Obesity , whether caused by diabetes or pre-existing, can of course have its own problems and complications, such as heart disease and insulin resistance. In fact, overweight can lead to diabetes in dogs or cats just as it does in humans, through insulin resistance
Being overweight is a hazard particularly in cats, due to the possibility of fatty liver (hepatic lipadosis) that comes from fasting, or too-drastic weight-loss diets. A cat with inadequate food will start trying to consume stored body fat.
An overweight cat should never be allowed to stop eating, or diet too drastically, (less than 60-70% of required calorie intake is too drastic) because the liver can be quickly overwhelmed with processing all that fat, leading to fatty liver, which can be fatal.
A healthy pancreas produces amylin as well as insulin, and the combination helps regulate stomach contents release and carbohydrate usage in the body. Recently, type-II diabetic humans treated with insulin+amylin have been shown to gain less weight and control blood sugar better than those treated with insulin alone. This is apparently not the case with Type-I diabetics, so this treatment may be more appropriate in cats than in dogs, someday.
With dogs, the results of informal polls taken at CDMB show that most were overweight at diagnosis. As with dogs, the typical cat with diabetes is generally overweight at diagnosis, though if diagnosis comes later, they may instead be drastically underweight.
Obviously the best route is to prevent overweight in the first place, by counting calories, and making sure the animal gets plenty of exercise. An active cat's energy requirements are normally 45-65kcal/kg. Complete details on calorie counting and nutrient composition at the link below.
Unregulated diabetics without proper insulin dosage will need considerably more food! It is usually counterproductive to try reducing calories for an unregulated diabetic, since their food is not being absorbed into the body and they will always be hungry.
Reduction of weight to normal levels also reduces any insulin resistance the added weight caused. Weight reduction for both pets and people should be done gradually, over an approximate 2-4 month period.
In cats, losing the excess weight may mean the ability to stop insulin injections.
Even if weight loss doesn't mean the end of insulin shots for your pet, it can mean that he or she needs less insulin to stay in control.
A diet containing more fiber can be helpful for dogs (and perhaps cats) who are both overweight and diabetic . Fiber helps with weight loss and can prevent food spikes; the increase in fiber can lead to a decrease in the pet's insulin needs.
Exercise and active playEdit
Dr. Harkin of Kansas State University is a believer in exercise for all his patients--canine and feline. Active play can be a fun way to "work out".
Note: Exercise will often noticeably affect a cat or dog's insulin requirements and blood sugar levels. Informal polls on the FDMB show that the effect differs considerably from animal to animal, and may either raise or lower blood glucose levels depending on the individual. This is something you should find out about your pet and keep in mind when increasing exercise. Exercise should be avoided at or near the peak time of the pet's insulin, as the action can result in hypoglycemia.
In order to avoid exercise induced lows, it needs to become a part of the daily routine. Regularly exercised muscles aren't as dependent on the insulin "key" to receive glucose from the body for their fuel.
- Determine if your cat is overweight
- Overview on overweight cats
- Why being overweight makes all other health problems hard to treat (from the FDMB)
- Feline Obesity: Consequences & Management-WSAVA 2004-Drs. Rand & Martin
- Cat Weight Chart--Visual Guide from Purina
- Feline Weight Loss-Diet-North American Veterinary Conference-2006
- Influence of Glucose Dosage on Interpretation of Intravenous Glucose Tolerance Tests in Lean and Obese Cats Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine-2002
- Dog Weight Chart-Visual Guide from Purina
- Study of the Effects of Obesity Correction on the Echocardiographic and Arterial Blood Pressure Parameters of Dogs-WSAVA 2005
- Canine Weight Loss Program-North American Veterinary Conference-2005
- Canine Weight Loss-North American Veterinary Conference-2006
- Pet Education.com-Drs. Foster & Smith-Characteristics of a Good Reducing Diet
- Pet Education.com-Drs. Foster & Smith-Determining Overweight-Body Scores
- Pet Education.com-Drs. Foster & Smith-Weight Reduction Programs for Dogs
- Insulin Resistance and Obesity in Dogs-ACVIM 2006-Page 23, Abstract #63
- The Growing Problem of Obesity in Dogs & Cats-Journal of Nutrition 2006
- visual diagrams of overweight and underweight cats and dogs
- Dog ear infection
- Pancreatitis in dogs
- Ivermectin for dogs
- How long are dogs pregnant
- Why do dogs eat grass
- Purina dog chow coupons
- ↑ FDMB thread regarding obesity and its problems
- ↑ . A 2005 ACVIM abstract (#93) by Drs. Fleeman, Rand, et al., shows that in obese dogs, insulin sensitivity is cut in half.
- ↑ hepatic lipidosis
- ↑ Weight Reduction in Cats, from VIN
- ↑ Weight Reduction-Cats-Drs. Foster & Smith Pet Education Library
- ↑ Symlin -- synthetic amylin to help control weight in Type-II diabetics
- ↑ PetsHealth.com Cats overweight at diagnosis
- ↑ Maxshouse-Feline Nutrition-Energy Requirements
- ↑ PetsHealth.com on diabetes in dogs
- ↑ Pet Education.dom-Drs. Foster & Smith-Obesity FAQ's
- ↑ News release on diabetes in cats
- ↑ High Fiber diet in diabetics
- ↑ Therapeutic Goals for Otherwise Healthy Diabetic Cats-WSAVA 2004-Drs. Rand & Martin
- ↑ BD Diabetes-Diet & Exercise for Diabetic Cats
- ↑ BD Diabetes-Diet & Exercise for Diabetic Dogs
- ↑ Readers Digest-Mixing Medications and Exercise
- ↑ Diabetes and Exercise page 2
- ↑ Diabetic Phenomema-WSAVA 2008