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Diabetic Neuropathy in Dogs and Cats

Diabetic Neuropathy

Herbal remedies to help reduce nerve pain and symptoms related to diabetic neuropathy in dogs and cats.

Animals routinely experience irregularities in bodily systems, including the Central and Autonomic Nervous systems, requiring a correction to restore emotional balance, to promote relaxation and reduce nervousness and to balance mood and provide feelings of comfort and security.

Diabetic neuropathy is one of the symptoms of prolonged hyperglycemia. It causes numbness and weakness in the legs, especially in cats. Neuropathy can also be related to gastroparesis, which is a neuropathy of the stomach, and retinopathy, which is a neuropathy of the eye.

When the brain tries to communicate with the nerves and muscles but is unable due to damage, tingling in limbs, fingers and toes is experienced as well as tingling or the sensation of shocks. In cats, this damage is usually due to problems with blood sugar levels but can be a result from injury, birth defect or thyroid problems.

The most common type of neuropathy is called diabetic neuropathy. In both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes, there are problems with the body's circulation system so enough blood cannot reach the limbs. The nerves become damaged from lack of blood, the limbs can go dead and gangrene can present.

 

 

Jumping becomes difficult and eventually your pet's legs may seem to slip out from under them and they are unable to walk. These symptoms are the result of damage to the motor and sensory nerves, but they can usually be reversed with better control of blood sugar and certain dietary supplements.

Peripheral neuropathy is a severe medical problem of the nervous system that can occur for a variety of reasons. In cats, neuropathy is often brought on by diabetes, can cause severe pain and even a loss of toes or limbs in your dog or cat.

Unlike the central nervous system, which has the vertebrae of the spine, and the bone of the skull to protect it, the peripheral nerves are more exposed to the elements that enter into the animal body and contact the body, thus, are more susceptible to physical injury and toxic damage. The peripheral nerves are also spread over the entire body and are made up of motor, sensory, autonomic, and/or cranial nerves. Peripheral nerves are responsible for conscious, coordinated movement (somatic); for automatic physical responses (autonomic), and for the movement of the digestive system (enteric).

Animals with neuropathy have trouble walking, often drag a limb or have their paws curled inward at an irregular angle. Pets can also suddenly lose control of their bladder or bowels. Over time, walking, standing or getting up gets progressively worse. In cats, the hind legs are usually affected first.

When neuropathy presents in the hind legs of a dog or cat, it progresses until the animal cannot stand on its toes normally, walks on its hocks (heels) or sits down more frequently; a condition known as plantigrade stance or posture.

Another common type of neuropathy is related to hyperthyroidism, in which the thyroid is overactive, resulting in the cat being constantly hungry and gains weight. Sometimes symptoms can include not only trouble walking and increased hunger, but the cat may walk in circles or experience seizures.

Feline vestibular disease ("dizzy kitty syndrome"), in which a cat loses its center of balance, usually related to an inner ear infection, can result in neuropathy.   

Symptoms of neuropathy are less common in dogs, but it does occur. Dogs usually experience hind leg weakness when they are first diagnosed with diabetes. Often, it is attributed to aging. If treated, neuropathy can usually be reversed in dogs.

Organic Remedies - (listed in order of relevance and recommendation by holistic vets)

Herbal remedies are used successfully in both prevention and management of diabetes by supporting pancreatic health and digestive function, to maintain blood sugar levels and normal insulin levels, to maintain eye health, to prevent nerve and tissue damage often associated with the disease, to boost immunity and to help limit disease recurrence or progression.

DIA-BEAT-IT! (learn more) is used holistically for its critical nutrient content, including inulin, oligofructanes (FOS), vitamins including B complex, trace minerals, digestive enzymes & proteins to promote pancreatic health; to help produce adequate insulin & to improve insulin utilization; to support normal blood sugar levels; to help combat Diabetes I & Diabetes II; to limit and help repair neuropathy; to reduce glucose levels in the blood; to improve the glycemic index and to reduce insulin resistance; for hypoglycemia; to support normal blood sugar levels; to promote cardiovascular health by reducing the risk of arteriosclerosis & atherosclerosis related to insulin resistance & to reduce the risk of osteoporosis by improving calcium absorption. 

Joint Ease Super Dog & Cat – (learn more) contains plant and marine extracts that promote preventative and reparative support to rebuild tissue, joints, bones and muscles, supports healthy immune and inflammatory response, for rheumatism, for arthritis, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, rheumatism, Degenerative Joint Disease, Intervertebral Disk Disease and arthrosis, for muscle pains, strains, injuries and other degenerative joint related diseases, for pain, as a pain reliever for swelling and lack of mobility, for overall optimal health and function and as a natural alternative for tumors and cysts.

I Feel Good –  (learn more) promotes healthy immune response, reduces inflammation, provides dermal support and growth of healthy cells and tissues in the body’s defense mechanism, reduces the histamine trigger for contact allergies, seasonal and chronic allergens, pathogens, skin rashes, infections, hot spots, inflammation, swelling, hair loss, itching and geriatria (dull coat, lethargy), for all types of arthritis, including Degenerative Joint Disease, Osteoarthritis, Osteoporosis, Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) and symptoms associated with rheumatism, including pain, strains, injuries, muscle pain, swelling and lack of mobility.

Dog & Cat Kryptonite (learn more) supports hypothalamic-pituitary adrenal (HPA) function, enables the body to respond normally to stress and metabolic demands while supporting the glands' ability to rebuild and regenerate, supports healthy energy levels and vitality, promotes cognitive function and memory performance, for lethargic, aging or convalescing animals, regulates the organs which secrete hormones, including the pituitary, parotid, thyroid and adrenal glands, the pancreas, and the testes; stimulates the hypothalamus, supports endocrine function, the central nervous, digestive, immune and reproductive systems.

Conventional Remedies:

Neuropathy responds really well to modern veterinary medicines and changes in diet. In diabetic neuropathy, treating the diabetes is a primary concern. A common specialized supplement is given is called Methyl-B12 (methylcobalamin).

A brand name for this is Xobaline (which also works for humans). This is a form of regular vitamin B-12 that helps the nervous system. This can be given as a shot or in pill form. It's water-soluble, so the cat will urinate out any Meythl-B12 that they body doesn't need. Do not give your pet human vitamins!

Neuropathy, in its early stages, is reversible. Treatment usually includes a combination of reducing the attacks on the nerve cells (by regulating blood glucose levels), and Methylcobalamin supplements that promote nerve re-growth. Treatment time may require a half year or more.

 

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