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Should a Cat Hop Like a Bunny?

Town and Country Veterinarian Stacey Wallach answers common pet owner questions.

Veterinarian Stacey Wallach, owner of Town and Country Veterinary Hospital, answers pet owner questions. 

Today she answers a recent question from one of her clients. 

Question:

My cat is walking funny. She is hopping like a bunny rabbit, with her back legs together. Should I be concerned?

Answer:

Is your cat diabetic? What you are describing maybe Feline Diabetic Neuropathy.  This condition occurs when chronic high blood glucose levels cause nerve damage and weakness in the hindquarters of the cat. Diabetic neuropathy is often the first sign that an owner may see indicating the cat’s diabetes. Early stages of diabetes may show very few symptoms such as weight loss, increased appetite, and excessive thirst and urination. Early treatment of diabetic neuropathy may prevent the condition from becoming worse and/or irreversible. 

Diabetes in our pet is very similar to human diabetes and is treated much the same. Treatment may be as simple as a diet change or more complex and require the use of insulin injections.  Frequent monitoring of blood and urine glucose levels will be needed as well as maintaining accurate records of feeding times, amount of food eaten, water intake and time of insulin injections. Treatment for diabetes requires dedication and commitment by the owner but results can be very satisfying. Whether or not your cat has ever been diagnosed with diabetes, you need to have your cat seen by your veterinarian as soon as possible for diagnosis and treatment options.  

If you have a question for the vet, e-mail it to Gabrielle.Biondo@Patch.com.

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