Veterinarians Contributing To The Rise In Cat Diabetes


I believe that many veterinarians are contributing to the rise in cat diabetes. We know that obesity is a major contributory factor in cat diabetes and we know that a modern diet is a factor in obesity.

It seems that vet schools are not teaching their students the effects of modern cat foods  on obesity and also not teaching the proper treatments for cat diabetes. In fact vets are still selling and promoting the dry cat foods which are a major cause of obesity and diabetes!

Vets are ignoring the role that diet in diabetes. That is absolutely astonishing! So where does most of a vets knowledge on diet come from? Well it actually comes from the cat food manufacturers themselves who have vested interests.

Dr. Shelby Neely, VMD, is one veterinarian who supports a holistic approach to treating cat diabetes:-

“The great majority of diabetic cats that I have treated over the last 20 years were overweight.  In fact, I am not sure I can remember any who were not.  These cats were also eating diets throughout their lives that were high in carbohydrates.  Obesity and a   diet with a percentage of carbohydrates that is too high for a cat are the most common precursors of feline diabetes.”

“Of course, not every overweight cat and not every cat that eats a high carb diet will develop diabetes.  There are other factors, genetics being a common one.  And occasionally, there’s a total mystery, such as what happened in my cat household a couple of years ago.”

“For decades, cat treatment for diabetes in a rather strange way, considering what we knew about human diabetes and the best way to treat it.  Traditionally, cats are on insulin, most often 2 units, usually given twice daily.

Owners is told to return in a few days to a week or two for a glucose reading or a complete glucose curve (readings taken every 2 hours for 12 hours).  Depending on that reading or curve, the cat remains on the same dosage of insulin or, more commonly, have the insulin dosage increased.

A few days, a week, or so later, the cat would once again go back to the vet hospital for readings and the insulin dosage adjusted accordingly.   If you think about it, treating diabetes this way is just plain crazy.

Insulin is a very dangerous drug.  Too much of it can kill a person or a cat.  Human diabetics always test their own blood glucose before giving insulin at home.  Most individuals test their blood multiple times a day.

They would never dream of just giving a standard fixed dose of insulin to themselves at a fixed time without knowing their blood glucose first.”

“Why we have not treated cats the same way is beyond my comprehension.  However, until recently this is not done.  Unfortunately, the majority of diabetic cats in the world are managed that way.”

“Although I have referred to “canned food” throughout this interview, I believe that the best diet for a cat is probably a balanced raw diet.  Fresh and fresh frozen foods packaged commercially for pets are the next best thing.

However, my experience is that most cat owners are not able or willing to prepare a raw food diet for their cats and that they also cannot afford most of the fresh and fresh frozen foods currently available.  Therefore, I refer mainly to canned commercial food.”

It is scandalous that only a handful of vets like Dr. Shelby are aware of the effects of dry high carbohydrate cat food and the importance of regular ‘at home‘  blood glucose testing . Those that aren’t are, in my opinion,  veterinarians that are contributing to the rise in cat diabetes.





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