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Critically ill cats and their alterations in carbohydrate metabolism
It is well known that cats with severe diseases tend to develop potentially life-threatening alterations in their carbohydrate metabolism, related to the development of hyperglycemia. But what happens exactly? This recently published study gives very interesting informations - cats react like humans!

Twenty-six non-diabetic cats admitted into the intensive care unit for a variety of diseases and 21 healthy control cats were included in this prospective, observational, controlled study at the Intensive care unit at a university veterinary teaching hospital.

Blood samples were obtained from critically ill cats upon admission to the intensive care unit. Blood was similarly obtained from control cats.

Measurements and main results: For all cats, venous blood glucose, lactate, cortisol, insulin, glucagon, epinephrine, norepinephrine, and non-esterified fatty acid concentrations were determined and compared between the 2 groups of cats.

Compared with controls, critically ill cats had significantly higher median concentrations of glucose [183 (range 51–321) mg/dL versus 110 (91–165) mg/dL; P<0.001], lactate [2.5 (0.6–11.1) mmol/L versus 1.8 (0.4–4.1) mmol/L; P=0.01], cortisol [7.8 (0.3–53.7) ìg/dL versus 4.4 (1.5–8.3) ìg/dL; P=0.005], glucagon [186 (46–3128) pg/mL versus 97 (30–252) pg/mL; P=0.001], and norepinephrine [1.5 (0.2–16.4) pg/mL versus 0.63 (0.21–3.61) pg/mL; P=0.003].

Compared with controls, critically ill cats also had a significantly lower median plasma insulin concentration [9 (2–52) ìU/mL versus 17 (3–35) ìU/mL; P=0.04].

The presence or degree of hyperglycemia in critically ill cats was not related to any single measured variable.

Conclusions: Similar to critically ill human patients, alterations in carbohydrate metabolism are present in critically ill cats and likely contribute to the hyperglycemia commonly observed in this population.



Source: Chan, Daniel L., Freeman, Lisa M., Rozanski, Elizabeth A. & Rush, John E. (2006): Alterations in carbohydrate metabolism in critically ill cats. In: Journal of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care 16 (s1), S7-S13.




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