Ketones, Diabetic Ketoacidosis (DKA), and Blood Ketone Meters

Discussion in 'Health Links / FAQs about Feline Diabetes' started by Jill & Alex (GA), Apr 9, 2015.

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  1. Jill & Alex (GA)

    Jill & Alex (GA) Senior Member Moderator

    Dec 28, 2009
    Pet Health: Ketones, Ketoacidosis and Diabetic Cats

    Signs of Diabetic Ketoacidosis (DKA)

      • Drinking excessive amounts of water OR no water
      • Excessive urination
      • Diminished activity
      • Not eating for over 12 hours
      • Vomiting
      • Lethargy and depression
      • Weakness
      • Breathing very fast
      • Dehydration
      • Ketone odor on breath (smells like nail-polish remover or fruit)
    Pet Diabetes Wiki "Ketoacidosis": What is it? Is it dangerous? When to go to the vet? How do you test for it?
    Please go to the link to read all about ketones and diabetic ketoacidosis.

    "The Hows and Whys of Ketones" by Kathy and Cashew (GA)

    "6 of one, 1/2 dozen of another....ketones, ketosis, etc." by Hope + (((Baby)))GA

    Hope + (((Baby)))GA, "The normal pH for a feline is 7.4 and is necessary for the normal function of many enzyme systems. When pH drops below this value the cat is referred to as being acidotic."

    "Feline Diabetic Ketoacidosis" by Christi Benigni, Zimmer Feline Foundation

    "Ketones in the urine, as detected by urine testing stix or a blood ketone testing meter[1], may indicate the beginning of diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA), a dangerous and often quickly fatal condition caused by low insulin levels combined with certain other systemic stresses. DKA can be fixed if caught quickly."

    The basic recipe for developing DKA = an insufficient supply of insulin + inappetance + infection OR other systemic stresses.


    Tips to catch and test a urine sample

    When do ketones show up on a blood ketone meter such as the Nova Max Plus or Precision Xtra Blood & Ketone meters?

    The latest published research/studies in cats indicate ketones will begin to show up at readings of 2.4 and 2.55 on a blood ketone meter:

    Measurement of ketones - Weingart_J VET Diagn Invest-2012(1).pdf
    Measuring ketones - JSAP_Zeugswetter - 2012.pdf

    Suggested reading:


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    Last edited: Feb 21, 2018
    Reason for edit: updated dead link
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