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Obesity and Diabetes Are Increasing in Cats

Wed, 11/10/2010 - 7:32am
Bio-Medicine.Org

ST. JOSEPH, Mo., Nov. 10, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- Diabetes isn’t just a human disease. This November – American Diabetes Month® – pet owners should know that the feline members of their families could suffer from the condition, too.

Type 2 diabetes is the most common form in the United States and occurs in both cats and people. Feline diabetes, a treatable and manageable disease on the rise, affects approximately one in 200 cats nationwide.

"Similar to humans, obesity predisposes cats to diabetes, making diet a major factor in maintaining a cat’s health," says Ruth MacPete, DVM, a San Diego based veterinarian. "Feline diabetes, like most diseases, is easier to treat the earlier it is diagnosed."

Early warning signs include:

  • Increased thirst
  • Sudden increase in appetite
  • Sudden weight loss (despite an increase in appetite)
  • Increased urination
  • Increased lethargy

Most cats with feline diabetes may still maintain an active and healthy lifestyle. Along with appropriate diet and exercise, veterinarians often recommend insulin injections.

"Veterinarians are fortunate enough to now have PROZINC® insulin, the first and only FDA approved long-acting insulin for cats, available to help them effectively regulate their feline diabetic patients,” says MacPete. As with all insulins, cats should be evaluated for pre-existing conditions and currently prescribed medications prior to treatment with PROZINC. Routine monitoring of clinical signs and blood parameters, such as glucose and fructosamine, is essential to maintain a regulated cat.

While November is American Diabetes Month®, pet owners should monitor their cats for symptoms of feline diabetes year-round. The American Association of Feline Practitioners recommends that a veterinarian examine cats at least once a year and twice annually if they are over the age

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