Diabetes mellitus is the most common disease of the endocrine system in cats. Adult and aged cats are susceptible The most common reason of this pathology is obesity. Therefore, it is very important for owners to monitor their weight, avoid overeating, and if necessary, use diet food, as well as increase physical activity. The second factor in the development of diabetes is any inflammatory process in the body that causes insulin resistance. Quite often diabetes is a result of chronic pancreatitis. In older cats, the cause of diabetes can also be a malignant process. Sometimes diabetes in cats can be caused by long-term use of corticosteroids. Acromegaly can also be the cause of diabetes.
The main symptoms of diabetes are increased fluid intake and urination, weight loss, and increased appetite. Diagnosis of this disease is carried out on the spot, in the clinic, and does not take much time. This includes a detailed medical history, a thorough examination, complete blood count, biochemistry, urinalysis, and ultrasound. Treatment, if there are no complications at the time of diagnosis, as well as comorbidities, is carried out by the homeowners. Daily subcutaneous insulin shots and blood sugar control once a week until sugar stabilizes, diet are required.
If you go to the clinic in advance and before complications, and follow all the recommendations of the doctor, as well as in the absence of concomitant diseases, the prognosis is very favorable – until the full recovery!
Hyperthyroidism is the second most common disease of the feline endocrine system. Older cats (7+) are susceptible to it. It is caused by hyperplasia of the thyroid gland, and very rarely by carcinoma of the thyroid gland. This pathology releases into the blood a large amount of thyroid hormone (T4). It has a detrimental effect on the entire body, especially on the cardiovascular system, leading to hypertension, heart disease and subsequently to heart failure. Since this pathology appears in older cats, it often masks chronic kidney disease, to which cats, unfortunately, also have a high predisposition.
The main symptoms of hyperthyroidism are increased appetite and weight loss, vocalization, restlessness, aggressive behavior, dull coat, profuse defecation, and sometimes diarrhea. Diagnosis is made on-site at the clinic and does not take much time. This includes a detailed history, a thorough examination, a complete blood count, biochemistry, a specific T4 test, urinalysis to assess kidney function, blood pressure measurement, a chest X-ray and/or ultrasound if a cardiac problem is suspected, and a specific test indicating cardiac abnormality – proBNP.
Today there are 3 options for the treatment of hyperthyroidism: taking pills for life (the most common and cheapest way), a special diet (more complicated, since cats are often quite picky about food) and iodine therapy (conducted in Finland, requires a long hospital, a very expensive treatment). In the past, thyroidectomy, a surgical method of treatment, was also used, but is now used very rarely, as it has many side effects and is not being performed in Estonia.
As diabetes, if you go to the clinic in time and follow all the doctor’s recommendations, hyperthyroidism is perfectly under control; well-being, behavior and appearance significantly improve, and serious complications are prevented.
Keep a close eye on your pets and pay attention to any changes in their behavior and well-being, so that we can help them together in time.