Feline Neuropathy

Feline neuropathy, also known as feline diabetic neuropathy, is a condition which affects the nervous system as a direct result of consistently high blood glucose levels. Although the condition is considered to be a rare complication of diabetes and is not fatal, it can cause your cat to experience a severe level of pain and sometimes concludes with the loss of limbs. By being aware of the symptoms, you can help your cat get the treatment that he requires.

Causes of Feline Neuropathy

When glucose levels remain elevated over a long period of time, it results in damage to the nerve tissue in the rear legs. The only recognizable cause of this condition is diabetes mellitus.

When your cat suffers from diabetes, it means that the pancreas has stopped producing, or fails to produce at all, a sufficient amount of insulin to lower blood glucose levels in the bloodstream. If the condition goes on without notice for too long a period of time, not only does your cat suffer from the ailments of diabetes, but feline neuropathy also starts to develop.

Symptoms of Feline Neuropathy

Because feline neuropathy is directly related to diabetes mellitus, it is worthwhile to recognize the symptoms of diabetes. If your cat can be diagnosed and treated for diabetes, it will lessen the possibility of your cat's condition developing into feline neuropathy. Diabetic symptoms include:

  • More frequent urination
  • Unexplained excessive thirst
  • Loss of weight
  • Increased desire for food

The symptoms of feline neuropathy that you will see in your cat are due to the deterioration of nerve and muscle tissue. This in turn will create a general weakness in your cat and the symptoms will be as follows:

  • Decreased agility
  • Abnormal walking appearance
  • Dragging of limbs
  • Walking with a crouched stance

Diagnosis of Feline Neuropathy

Diagnosis of feline neuropathy is usually concluded by the appearance of symptoms and with confirmation of medical testing. When feline neuropathy is suspected, a blood test will be used to check your cat's blood glucose levels. If his glucose levels are high, a diagnosis of diabetes can usually be confirmed and feline neuropathy is concluded as the resulting damage of diabetes.

However, in some cases, if blood glucose levels are considered border line problematic, then the symptoms of feline neuropathy may be relatively minor. This may be the beginning of the condition developing in your cat. If the diagnosis is not a simple determination, a nerve biopsy can be used to draw a more definitive conclusion.

Treatment and Prevention of Feline Neuropathy

Treatment for feline diabetes will include the introduction of insulin therapy. The amount of insulin required daily will depend on your cat's individual circumstances. Most cats respond very well to treatment and the prognosis of your cat living a long and healthy life with insulin therapy is great. Because feline diabetes is highly treatable, there is no reason to fear for your cat's life unless you let the condition go untreated.

Usually with the introduction of insulin therapy, the symptoms of feline neuropathy will resolve themselves. However, if your cat has suffered from untreated diabetes over a long period of time, there is the strong possibility that the symptoms of feline neuropathy are irreversible. Your cat will still have the ability to live a prosperous life, but he will be doing it with a disability.