Animal Update: Diabetes In Cats

(KCBS) – We all know that diabetes is becoming a huge problem in this country; could that be the case for pets as well?

“It is,” said Jennifer Scarlett, DVM, co-president of the San Francisco SPCA. “Especially in cats, we find that cats are mimicking our own sort of disease distribution in that we see more and more cats diagnosed with diabetes.”

“As veterinarians,” she continued, “we don’t have a central database but it seems that about .2 to 1% of cats have been diagnosed with diabetes.”

Signs of a diabetic cat include one that is drinking more water – though keep in mind several things can cause that.

Other symptoms can include obvious things like increased appetite or weight loss, but diabetic cats are even susceptible to kidney failure.

“Obesity is the biggest risk factor,” warned Scarlett. “Some clinicians will say they have can have a 70% to 80% remission of the disease if you treat it early with diet. If the disease goes on, it becomes insulin dependent, meaning that you have to give shots once or twice a day to control it.”

Keeping your cat thin is perhaps the easiest and best way to prevent him or her from becoming diabetic.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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