Felis ISSN 2398-2950

Dietetic diet: for diabetes mellitus

Contributor(s): Marge Chandler

Pathophysiology

  • The immune mediated cause of diabetes mellitus which causes Type 1 diabetes mellitus in dogs is very rare in cats.
  • Cats usually have Type 2 diabetes mellitus   Diabetes mellitus  , characterized by insulin resistance and beta cell dysfunction.
  • Obesity   Obesity   is a leading cause of insulin resistance in cats (although some lean cats may develop low insulin sensitivity).
  • Other contributing causes include impaired insulin secretion, islet amyloid deposition and environmental factors.
  • Genetic predisposition also has a role, with some breeds (eg British and Australian Burmese   Burmese  ) having an increased risk.
  • Concurrent disorders which may contribute to insulin resistance include chronic pancreatitis   Pancreatitis  , infection, hyperthyroidism   Hyperthyroidism  , hyperadrenocorticism   Hyperadrenocorticism   (uncommon in cats), and acromegaly   Acromegaly  .
  • Indoor confinement and physical inactivity are risk factors for feline diabetes mellitus.
  • While it is sometimes thought that dry diets contribute to the risk, the proportion of dry food fed has not been shown to be a risk a factor in studies.
  • It has also been shown that neutering and high dietary fat but not high dietary carbohydrate content resulted in weight and fat gain in young normal cats.
  • High fat diets may also contribute to insulin resistance.
  • The effect of the amount, type and processing of carbohydrates in the diet on the risk of diabetes. mellitus in cats has not yet been conclusively proven.
  • Fat cats and thin cats also have different metabolic responses to carbohydrates, reinforcing the concept that obesity may be the most important risk factor
  • Most cats do require insulin to control blood glucose at the time of diagnosis of diabetes mellitus.
  • 50 to 70% of cats may have "transient" diabetes mellitus and not require insulin (the percentage of these which become insulin dependent in the future is not clear at this time.)

Dietary requirements

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Special considerations

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Diets

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Backus R C, Cave N J, Ganjam V K et al (2010) Age and body weight effects on glucose and insulin tolerance in colony cats maintained since weaning on high dietary carbohydrate. J Amin Physiol Anim Nutr (Berl) 94 (6), e318-328 PubMed.
  • Zini E, Osto M, Franchini M et al (2009) Hyperglycaemia but not hyperlipidaemia causes beta cell dysfunction and beta cell loss in the domestic cat. Diabetologia 52 (2), 336-346 PubMed.
  • Bennett N, Greco D S, Peterson M E et al (2006) Comparison of a low-carbohydrate low-fiber diet and a moderate-carbohydrate high-fiber diet in the management of feline diabetes mellitus. J Feline Med Surg (2), 73-84 PubMed.
  • Thiess S, Becskei C, Tomsa K et al (2004) Effects of high carbohydrate and high fat diet on plasma metabolite levels and on IV glucose tolerance test in intact and neutered male cats. J Feline Med Surg (4), 207-218 PubMed.
  • Bennett N (2002) Monitoring techniques for diabetes mellitus in the dog and the cat. Clin Tech Small Anim Pract 17 (2), 65-69 PubMed.
  • Zoran D L (2002) The carnivore connection to nutrition in cats. JAVMA 221 (11), 1559-1567 PubMed.
  • Nelson R W, Scott-Moncrieff J C, Feldman E C et al (2000) Effect of dietary insoluble fiber on control of glycemia in cats with naturally acquired diabetes mellitus. J Am Vet Med Assoc 216 (7), 1082-1088 PubMed.

Other sources of information

  • Fascetti A & Delaney S J (2012) Nutritional management of endocrine disease. In: Applied Veterinary Clinical Nutrition. Editors Fascetti A J and Delaney S J. Wiley Blackwell, West Sussex, UK. pp 289-300.
  • Feldman E D and Nelson R W (2004) Feline diabetes mellitus. In: Canine and Feline Endocrinology and Reproduction. 3rd ed. Saunders Co. St Louis, Missouri. pp 539-579.

 


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