Some notes on SENVELGO an ‘effective glycemic control’ of cats diagnosed with diabetes not on insulin

In 2020, it was estimated that 1 in every 300 dogs and 1 in 230 cats would develop diabetes during their lifetime. Additionally, a report published in 2016 suggested an upward trend in the disease, rising 80% in dogs and 18% in cats over a ten-year period.

Patterson Veterinary concerning pet cats and dogs in the United States.

The purpose of this post is to flag up this drug not to explain it in detail as I am unqualified to do that. I have used quotes extensively from good sources for this reason.

Senvelgo may assist caregivers of cats newly diagnosed with type 2 diabetes
Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles:- Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

The problem of feline diabetes, typically type 2 diabetes (feline diabetes mellitus) is a growing major cat health issue linked to the upward trend in the prevalence of cat obesity.

Diabetes is a condition that causes a cat’s blood sugar level to become too high. Overweight cats have a higher chance of developing insulin resistance, where the body’s cells become less responsive to insulin, leading to elevated blood glucose levels.

On the other hand, there may be decreased insulin production (to control blood sugar levels) because of old age and possibly an inflamed pancreas which is called ‘pancreatitis’ (where the insulin is produced).

SENVELGO® oral solution is a highly selective inhibitor of the sodium glucose co-transporter 2 (SGLT2). SENVELGO® promotes removal of glucose via the urine by inhibiting the reabsorption of glucose back into the bloodstream. This rapidly helps to reduce blood glucose to normal and sustained levels.

SENVELGO® might be useful for owners to manage feline diabetes but they must seek veterinary advice on its use and read the entire notes packaged with the drug (and digested) before use. There is a warning on the Boehringer Ingelheim (the manufacturer) website saying:

IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION: SENVELGO® (velagliflozin oral solution) is indicated to improve glycemic control in otherwise healthy cats with diabetes mellitus not previously treated with insulin. Before using this product, it is important to read the entire product insert, including the boxed warning. Cats treated with SENVELGO may be at an increased risk of diabetic ketoacidosis or euglycemic diabetic ketoacidosis, both of which may result in death. 

Boehringer Ingelheim

RELATED: Why are Burmese cats 5 times more likely than other breeds to develop Type II diabetes?

This medicine controls hypoglycemia in a newly diagnosed type 2 diabetic cat, as I understand it. The quote above from the prnewswire website explains how it works.

It appears to be a very convenient drug to use as it can be administered orally in liquid form or added to food and it does not require refrigeration.

My interpretation of the warning provided by the manufacturer is that Senvelgo is not a substitute for administering insulin to a cat with full-blown type 2 diabetes as this can lead to diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA); is a serious condition caused by a lack of insulin. It can be fatal.

I am sure that there are many cat owners perhaps struggling sometimes to deal with feline diabetes mellitus. This drug might help. Ask the vet.

As this serious disease is most often caused by being overweight, the obvious ‘treatment’ is to ensure that the cat loses weight in a controlled way to avoid another serious disease hepatitic lipidosis (fatty liver disease).

RELATED: Average domestic cat weighing 13 pounds is at a high risk of developing type 2 diabetes

P.S. “Poor diet and high-carbohydrate diets have been associated with an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes in cats. Feeding cats a diet that is high in carbohydrates can stress their insulin-producing cells and lead to insulin resistance over time.” – AI (Poe).

Problems are compounded by a sedatory lifestyle which is far more likely in full-time indoor cats with nothing to do. I’d bet that most cats with type 2 diabetes are full-time indoor cats.

Type 2 diabetes can be reversed. There are many examples of humans curing themselves of type 2 diabetes by losing weight.

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