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Diabetes and Glucocorticoids in Cats

Lowe, A. D., T. K. Graves, et al. (2009). “A pilot study comparing the diabetogenic effects of dexamethasone and prednisolone in cats.” J Amer Anim Hosp Assoc 45(5): 215-224.

One of the most common endocrine diseases in the cat is diabetes mellitus. Glucocorticoids are one of the most prescribed classes of drugs in veterinary medicine and there is little known about the safety profiles of these drugs in cats. Glucocorticoids carry a risk of side effects in most species, although cats have been considered resistant to many of the deleterious effects. This study followed 14 cats that received daily prednisolone (4.4 mg/kg, PO) or dexamethasone (0.55 mg/kg, PO) for 56 days. The doses were considered clinically equipotent. Serum fructosamine and urine glucose were measured on days 0, 28, and 56. In addition, insulin sensitivity, glucose tolerance, and peak insulin secretion were measured in each group before and at the end of the glucocorticoid adminstration. The data suggested that dexamethasone treatment, compared to prednisolone, results in greater fructosamine concentrations, greater decreases in insulin sensitivity, a lesser degree of insulin secretion from pancreatic beta-cells in the face of higher glucose and fructosamine concentrations, and a greater prevalence of glucosuria. These results support the hypothesis that dexamethasone may be a more potent inducer of a pre-diabetic or diabetic state than an equivalent dose of prednisolone. [VT]
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Related articles:
Lowe, A. D., K. L. Campbell, et al. (2008). “Clinical, clinicopathological and histological changes observed in 14 cats treated with glucocorticoids.” Vet Rec 162(24): 777-83.
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Lowe, A. D., K. L. Campbell, et al. (2008). “Glucocorticoids in the cat.” Vet Dermatol 19(6): 340-7.
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