Puggy, a long-haired Persian cat, came into one of our VetLove clinics because his owner had noticed that he wasn’t eating well and had vomited a couple of times over a couple days. He had also been losing weight. Upon further examination, Puggy’s owner mentioned that he may have been drinking and urinating more than usual.
While they hadn’t noticed him drinking more, they had noticed that the litter box was heavier and harder to lift during cleaning.
Visually, Puggy looked great, even though he wasn’t eating super well and had vomited recently. He was happy, smooching up to everyone and purring. We decided to do a blood test to rule anything out, but the results showed that Puggy was in fact diabetic!
Yes, cats and dogs can get diabetes just as humans can. In fact, diabetes mellitus (sometimes called DM or just diabetes) is one of the most common endocrine (hormonal) diseases in cats.
Many clients who have cats with diabetes discover the illness after noticing their cat is drinking much more water than normal, usually hanging out in the bathtub or shower and, in some cases, they will find them in the sink trying to drink from the tap. This is an important sign that shouldn’t be missed.
Early detection is the key to successful treatment. Luckily, Puggy’s owner had caught it early before he became very ill. In this case, Puggy didn’t even need to be hospitalised to treat his diabetes. He went home with medication and will require regular blood glucose testing, occasional blood testing, and daily medication for the rest of his life.
Diabetes is manageable in our pets and they can go on to live a long and happy life, with the management and dedication of their pet parents. If left uncontrolled, diabetes can become life-threatening.
The first step in treating the disease is getting a correct diagnosis. If you suspect your cat may be drinking excessively or just feel like something is ‘wrong’, do not hesitate to take them to see your VetLove vet.