Diabetes mellitus (DM) is a chronic condition in which a deficiency of the hormone insulin impairs the body’s ability to metabolize sugar. It is one of the most common endocrine (hormonal) diseases of cats.
There are two types of diabetes mellitus. Type I DM occurs when the body does not produce enough insulin. This can be the result of destruction of the cells in the pancreas that normally produce insulin. Type II DM occurs when enough insulin is produced but something interferes with it’s ability to be utilized by the body.
DM usually affects middle-aged to older cats of either sex. Any breed can be affected.
DM leads to an inability of the tissue to utilize glucose. Disease occurs from high blood sugar levels, inadequate delivery of sugar to the tissues and changes in the body metabolism.
Diagnosis and Treatment Notes:
- Diabetes Mellitus is generally diagnosed by blood and urine tests.
- Treatment depends on the severity of the disease, your individual pet, and your veterinarian. Treatment generally consists of insulin injections that are given one to two times daily for the rest of your pet’s life or for as long as the condition lasts. Oral medications can be used in some cats with this condition. Discuss treatment details when your pet is diagnosed with this condition.
What to Watch for*:
- Increased thirst
- Increased frequency of urination
- Weight loss despite a good appetite
- Sudden blindness
- If your pet does not eat
- If you pet is vomiting or acts lethargic
*Please notify us if you notice any of the above signs or if you have any questions!