Feline Diabetes Oral Medication

Feline diabetes oral medication is used to treat non-insulin dependent diabetes. While some 50 to 75 percent of feline diabetes patients require insulin, there are other cats with non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM) who do well on oral medications. It's always important to monitor your pets blood sugar levels because some felines with NIDDM eventually require insulin.

Understanding Feline Diabetes

Cells need sugar for many reasons. It's sugar that's converted to energy, sugar that repairs and builds cells and sugar that ensures nerve transmissions go through as needed. Without sugar entering cells, body functions decline and fail. The body uses up the sugar it needs and any excess is eliminated through the urine.

Glucose is produced within the pancreas. It is the key ingredient to help get sugar into the cells. Without insulin, the cells cannot absorb the sugar (glucose). Glucose ends up stuck in the bloodstream with no where to go but to the kidneys where it exits through urine. The cells can't perform their necessary functions and the body pays for it through weight loss, poor skin and coat, excessive thirst and frequent urination. If you notice any of those signs in your cat, call your veterinarian.

Once diagnosed, your pet needs a feline diabetes oral medication that restores the proper balance of glucose and insulin. Insulin shots may be necessary. Other cats respond well to feline diabetes oral medication and dietary changes. The cats that respond to oral medications generally have a pancreas that is still producing insulin, but the body is not absorbing it properly.

Glipizide Feline Diabetes Oral Medication

Pfizer offers an oral hypoglycemic medication called Glucotrol. Glucotrol is in a class of prescription medications called glipizides. They work by kick starting the pancreas into producing more insulin. This helps get blood sugar levels stabilized so that the cells can do their job.

Glipizide medications are effective half of the time in cats with Feline NIDDM. There are generic brands available to save pet owner's money. A 100-count bottle of glipizide usually costs less than $10. The tablets are given with a meal at the recommended dosage advised by your veterinarian.

Side Effects of Glipizide for Cats

Common side effects of glipizide medications are nausea and vomiting. Typically, these symptoms stop after a few days. If your pet is having a hard time keeping food down, call your veterinarian. Missing a meal can alter blood sugar levels.

A more dangerous side effect involves the production of bone marrow. While this side effect is rare, it is important to remember. Anemia and low white blood cell counts are key signs that there is a problem and you must call your vet.

Glipizide feline oral diabetes medicine may cause a sudden drop in blood sugar levels. Frequent monitoring of your cat's blood sugar levels is the best way to know if your cat's blood sugar is too low. If this occurs, you need to call your vet.

In a rare number of cats, liver function is affected. If your pet is taking glipizide, make sure your veterinarian checks runs blood panels to check the liver enzyme counts. If the ALT enzyme rises over 500, your cat must stop using the feline diabetes oral medication.