Diabetes in Felines | News
As a veterinarian, I always cringe when I diagnose a cat with diabetes. How will the person react? Will they want to euthanize their pet? It stuns me to know that 10% of cats newly diagnosed with diabetes will be euthanized.
Another 10% will be euthanized in the first year of treatment for a variety of reasons:
- It can be costly to manage a diabetic
- Adhering to a schedule of twice daily injections
- The difficulty of finding someone to manage or board a diabetic when you want to travel
- The crisis of access to care in veterinary medicine
- Conflicting advice on the internet.
These are just a few of the reasons people choose euthanasia.
What are the signs of diabetes in cats?
- Increased/excessive urination.
- Increased/excessive thirst.
- Increased/excessive appetite.
- Weight loss
Once you convince someone it is not a death sentence for the pet you also have to convince them that their cat can live with diabetes and have a good quality of life, then treatment options can be entertained. The purpose of this blog post is to inform you that some of the diabetes breakthroughs in people can benefit cats that are newly diagnosed. A class of drugs known as SGPT2 inhibitors, drugs such as:
- Jardiance and Invokana just to name a few are being used to treat feline diabetes.
- Bexacat is the brand name for bexaglifozin (Brenzavvy is the brand name for humans) is a tablet that is given once a day to cats which also suffer from Type-2 diabetes much like people.
These drugs are directed at treating insulin resistance which is a hallmark of Type-2 diabetes.
Who is a candidate for Bexacat?
-Only newly diagnosed diabetics that are not sick (pancreatitis or other ailments) from their diabetes.
What are the risks?
-There is a low risk of hypoglycemia and diabetic ketoacidosis. Your veterinarian will monitor your pet for this after treatment begins.
How can you prevent diabetes?
- Do not let your cat get overweight or obese
- Take your cat to the veterinarian for regular checkups (even if they seem perfectly healthy)
- Monitor yearly trends in bloodwork
- Avoid overuse of steroids to treat conditions like allergies
And I'm just going to put a plug in here for diet. Cats that are on a low carbohydrate are unlikely to be diagnosed with diabetes. So, if there is one thing that I would say to keep your pet healthy for life it would be: Do not feed your cat kibble? You say "but he loves it!" To which I say, Never let a kibble cross your kitten's lips. What they never know will benefit them.