Content continues after advertisement

Failing Hearts in Diabetic Cats

Nyssa Reine, DVM, Diplomate ACVIM (Internal Medicine)

Cardiology

|September 2008

Sign in to Print/View PDF

Diabetes mellitus is a fairly common endocrine disorder in cats and incidence has recently increased. Very little is known regarding the prognosis or cause of death in cats with diabetes. In humans with diabetes, death is frequently related to cardiovascular disease. These authors attempted to ascertain the prognosis and cause of death in cats in which diabetes was diagnosed at a general practice compared with nondiabetic patients of similar signalment during a 6-year period (1999 to 2005). They found that 6 of 14 cats with diabetes died of heart failure within 5 weeks to 30 months of diagnosis. Treatments for these cats included insulin (usually Lente), diet, and/or oral hypoglycemic medications. In contrast, 2 of 57 control cats died of heart failure. Cats with diabetes were 10 times more likely to have heart disease and 3.4 times more likely to die than healthy controls. The type of heart disease seen in the diabetic cats varied.


COMMENTARY:
The finding of increased incidence of heart disease in cats with diabetes is important and worthy of further investigation. As acknowledged by the authors, weaknesses of the study include the retrospective nature, small study group, and absence of blood pressure measurement to assess for hypertension in these cats. In addition, not all cats were tested for hyperthyroidism at the time of diagnosis. The selection of patients diagnosed in a general practice setting highlights a common weakness in much of the veterinary literature-studies are often based on patients seen in a tertiary referral setting, which unintentionally selects for patients whose owners can pursue specialty care, either due to regional availability or financial capability of the owners. In addition, limiting the scope of the study to a primary care facility potentially selects for patients with fewer complications of diabetes and thus might not reflect the true incidence of heart failure.


Heart failure is common in diabetic cats: Findings from a retrospective case-controlled study in first-opinion practice. Little CJL, Gettinby G. J SMALL ANIM PRACT 49:17-25, 2008.

For global readers, a calculator to convert laboratory values, dosages, and other measurements to SI units can be found here.

All Clinician's Brief content is reviewed for accuracy at the time of publication. Previously published content may not reflect recent developments in research and practice.

Material from Clinician's Brief may not be reproduced, distributed, or used in whole or in part without prior permission of Educational Concepts, LLC. For questions or inquiries please contact us.

Podcasts

Clinician's Brief:
The Podcast
Listen as host Alyssa Watson, DVM, talks with the authors of your favorite Clinician’s Brief articles. Dig deeper and explore the conversations behind the content here.
Clinician's Brief provides relevant diagnostic and treatment information for small animal practitioners. It has been ranked the #1 most essential publication by small animal veterinarians for 9 years.*

*2007-2017 PERQ and Essential Media Studies

© 2023 Educational Concepts, L.L.C. dba Brief Media ™ All Rights Reserved. Terms & Conditions | DMCA Copyright | Privacy Policy | Acceptable Use Policy