Hyperglycemia in cats is often attributed to stress, but its prevalence in emergency cases has not been established. A recent study in humans showed that strict control of blood glucose in hospitalized nondiabetic patients reduced mortality by nearly 50%. This retrospective pilot study evaluated cats presenting during a 1-month period to the Emergency Service at Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine. Of the 149 cats that presented during this time, two were diabetics and were not included in the analysis. Hyperglycemia was defined as blood glucose greater than 140 mg/dl. In 90 of the cats, blood glucose was measured within 2 hours of presentation. These cats comprised the study sample. The cats presented for many reasons, including trauma, respiratory distress, neurologic disorders, vomiting, and lethargy. Hyperglycemia was present in 40% (36/90) of the cats. Cats with hyperglycemia were significantly more likely to die or be euthanized than those without hyperglycemia. There was no association between hyperglycemia and hospitalization time.

Prevalence of hyperglycemia in cats presented to the emergency service. Chan DL, Freeman LM, Rozanski EA, Rush JE. PROCEEDINGS 8TH ANNUAL IVECCS, 2002, 788.