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C2003-26

Dear Christopher Cat

Our cat Franklin was just diagnosed with diabetes. I have diabetes, and I must check my blood sugar daily. Why doesn’t my veterinarian recommend the same for Franklin?

Christopher Responds

My feline brother is diabetic, and while he doesn’t mind insulin injections, he’s not so keen on having his blood taken. I’ll bet Franklin feels the same way.
Besides, it’s not necessary. 

While we cats develop the same problems as you humans if our diabetes isn’t controlled, our control doesn’t have to be as perfect as yours.

Instead of daily testing, most veterinarians recommend serial blood glucose tests every six to 12 months, once the diabetes is regulated.

During the test, Franklin’s blood glucose (sugar) level will be measured every one or two hours for 12 to 24 hours. Throughout the test, his glucose levels should stay between 80 and 250.

Some cats get so upset during hospital visits that their blood sugar rises dramatically –  just in response to the stress – so serial blood glucose testing doesn’t give a reliable indication of how well regulated their diabetes is.

If Franklin has this problem, called stress hyperglycemia, his blood can be tested for fructosamine, a protein linked to sugar. The fructosamine level reflects the average blood sugar level over the preceding one to two weeks.Cats like fructosamine because it’s a single test. However, it doesn’t show hourly glucose peaks and valleys, important factors in evaluating how well controlled Franklin’s diabetes is.

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