Long-term Complications of Feline Diabetes

The long-term complications of feline diabetes are a result of prolonged hyperglycaemia

Due to their shorter life span, diabetic cats seem to develop fewer long-term complications than human diabetics. Obtaining optimal control of blood glucose concentration helps to prevent the long-term complications of diabetes mellitus.

Diabetic neuropathy

Neuropathy is occasionally seen in feline diabetes.

The pathogenesis of diabetic neuropathy remains unknown and is likely multifactorial (including persistent hyperglycaemia and resultant metabolic damage to nerves).

Treatment: There is no specific treatment although methylcobalamin (a form of vitamin B12) has been proposed. The prognosis is guarded but partial or full resolution of the clinical signs has been reported following regulation of blood glucose concentrations with insulin.

Diabetic nephropathy

A very serious complication of diabetes mellitus that may be seen in cats. The clinical signs are those of renal insufficiency.

Diabetic cataract

Cataracts are seen far more common in canine diabetes than feline diabetes.

For more information see Diabetic cataracts in dogs.