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Dr. Karing
Dr. Karing, Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 429
Experience:  General veterinarian with a special interest in internal medicine and emphasis on individualized care.
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My 14 year old cat had great difficulty in breathing one

Customer Question

Hello doctor,
My 14 year old cat had great difficulty in breathing one morning, with crackling sounds coming from his lungs. We found out shortly thereafter that his blood sugar was quite low. Can you confirm if the low blood sugar condition could somehow be the cause of his breathing problems?
Thank you in advance.
Ramesh P.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Karing replied 1 year ago.

Hi there,

I'mCustomerand I would be glad to help with your question. There are a couple ways in which low blood sugar could result is respiratory difficulty (i.e. crackling sound your heard). First, many cats that develop low blood sugar will vomit as a result and this could lead to aspiration of stomach contents into the lungs and usally pneumonia would develop. Second, very low blood sugar can lead to cardiovascular collapse and this can result in the development of fluid in the lungs: death would follow shortly unless the cat received prompt medical attention. If chest x-rays were taken when your cat was having trouble breathing, then they may be able to distinguish between these two scenarios or they could suggest another cause that is not directly related to low blood sugar (e.g. broad categories include heart disease, lung disease, cancer, etc.). Please note, that if your cat is NOT receiving insulin or some other oral drug for diabetes, then the finding of low blood sugar can either be erroneous (sample not tested or centrifuged within an adequate time frame), the result of an insulin secreting tumor, severe liver disease, xylitol toxicity (artificial sweetener) or severe infection (i.e. sepsis).

I hope that the information I provided has been helpful. Please remember to select REPLY TO EXPERT if you have more questions orwould like additional information. It is my goal to provide you with the most complete information possible prior to you leaving a feedback rating. If you received all the information you needed, then kindly submit a rating.

Thank you,

Expert:  Dr. Karing replied 1 year ago.


I wanted to see if you found the information I provided to be helpful. Please let me know if you have questions.

Thank you,

Expert:  Dr. Karing replied 1 year ago.
Hi Ramesh,

I'm just following up on our conversation about Simba. How is everything going?

Dr. Karing