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CAUSES OF DIABETES MELLITUS IN CATS


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The pancreas is responsible for two major functions in a cat’s body. While one of its functions is to produce enzymes that regulate digestion, the other is to produce insulin that regulates the level of glucose in the blood. Insulin is a hormone produced by a group of cells known as beta cells. When there is deficient or less production of insulin, it results in diabetes. This condition can be diagnosed and treated successfully. It is said that Burmese cats in Australia and the United States are four times more likely to develop diabetes.

Currently, the classification of causes in veterinary medicine is based on human diabetes.

1. Types of diabetes
The various types of diabetes are Type 1, Type 2, gestational, and other specific types. Type 1 diabetes is characterized by immune-mediated destruction of cells, which leads to absolute immune deficiency and it is extremely rare in cats. Around 90% of diabetes mellitus cases in cats are Type 2 diabetes. Such cases are characterized by insulin resistance and failure of the body to compensate for it. Although Type 2 diabetes is more common, other causes too could contribute to insulin resistance. Gestational diabetes has not been reported in cats so far.

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