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Canine Diabetes Testing

Diabetes In Dogs: Symptoms, Causes, & Treatment

Diabetes In Dogs: Symptoms, Causes, & Treatment

Diabetes is a chronic disease that can affect dogs and cats and other animals (including apes, pigs, and horses) as well as humans. Although diabetes cant be cured, it can be managed very successfully. Diabetes mellitus , or sugar diabetes, is the type of diabetes seen most often in dogs. It is a metabolism disorder. Metabolism refers to how the body converts food to energy. To understand what diabetes is, it helps to understand some of this process. The conversion of food nutrients into energy to power the bodys cells involves an ongoing interplay of two things: Glucose: essential fuel for the bodys cells. When food is digested, the body breaks down some of the nutrients into glucose, a type of sugar that is a vital source of energy for certain body cells and organs. The glucose is absorbed from the intestines into the blood, which then transports the glucose throughout the body. Insulin: in charge of fuel delivery. Meanwhile, an important organ next to the stomach called the pancreas releases the hormone insulin into the body. Insulin acts as a gatekeeper that tells cells to grab glucose and other nutrients out of the bloodstream and use them as fuel. With diabetes, the glucose-insulin connection isnt working as it should. Diabetes occurs in dogs in two forms: Insulin-deficiency diabetesThis is when the dogs body isnt producing enough insulin. This happens when the pancreas is damaged or otherwise not functioning properly. Dogs with this type of diabetes need daily shots to replace the missing insulin. This is the most common type of diabetes in dogs. Insulin-resistance diabetesThis is when the pancreas is producing some insulin, but the dogs body isnt utilizing the insulin as it should. The cells arent responding to the insulins message, so glucose isnt being pulled Continue reading >>

Home Blood Glucose Monitoring

Home Blood Glucose Monitoring

Disclaimer Purpose Different owners do different things Will my pet hate me? Will I hurt my pet? Which meters are good for pets? Where to prick General precautions What the numbers mean Things to remember Conclusions Tips for glucometer elite Other Sources of information This section contains general principles about home blood glucose testing for pets. The different techniques used to obtain a blood sample from cats and dogs are described. Detailed instructions are given for the ear and paw prick methods for cats, and the lip and leg-callous stick for dogs. Important Disclaimer Managing diabetes is very complicated. Blood glucose (BG) readings can change depending on food consumption, exercise, stress, and normal daily fluctuations. There may also be other diseases or conditions that are effecting your pet's health. Home blood glucose monitoring should be performed in consultation with your veterinarian. Purpose of Home Blood Glucose Monitoring Home BG monitoring is a useful tool to help you and your veterinarian get your pet’s diabetes regulated. It can be used to determine how well the current type and dose of insulin is controlling the diabetes. This determination is best done under typical daily conditions where the pet’s feeding, exercise, and stress levels are normal. One common problem with doing BG testing in the vet’s office is that many pets, especially cats, become severely stressed, refuse to eat, are confined to a cage for a long period of time, then restrained for a blood test. These are not normal conditions and the BG values obtained at the vet’s office may not accurately reflect what the BG is doing on a typical day. If your pet’s diabetes is pretty well regulated, home BG monitoring can be used to check the BG on an occasional basis or to fi Continue reading >>

5 Reasons To Test Your Dog For Diabetes

5 Reasons To Test Your Dog For Diabetes

Did you know that some authorities feel that 1 out of every 100 dogs that reaches 12 years of age develops diabetes mellitus1? Diabetes mellitus (DM) is a hormonal problem where the pancreas fails to produce enough insulin, the hormone that helps push sugar (“glucose”) into the body’s cells. Without the insulin, the body’s cells are starving for sugar; unfortunately, this then stimulates the body to produce more and more sugar (in an attempt to feed the cells). That’s why your dog’s blood sugar is so high (what we call a “hyperglycemia”) with diabetes mellitus. Without insulin, the sugar can’t get into the cells; hence, why you need to give insulin to your dog with a tiny syringe twice a day. In dogs, this is a disease that can be costly to treat and requires twice-a-day insulin along with frequent veterinary visits for the rest of your dog’s life. So how do you know if your dog has diabetes? Clinical signs of diabetes mellitus in dogs include: Dilute urine Muscle wasting Ravenous appetite Frequent urinary tract infections Weakness Unkempt or poor hair coat Blindness secondary to cataracts Neuropathies (nerve problems) As your dog gets older, it’s worth talking to your veterinarian about doing routine blood work to make sure your dog is healthy. This blood work will help rule out kidney and liver problems, anemia, infections, electrolyte problems and diabetes mellitus. The sooner you recognize the clinical signs, the sooner your dog can be treated with insulin and the less complications we see as a result. So, if you notice any of the signs above, get to a veterinarian right away. Now, continue on for 5 important reasons to test your dog for diabetes: Diabetes mellitus can shorten the lifespan of your dog, as secondary complications and infections Continue reading >>

Preventing And Treating Canine Diabetes

Preventing And Treating Canine Diabetes

The growing diabetes epidemic is not limited to people—diabetes mellitus is increasing among dogs as well. Researchers estimate that one in 200 dogs will develop the disease. Fortunately, treatment has made huge strides in recent years, and as a result, dogs with diabetes are living longer, healthier lives. The mechanism of diabetes is relatively simple to describe. Just as cars use gas for fuel, body cells run on a sugar called glucose. The body obtains glucose by breaking down carbohydrates in the diet. Cells then extract glucose from the blood with the help of insulin, a hormone made by the pancreas in specialized cells called beta cells. (The pancreas, an organ situated behind the stomach, produces several hormones.) In diabetes mellitus, cells don’t take in enough glucose, which then builds up in the blood. As a result, cells starve and organs bathed in sugary blood are damaged. Diabetes is not curable, but it is treatable; a dog with diabetes may live many happy years after diagnosis. Kinds of Diabetes Humans are subject to essentially three kinds of diabetes. By far the most common is Type 2, followed by Type 1 and gestational diabetes. Type 2 diabetes has typically been a disease of middle and old age (though it is being seen increasingly in young people), and has two causes: The beta cells don’t make enough insulin, or muscle cells resist insulin’s help and don’t take in enough glucose (or both). As a result, blood glucose levels climb. Type 1 diabetes usually occurs when the immune system attacks and destroys the beta cells, cutting off insulin production; the reason for this attack is thought to be a combination of genetic predisposition plus exposure to a trigger (research into possible triggers is ongoing). Glucose then stays in the blood and, aga Continue reading >>

How To Detect Diabetes In Dogs

How To Detect Diabetes In Dogs

Expert Reviewed Two Methods:Knowing if Your Dog is More Susceptible to DiabetesDetecting Diabetes in DogsCommunity Q&A Diabetic animals are unable to produce enough insulin to properly regulate their blood sugar. Insulin is responsible for transmitting sugars to cells for energy. With an excess of sugar in their system and without enough energy at the cellular level, diabetic dogs lose weight, get cataracts, and suffer from bladder infections and kidney disease. There is no cure for diabetes, but the earlier you detect canine diabetes, the more effective the treatment will be. Some dogs are more susceptible to diabetes and you should know if your dog is one of them. If your dog is, you need to pay closer attention to the warning signs. 1 Recognize that overweight dogs are more likely to become diabetic. Canine diabetes can start when a dog is heavier than average. The best way to see if this could be an issue for your dog is by checking your dog's rib cage. Run your hand along your dog's rib cage. You should be able to feel the ribs easily. If not, your dog may be overweight. Some dogs have incredibly long and thick coats which may make it more difficult to feel their ribs. Another good test is to feel for their back hip bones. If you can feel them by pressing down lightly, then your dog is probably not overweight. If your pet is overweight, talk to your veterinarian about safely decreasing calories and increasing exercise. There are special diets that may be appropriate or you may achieve success with your dog by cutting down on treats and snacks and adding in a few more walks per week. 2 Take note if your dog is older than seven. Diabetes usually develops in dogs between the ages of seven and nine. As your dog gets older, decreased exercise can lead to weight gain. Th Continue reading >>

Testing For Canine Diabetes

Testing For Canine Diabetes

Introduction Canine diabetes mellitus is a chronic disorder of the endocrine system that occurs when the pancreas is unable to produce an adequate supply of insulin, or alternatively when a dog’s cells are unable to take up the insulin that is produced. If your dog is showing clinical signs that are suggestive of diabetes mellitus, your veterinarian will run a series of tests to confirm the diagnosis. Several other diseases can cause the same or similar symptoms as canine diabetes mellitus, so several tests are usually necessary to rule out other conditions and to confirm a definitive diagnosis of diabetes. Testing for Diabetes Mellitus in Dogs Your veterinarian will conduct a thorough physical examination to assess your dog’s general health. She probably will ask you about any changes in your dog’s behavior and body, such as increased or decreased urination, thirst or appetite, weight loss or lethargy, among other possible signs. Some tests are fairly standard in the assessment of diabetes. A urine sample will be collected and tested for the presence of glucose or bacteria in the urine. A bladder or urinary tract infection can mimic the clinical signs of diabetes, but also commonly accompanies the disease. Blood samples will be analyzed for a number of things, especially for the levels of blood glucose, cholesterol and liver enzymes. Your dog likely will need to fast for 12-24 hours before this particular blood test, to ensure accurate results. A single blood test may not be sufficient for a definitive diagnosis, so additional tests may be necessary. Some other things your veterinarian may recommend include abdominal ultrasound and assessment of serum thyroid hormone concentration, serum pancreatic enzyme levels, blood progersterone concentration in intact female Continue reading >>

A1c Test Now Available For Cats And Dogs

A1c Test Now Available For Cats And Dogs

Hemoglobin A1c testing has been the gold standard for years for the diagnosis and management of diabetes in humans. Today, veterinarians can use a similar test for their patients. Diabetes is a common disease in both animals and people that requires consistent ongoing monitoring and management. Measurement of glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c) levels has long been the primary tool for diagnosing, monitoring, and managing diabetes in people. Until now, A1c measurement has not been available in pets due to cost and the amount of time to get a result. Baycom Diagnostics has developed A1Care, the first cost-effective hemoglobin A1c blood glucose diagnostic test kit for feline and canine diabetes. The test is easy to use and requires only a few drops of dried blood. Here’s how it works: The practice fills out a test request form and then fills in 2 circles on the form with whole blood from the patient. After the blood has dried, the form is mailed to Baycom and typically received in 3 to 5 business days. Samples are tested the day they arrive, and results are mailed, emailed, and available by entering in a code from the test request form. The tests are run in the Florida State University Department of Biology Hybridoma Core Facility. Why A1c? The benefit of using A1c levels over the traditional tests that employ fructosamine to manage diabetes is that A1c gives 6 times more data by providing an average blood glucose level for the previous 70 days in cats and 110 days in dogs. “Testing for A1c in people with diabetes has been the gold standard for over a decade,” says Gustav Ray, president and CEO of Baycom Diagnostics. “It is the one test that gives doctors a 120-day report card on how the body has been managing its sugar levels. For the first time, we are offering this Continue reading >>

Diabetes In Dogs: Symptoms And Treatment

Diabetes In Dogs: Symptoms And Treatment

Diabetes in dogs is a complex disease caused by either a lack of the hormone insulin or an inadequate response to insulin. After a dog eats, his digestive system breaks food into various components, including glucose-which is carried into his cells by insulin, a hormone secreted by the pancreas. When a dog does not produce insulin or cannot utilize it normally, his blood sugar levels elevate. The result is hyperglycemia, which, if left untreated, can cause many complicated health problems for a dog. It is important to understand, however, that diabetes is considered a manageable disorder-and many diabetic dogs can lead happy, healthy lives. Diabetes can be classified as either Type 1 (lack of insulin production) or Type II (impaired insulin production along with an inadequate response to the hormone.) The most common form of the disease in dogs is Type 1, insulin-dependent diabetes, which occurs when the pancreas is incapable of producing or secreting adequate levels of insulin. Dogs who have Type I require insulin therapy to survive. Type II diabetes is found in cats and is a lack of normal response to insulin. The following symptoms should be investigated as they could be indicators that your dog has diabetes: Change in appetite Excessive thirst/increase in water consumption Weight loss Increased urination Unusually sweet-smelling or fruity breath Lethargy Dehydration Urinary tract infections Vomiting Cataract formation, blindness The exact cause of diabetes is unknown. However, autoimmune disease, genetics, obesity, chronic pancreatitis, certain medications and abnormal protein deposits in the pancreas can play a major role in the development of the disease. It is thought that obese dogs and female dogs may run a greater risk of developing diabetes later in life (6-9 Continue reading >>

Urine Testing

Urine Testing

Go to site For Pet Owners Evaluation of glycosuria, ketonuria, and monitoring by urine tests Urine only tests positive for glucose if the blood glucose concentration remains above the renal threshold for a substantial period of time. This occurs when glycemia reaches 180–220 mg/dL (10–12.2 mmol/L) in the dog. If used in conjunction with punctual blood samples and evaluation of clinical signs, urine sampling can be a valuable monitoring tool. However, when adjustment of insulin dose is necessary, the preferred method of monitoring is by evaluation of glycemia by performing a glucose curve. Urine monitoring is also a quick and easy method of detecting ketones (ketonuria) and hence a potential emergency—see diabetic ketoacidosis. Two different protocols can be used by the pet owner to monitor the urine: 1. Have pet owner test urine 3 times a day: before the first meal (test 1), before the second meal (test 2), and late in the evening (test 3). Refer to the following table: TEST 1 TEST 2 TEST 3 Action recommended Trace – – None + – – None Trace – Trace Duration of Vetsulin activity may be a little too short. Perform glucose curve. + – + Potential Somogyi effect. Perform glucose curve. + + + Dose potentially too low. Perform glucose curve. – – – Dose potentially too high. Perform glucose curve. 2. Ask the pet owner to closely monitor a 24-hour period by collecting as many urine samples as possible. A persistent glycosuria will indicate the necessity of a complete re-evaluation and glucose curve. Continue reading >>

Diagnosis And Detection

Diagnosis And Detection

Diabetes is one of many conditions that can affect your dog and cause visible changes in behavior and other signs. That’s why it is important that your dog be thoroughly examined by a veterinarian at least once a year or more frequently, if your veterinarian advises. Knowing the signs of diabetes is the first step in protecting your dog’s health. If any of these statements describes your pet, speak with your veterinarian about the possibility of diabetes: Drinks more water than usual (polydipsia) Urinates more frequently, produces more urine per day, or has “accidents” in the house (polyuria) Always acts hungry (polyphagia), but maintains or loses weight Has cloudy eyes When evaluating your dog for diabetes, your veterinarian may ask about these signs and will check your dog’s general health to rule out the possibility of other conditions or infections. In addition, your veterinarian will test your dog’s urine for the presence of glucose and ketones and, if indicated, will then measure your dog’s blood glucose concentration. A diagnosis of diabetes only becomes definite when glucose is found in the urine and at a persistently high concentration in the blood. Drinking large quantities of water, urinating frequently, and eating more than usual (or begging more often for food) all suggest the possibility of diabetes. Continue reading >>

Hometesting Blood Glucose

Hometesting Blood Glucose

Many caregivers with diabetic pets test their pets' blood glucose at home using a glucometer. Home blood glucose monitoring is extremely beneficial for reasons of safety, better regulation and lower cost. Testing blood glucose in a cat or dog requires a bit of practice, but those who persevere master the skill eventually. The majority of feline caregivers on the Feline Diabetes Message Board (FDMB) home test. Monitoring your pet's blood glucose concentration at home has many benefits and is increasingly recommended by veterinarians, especially those who specialize in diabetes. Safety alone makes home blood glucose testing a worthwhile endeavor for pet owners. Just as with human diabetics, it is much safer to know an animal's current blood glucose level before injecting insulin; if the level is lower than usual, it may be appropriate to give a reduced dose in order to prevent a hypoglycemic crisis. Urine testing is not specific enough for this--either in blood glucose level or time period. This may be especially important for cats because of their potential for remission; pancreatic action may be sporadic as they are healing. Many people have reported on FDMB having discovered in a pre-shot test that the cat's blood glucose was already within the normal range and giving a dose of exogenous insulin might have caused hypoglycemia. Most of the veterinary sources advocating home testing (see list below) mention the greater accuracy of tests performed in the animal's home environment compared with a hospital setting. In the latter, particularly in cats, the blood glucose level is affected by stress hyperglycemia and in the case of curves where the animal is hospitalized for the day), inappetance. Another advantage is that the pet can be tested frequently, which is important i Continue reading >>

Diagnosis And Management Overview

Diagnosis And Management Overview

Go to site For Pet Owners Diagnosing canine diabetes Diabetes mellitus is not the only cause of polyuria/polydipsia and weight loss. Each dog should be examined thoroughly to rule out any other causes before starting insulin management. A preliminary diagnosis of diabetes mellitus based on clinical signs must be confirmed by blood and urine tests. Reference values for blood glucose range from 80–120 mg/dL (4.4–6.7 mmol/L) in dogs. The renal threshold is around 180 mg/dL (10 mmol/L). If the blood glucose concentration exceeds this threshold, glucose is excreted in the urine. Presentation of a non-complicated diabetic dog Two types of patients can be categorized as non-complicated: Dogs presented to the veterinarian after the dog owner has noted the appearance of clinical signs without general deterioration—that is, no diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA). These cases are not emergencies, although dogs without cataracts should be treated diligently to try to avoid this complication. Dogs that, after initial presentation with DKA and its successful treatment, are generally stable and without ketonuria. Management The goals in managing diabetes mellitus are to minimize the clinical signs of diabetes, the risk of hypoglycemia, and the development of long-term complications. Accomplishing these goals requires that dog owners understand all aspects of diabetes management. Investment of sufficient time in a careful explanation of all of the aspects of the therapy is strongly recommended. Managing diabetes can be an exercise in frustration until stabilization occurs; however, there are tools available to help evaluate the disease and its management, and there are resources available through this website to provide additional support. Insulin forms one of the cornerstones of the man Continue reading >>

Diabetes In Dogs - Testing And Monitoring

Diabetes In Dogs - Testing And Monitoring

By Kristiina Ruotsalo, DVM, DVSc, Dip ACVP, Margo S. Tant BSc, DVM, DVSc, &Robin Downing, DVM, DAAPM, DACVSMR, CVPP Diagnosis What tests are suggested for the diagnosis of diabetes mellitus in dogs? Generally, the following screening tests are performed when diabetes mellitus is suspected: a complete blood count (CBC), a serum biochemistry profile, and a urinalysis. Why so many tests? Can't diabetes be diagnosed by an elevated blood sugar value alone? Elevated fasting blood and urine glucose (sugar) values are absolutely essential for the diagnosis of diabetes mellitus, but other screening tests provide additional information regarding the severity of the diabetes, any conditions that may be contributing to the diabetes, and any complications related to the diabetic state. Because diabetes mellitus is usually diagnosed in middle-aged to older dogs, your dog may have other unrelated conditions that need to be managed along with diabetes. The screening tests will usually alert us to any such conditions. What might a CBC reveal if my dog has diabetes mellitus? The complete blood count (CBC) evaluates the red blood cells, the white blood cells, and the platelet components of a blood sample. With uncomplicated diabetes mellitus, these components are often within the normal range. However, changes may occasionally be seen in the red or white cell values. Despite drinking large quantities of water, diabetic dogs lose body water because they produce such dilute urine. Therefore, your dog may actually be dehydrated. Dehydration can be indicated on the CBC by increases in the packed cell volume (PCV - the proportion of the blood volume that is actually occupied by red blood cells) as well as increases in the total red blood cell count. In some severe diabetic states, lysis (ruptu Continue reading >>

Feline Diabetes And A1c

Feline Diabetes And A1c

A Dried Blood Spot mail-in A1C (glycohemoglobin) test for canines and felines. Sold in 5 packs with everything you need to do the test. Including, prepaid postage on the 5 return envelopes. Purchase of the 5 pack also includes test results emailed, faxed or mailed via USPS depending on your preference. STEP 3: Once blood is dry, mail the test using the supplied pre-paid business reply envelope – typical delivery time is 3-5 business days. Tests may also be expedited via a third party shipping service (at veterinary’s expense). Samples are tested Monday through Friday from 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM (EST). Results are emailed or faxed to the contact information that was listed on the test form. For questions related to the status of a result, please email the code located on the bottom of the test to [email protected] About A1C (glycohemoglobin) Many pets have clinical and subclinical/transitional diabetes only identified by A1C. It is also called glycated hemoglobin or glycohemoglobin. Glycation is a non-enzymatic reaction between the carbonyl group and the N-terminal of lysine amino acid. This process leads to a Amadori compounds which undergo a series of oxidation, dehydration and fragmentation reactions which generates advanced glycation end products. This universal reaction occurs 24 hours a day 7 days a week in mammals and is the foundation for why A1C is an accurate and reliable test from people to mice and including cats and dogs. Since hemoglobins life span in felines is 70 days. You get a very accurate average glucose levels for this time due to the predictable and repeatable process of glycation. The same is true for canines. Except their red blood cells (hemoglobin) life span is 110 days giving an average glucose level via glycation (A1C) for this time p Continue reading >>

Monitoring Blood Glucose At Home

Monitoring Blood Glucose At Home

A stable diabetic dog should have a blood glucose range of about 5 -12 mmol/l (90-216 mg/dl) for most of a 24 hour period. Your veterinary surgeon may ask if you are prepared to monitor blood glucose levels at home. This can be done in two ways and your veterinary surgeon will discuss the best option with you. Blood test strips similar to those used for testing urine can be used. A handheld glucometer can be used. Although not essential, handheld glucometers are easy to use and well worth the investment.Your veterinary surgeon will be able to advise you on what model best suits you and your dog's needs. Collecting and testing a blood sample During home monitoring, blood is usually collected from the earflap (pinna) of your dog. Make sure that your dog’s ear is warm. If not, hold it between your hands for about one minute. Warming the earflap makes collecting a drop of blood easier. Quickly prick a clean, hairless part of the ear with a sterile hypodermic needle or lancet. A small drop of blood will appear. Collect the drop onto the glucose test strip. Gently but firmly press some cottonwool onto your pet’s ear until it stops bleeding. Read the test strip or insert the sample into the glucometer as instructed. Blood glucose test strips Blood glucose strips are used to measure blood glucose concentration. A drop of blood is placed on the pad at the end of the strip. After the specified amount of time the pad is wiped and the colour is checked against the chart on the container. Read the instructions provided before use. Using a glucometer A drop of blood is placed on the provided strips, the strip is then inserted into the glucometer, and the blood glucose concentration is shown. Read the instructions provided before use. Continue reading >>

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