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Dr. Sarsfield: The Number 1 Way to Prevent Diabetes in your Cat

Diabetes is a fairly common disease of older cats. The disease is caused by a lack of insulin activity which results in a very high level of blood sugar. The signs shown by diabetic cats include increased thirst, increased urination, increased appetite and significant weight loss. Rarely, cats with diabetes may present with vomiting, diarrhea or difficulty walking. If the veterinarians at the Animal Hospital of Dauphin County suspect your cat may have diabetes, we will run a panel of blood tests and a urinalysis. When the diagnosis is confirmed, we’ll put your cat on a special diet and start injections of insulin twice daily. Blood sugars are checked regularly to monitor the response to the diet and insulin. Goals of treatment are to keep the blood sugar low enough so the excess drinking and urination subside and the cat regains some of the lost weight. Diabetes is much easier to prevent than it is to treat. The number one risk factor for diabetic cats is obesity. Keeping your cat at an ideal body weight through proper nutrition and exercise is the best way to prevent diabetes. – Dr. Sarsfield.