the word and encourage dog and cat owners to learn more about diabetes. Diabetes mellitus occurs when the body does not produce enough insulin, stops making insulin, or is unable to use insulin properly. Insulin is a hormone naturally produced by the pancreas that converts dietary sugar (glucose) to energy for cells in the body. When glucose can’t be converted into energy, extra sugar can build in the blood. High concentrations of sugar in the bloodstream leads to health problems. This blog is all about cats, but don’t worry dog owners! We have a whole other post just for canines.

Know the Risks

Just like humans, there are certain cats that are more prone to diabetes. Diabetes can be diagnosed in cats of all ages and breeds. Some risk factors can be managed, while others are due to aging or genetics.

  • Obesity
  • Age – Older cats are more prone
  • Neutered males
  • Physical inactivity
  • Genetics
  • Other health conditions including pancreas and hormone disorders

Detection is Key

There are common warning signs associated with diabetes. If detected, visit your veterinarian soon get an exam for your cat examined. Early diagnosis and treatment are essential to prevent complications and other serious health conditions.

  • Excessive thirst
  • Excessive urination—may include accidents outside the litterbox
  • Change in appetite
  • Lack of energy or lethargy
  • Doesn’t groom (cats)
  • Dull or thinning haircoat

Diagnosing and Testing

There are a variety of ways that your veterinarian can test and diagnose your cat for diabetes. These may include:

  • General physical exam
  • Urine testing for ketones or glucose
  • Blood testing to determine glucose levels
  • A1C Testing with A1Care

The A1Care A1C test is a blood test that measures the average blood glucose levels A1C Diabetes Testover the past 70 days in dogs. It’s used for diagnosis and early screening of diabetes. Because this test provides long-term monitoring, it shows how well your pet’s treatment plan is working. The A1Care test is also available for dogs.

 Diabetes Treatment Options

Currently, there is no cure for diabetes in cats. Fortunately, with proper treatment methods, this disease and its symptoms can be managed successfully. Regular vet check-ups help spot changes in your cat’s condition.

  • Regular check-ups
  • Insulin Injections
  • Blood glucose monitoring
  • Dietary changes to manage weight and energy needs. This may include therapeutic foods.
How is Insulin Given to a Cat?
Insulin is injected subcutaneous, just under the top layer of the skin.

  • Traditional injections are a common method of choice. The correct dose of insulin is drawn out of a vial using a needle and syringe, then administered to your cat.
  • Insulin pens are a device that holds multiple doses of insulin inside of a chamber and can be reused. Pen needles attach and detach from the top of the pen for each injection.

While the thought of giving injections and managing diabetes may seem overwhelming, most cats continue to live a long, happy, and good quality of life when their health is maintained. At VetRxDirect we provide a full selection of medications and products for diabetic dogs and cats. We will work closely with you and your veterinarian to help you manage your pet’s health.

Does your cat have diabetes? Is there a particular medicine or product that worked well? Please share your experience with us and don’t forget to support #petdiabetesmonth

Vetsulin Pet Insulin Availability

Vetsulin is Back In Stock at VetRxDirect!

Vetsulin, the popular pet insulin, is once again available at VetRxDirect, a veterinarian trusted online pet meds pharmacy.

vetsulinVetsulin (Porcine Insulin Zinc Suspension) is a hormone prescribed by your pet’s veterinarian to help your pet’s body turn food into energy. Insulin is prescribed when a pet has diabetes.

Ask your pet’s veterinarian if it is best to switch from your pet’s current insulin to Vetsulin. There are a few insulin suspensions available and your veterinarian is the best source of advice on which diabetes medication to give to your pet.

Remember, Vetsulin is a temperature sensitive pet medication and special precautions should be taken when ordering this product if you live in extreme hot or cold. Insulin is always shipped next-day with a cold pack from VetRxDirect. Extra shipping and handling charges apply.

Be sure to sign up for our newsletter and check our blog regularly to receive updates on the availability of hard to find pet drugs and pet supplies.

Pets Get Diabetes Too

Among the many diseases that we humans share with our pets one of the most common is diabetes mellitus, or just diabetes. Sadly, as with people, diabetes is in the rise in our pets too.

As you probably know, diabetes is a disorder in the way the body uses food for energy due to a lack of insulin, which is a hormone that helps your body break down glucose found in food. If your pet lacks enough insulin, produced by the pancreas, glucose can accumulate in the bloodstream and that results in diabetes.

What are the risk factors for diabetes in pets?

Just as some humans are more prone to diabetes, so are some pets.  But you can manage some of the risk factors, like obesity, for your pet. Other risk factors are simply genetic.

Risk factors for canine diabetes:

  •  Obesity
  •  Age – Older dogs are more likely to have canine diabetes
  •  Breed type – Some breeds are prone to the disease including: cocker spaniels, dachshunds, poodles, dobermann pinschers, schnauzers, golden retrievers, and terriers.

Risk factors for feline diabetes:

  •  Obesity
  •  Age – Older cats are more likely to have feline diabetes
  •  Genetics
  •  Other health conditions including hyperthyriodism and chronic pancreatitis

How do I know if my pet has diabetes?

Since your dog or cat can’t tell you how he or she is feeling and blood tests aren’t part of a pet owner’s normal routine, watch for these common symptoms of diabetes:

  •  Extreme thirst
  •  Increased urination
  •  Change in appetite
  •  Lack of energy or lethargy
  •  Thinning or dull fur

If your pet exhibits some or all of these symptoms, visit your veterinarian right away to get an exam for your dog or cat evaluated. Early diagnosis and treatment is critical in avoiding complications related to diabetes.

If my pet has diabetes, are there treatments that help?

The good news is that with the right treatment and care, many diabetic dogs and cats enjoy long lives and good quality of life too. If your pet is diagnosed with diabetes, your veterinarian will develop a treatment plan that may include:

  •  Dietary changes to manage weight and energy needs
  •  Daily insulin injections to manage insulin levels
  •  Regular exercise
ProZinc for Diabetic Cats

ProZinc is Available for Purchase at VetRxDirect

At VetRxDirect we stock a full range of medications and products for diabetic cats and dogs and we’re happy to work closely with you and your veterinarian to help you manage your pet’s disease.

Does your dog or cat have diabetes? Is there a particular medicine or product that  worked well for your diabetic pet? Please share your experience with us – we value your input.

In good health,