Archive for November, 2012

Obesity and Diabetes

Tuesday, November 6th, 2012

Diabetes mellitus is one of the most common medical conditions occurring in the cat at a rate of 1 in
300. Diabetes mellitus is the inability to properly absorb glucose following a meal. The clinical signs
consist of weight loss, drinking excessively, urinating excessively and in the more advanced stages
vomiting, lethargy, and weakness.



Obesity, age, and gender are risk factors for diabetes mellitus in the cat. The male cat has a 50%
greater predisposition for developing diabetes than the female. Diabetes is classified similarly to
humans, with most cats having type II diabetes. These patients generally have a decrease in insulin
levels and decreased sensitivity at the insulin receptors. Insulin injections will be required in
approximately 75% of the feline patients. The current research has demonstrated that the high
carbohydrate diets currently fed to cats cause a sharp rise in the blood glucose following a meal. This
in turn causes increased demand for insulin. Any patient with a high normal fasting blood glucose
and/or diabetes mellitus should be fed a high protein, low carbohydrate diet. Proper diet and obesity
prevention are key factors in decreasing the risk of diabetes. PLEASE REMEMBER THAT WEIGHT

If you have any questions or suspect that your cat may be exhibiting any of these signs. Please do not
hesitate to call our office and speak with one of our doctors.

Periodontal Disease in Dogs and Cats

Tuesday, November 6th, 2012

Periodontal disease is the altered state of the periodontium,
or the structures which surround the tooth
which include the gingiva, the periodontal ligament, and
the bone which surrounds the tooth. Periodontal
disease is caused by plaque, which encourages the
growth of bacteria on the tooth and gingiva. These
bacteria cause significant inflammation of the periodontal
tissue which then leads to gingivitis, pocket formation
between the gingiva and the tooth, and bone loss
around the tooth. If left untreated, periodontal disease
not only causes bad breath, but can ultimately lead to
the loss of teeth, loss of appetite and trouble eating.
The toxins and bacteria involved in periodontal disease
can also negatively affect the liver, heart, kidneys, and
lungs over time.

Periodontitis is the most common disease seen in
dogs and cats. One study indicated that periodontitis
was seen in 80% of the dogs and 70% of the cats over
2 years of age. Some breeds of dogs and cats are
more likely to have periodontal disease than others,
including miniature Schnauzers, Lhasa apsos, Shi Tzus,
Yorkshire terriers, Maltese dogs, and Abyssinian and
Somali cats. Small breed dogs are more likely to have periodontal disease than large breed dogs, and older
dogs are more likely to have periodontal disease than
younger dogs.

The best way to treat periodontal disease is to
prevent it from occurring. Frequent dental exams,
prophylaxis (dental scaling and polishing), and home
care including tooth brushing, oral rinses, and dental
treats are most important. Early intervention will give the
easiest and most successful treatment, which means
shorter time under general anesthesia, decreased oral
pain, and decreased likelihood of tooth loss. Many
veterinary dentists are recommending yearly dental
prophylaxis starting at 1-2 years of age to help prevent
periodontal disease.

Study Links Feline Hyperthyroidism to Flame Retardants

Tuesday, November 6th, 2012

Feline hyperthyroidism (FH) is a frequently seen
disease in the elderly cat. These cats present with
the symptoms secondary to the adverse effects of
excessive circulating thyroid hormone such as
weight loss, vomiting, diarrhea, uncharacteristically
crabby and an elevated heart rate.

Mysterious cases of Feline hyperthyroidism
among pet cats may be linked to exposure to dust
from flame retardants in household carpeting,
furniture, fabrics, and to pet food, according to a
study in a recent issue of Environmental Science &
Technology, the journal of American Chemical
Society. The University of Georgia College of
Veterinary Medicine & the EPA report evidence
linking the disease to the exposure of environmental
contaminants polybrominated diphenyl ethers
(PBDEs), which researchers found elevated in
blood samples of hyperthyroid cats. PBDE levels
were three times as high in hyperthyroid cats as
those in younger, non hyperthyroid cats.

Because of meticulous grooming, cats ingest
large amounts of PBDE-laden house dust that
researchers believe comes from consumer household products. It has been hypothesized that
prolonged contact with certain polyurethane
foams, carpet padding, furniture, and mattresses
would pose the greatest hazard. Diet may also be
a factor since the PBDE content of canned
fish/seafood flavors, such as salmon & whitefish,
was higher than dry or non seafood canned items.
While the link between FH and their elevated
PBDE levels requires additional confirmation, it is
clear that house cats may be able to serve as
sentinels for indoor exposure to PBDEs for
humans who share their houses.

Xylitol (A Sugar Substitute) Causes Low Blood Sugar & Liver Failure

Tuesday, November 6th, 2012

Xylitol is a sugar substitute that has been recently introduced into the United States. It has been used in Finland since World War II. Xylitol is chemically processed from extracted D-xylose from wood chips, corn cobs, & other plant material. It has been advocated for use by human diabetics and low-carbohydrate dieters.

Xylitol is found in baked goods, desserts, toothpaste, other oral care products & sugar free gum and candies. When ingested by a dog it causes a severe & rapid rise in their insulin causing a low blood sugar. The initial signs may consist of vomiting, weakness, wobbly gait, and or seizures within 30-60 minutes. Within days some patients progress to liver failure. Dogs have shown symptoms from eating cupcakes or muffins sweetened by Xylitol, chewing gum, Xylitol powder, or Xylitol sweetened candies or gum. Please call our office immediately if your pet ingests Xylitol & please attempt to avoid exposure to Xylitol containing products if at all possible.