In severely diabetic cats, feline diabetic neuropathy (damage of nerves especially the peripheral ones) may arise. This often occurs due to high glucose levels in the blood, especially if it persists for long durations.
In case your cat has it, feline diabetes neuropathy will have symptoms such as tissue degeneration, muscle loss, hind legs weakness and walking on front wrists or hind leg hocks.
Also, your feline friend may have difficulties in walking, inability to climb stairs or jump to a higher level as well as lying down for a long time or after short walks among other symptoms.
In our discussion on vitamin B12 benefits and deficiency symptoms, we state that some of the consequences of its deficiency include nerve damage, gastrointestinal problems, anemia, amongst others.
However, the first step should be managing diabetes via diet modification (to help regulate blood sugar) and insulin shots to help deal with diabetes.
Additionally, these animals will require methylcobalamin or methyl-B12 ( a form of vitamin B12 and not the usual supplement) to help repair peripheral nerve damage since this vitamin has a role in boosting the nervous system.
This will help ease some of the symptoms of neuropathy including hind leg weakness, difficulties in walking for a long time, and so on.
An example of methylcobalamin containing a supplement you can opt for is Zobaline where you will administer 3-mg tablets of methylcobalamin daily. There are many other reputed manufacturers of this supplement.
On diets, being diabetic, their foods should be high in fiber but low in carbohydrates. Typically, go for those that are high in proteins, moderate in amounts of fats and low carbs. Remember that not all foods labeled ‘for diabetic cats’ are fit. Therefore, go for reputed manufacturers.
Finally, feline diabetes is commonly accompanied by other conditions including pancreatitis, Chronic Renal Disease (CRD) and decreased appetite. Fortunately, vitamin B12 helps boost appetite. Furthermore, you need its supplementation since conditions such as pancreatitis often affect its normal absorption.
Dosages can range from 1.5-5mg per day. For instance, there is a methyl-12 that comes in tablet form, each 3mg. You should give your pet one tablet daily and it will treat the neuropathy within a short time, notes Vetinfo.com.
How nerve repair occurs is not well understood. However, research has linked a deficiency of cobalamin to nerve damage.
Finally, it is worthwhile noting that feline neuropathy will also go away if diabetes is managed well.
To easily monitor your cat’s glucose blood levels, you should consider buying a glucometer and constantly measure its blood glucose level. This device will ensure you do not overdose or underdose this pet with insulin.
Although there are no studies done specifically on this pet, studies from other animals have shown the role of this vitamin in managing neuropathy.