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The Many Causes Of Hypoglycemia In Dogs And Cats

The Many Causes Of Hypoglycemia In Dogs And Cats

Hypoglycemia is when your pet's blood sugar drops and becomes too low. Find out here the causes, symptoms and treatment options available to pets whose glucose levels tend to rise and fall. Hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar, is a potentially life-threatening situation for a dog or cat. Your pet’s blood sugar, or glucose, is their primary source of energy. When glucose levels drop below normal, it results in a loss of energy and decreased ability to function. In severe cases, a pet may lose consciousness or even die. Hypoglycemia is not a disease. It is instead a symptom that points to an underlying medical condition. Here we will look at the causes of hypoglycemia in dogs and cats, and what symptoms to watch for in your pet. There are many causes of hypoglycemia in pets, but the most common is related to diabetes treatment. Diabetes occurs when the body is not able to properly produce or process insulin, the hormone that allows glucose to travel to cells and transform into energy. Without insulin, the glucose remains in the bloodstream, and this is what is referred to as high blood sugar. Insulin injections are given to diabetic pets in order to even out blood sugar levels. However, if a pet parent accidentally gives their pet too much of the drug, it can cause the body to metabolize too much glucose, resulting in low blood sugar, or hypoglycemia. Glucose can also be over-metabolized as a result of insulin-secreting tumors or conditions that require a great deal of energy from the pet, including certain cancers, infection, sepsis, and pregnancy. While the most common, over-metabolization of glucose is not the only cause of hypoglycemia. Low blood sugar can also occur due to decreased production of glucose by the liver (often caused by liver disease, liver shunts, or Ad Continue reading >>

4 Signs Of An Impending Diabetic Pet Emergency

4 Signs Of An Impending Diabetic Pet Emergency

Caring for a diabetic pet can be challenging, but there are certain precautions pet owners can take to prevent a diabetic emergency like hypoglycemia. Preventing a health crisis in a dog or cat with diabetes involves employing a consistent daily routine involving diet, exercise, insulin therapy, and supplementation. It also involves avoiding any and all unnecessary vaccinations. Even the most diligent pet parent can find himself facing a diabetic emergency with a dog or cat. Hypoglycemia is the most common health crisis, and is usually the result of an inadvertent overdose of insulin. Symptoms of hypoglycemia can appear suddenly and include lethargy or restlessness, anxiety or other behavioral changes, muscle weakness or twitching, seizures, coma, and death. At-home treatment for a diabetic pet with hypoglycemia is determined by whether or not the animal is alert. Signs of other potential impending diabetic emergencies include ketones in the urine; straining to urinate or bloody urine; vomiting or diarrhea; or a complete loss of appetite or reduced appetite for several days. By Dr. Becker Caring for a diabetic pet can be quite complex and time consuming. It involves regular monitoring of blood glucose levels, making necessary dietary adjustments, giving insulin injections or oral medications, and keeping a careful eye on your pet at all times. Frequent veterinary visits are the norm for dogs and cats with diabetes, as are the costs associated with checkups, tests, medical procedures, and insulin therapy. And unlike humans with the disease, our pets can’t tell us how they’re feeling or help in their own treatment and recovery. Preventing Diabetic Emergencies The key to preventing diabetic emergencies with a pet involves implementing a consistent daily routine and sti Continue reading >>

Hypoglycemia In Dogs

Hypoglycemia In Dogs

Hypoglycemia refers to an abnormal decrease of glucose concentration in the blood, or more simply - low blood sugar levels. A normal blood glucose value for healthy, non-diabetic dogs is 3.3-6.1 mmol/L. Hypoglycemia occurs when excessive glucose consumption depletes the reserves of glucose in the body. Hypoglycemia can be a result of endocrine or hepatic disorders, a higher energy requirement for glucose, lack of glucose due to fasting, or toxicity. Hypoglycemia will leave dogs feeling weak and groggy. If left untreated, unconsciousness followed by death will result. Hypoglycemia is defined as a low blood sugar concentration. As sugar (in the form of glucose) is the primary energy source in the body, low blood sugar levels will ultimately affect organ and brain function. Symptoms of hypoglycemia will usually begin with low energy and a delayed response time, if left to progress further these symptoms will develop into more serious signs such as seizures and collapse. Potential symptoms include: Loss of appetite Lethargy (low energy) Slow response time Unusual behaviour Polyuria (increased urination) Polydipsia (increased thirst) Lack of coordination Partial paralysis of hindquarters Weakness Exercise intolerance Trembling Involuntary twitching Seizures Unconsciousness Hypoglycemia can be the result of underlying endocrine or hepatic disorders, sudden increase in the use of glucose by the body, inadequate amounts of glucose, or toxicity. Causes include: Abnormal growth of pancreatic cells Cancer in the liver or gastrointestinal system Inflammation of the liver Portosystemic shunt Glycogen-storage disease Excessive strenuous exercise Overuse of glucose in the body during pregnancy Reduced intake of glucose due to starvation or malnutrition Delayed time between meals in ki Continue reading >>

Handling A Diabetes Emergency

Handling A Diabetes Emergency

Emergencies can happen at any time, so it's best to be prepared and know what to do if an emergency occurs. Talking with your veterinarian is a crucial part of being informed and prepared to handle emergencies. Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) The most common side effect experienced with insulin therapy is hypoglycemia. Hypoglycemia can be caused by: Missing or delaying food. Change in food, diet, or amount fed. Infection or illness. Change in the body's need for insulin. Diseases of the adrenal, pituitary, or thyroid glands, or progression of liver or kidney disease. Interaction with other drugs (such as steroids). Change (increase) in exercise. Signs of hypoglycemia may occur suddenly and can include: Weakness Depression Behavioral changes Muscle twitching Anxiety Seizures Coma Death See below for a list of other side effects. What to do If your pet is conscious, rub a tablespoon of corn syrup on his or her gums. When your pet is able to swallow, feed him or her a usual meal and contact your veterinarian. If your pet is unconscious or having a seizure, this is a medical emergency. CONTACT YOUR VETERINARIAN. In the meantime, you should immediately treat your pet rather than delaying management. Pour a small amount of a sugar solution (eg, corn syrup) onto your finger and then rub the sugar solution onto your pet's gums. The sugar is absorbed very quickly and your pet should respond in 1 to 2 minutes. The sugar solution should never be poured directly into your pet's mouth since there is a risk that the solution will be inhaled into the lungs. Once your pet has responded to the sugar administration and is sitting up, it can be fed a small amount of its regular food. Once the pet has stabilized, it should be transported to your veterinarian for evaluation. Your pet's diet Continue reading >>

Home Remedy For Canine Diabetes

Home Remedy For Canine Diabetes

When you hear the word diabetes, you may also think of the word insulin, as it’s the treatment of choice for people and pets diagnosed with this illness affecting the body’s glucose levels. If your dog has been diagnosed with diabetes, he can live a happy life. You can use home remedies to help his condition, but canine diabetes requires veterinary guidance and consistent treatment. Whatever you do, involve your vet. Diabetes in Dogs To understand how home remedies can help canine diabetes, it’s important to know how the disease works and affects your pup’s body. Your dog’s pancreas aids in his digestion by producing digestive enzymes and the hormone insulin. Insulin helps maintain the proper level of glucose in the bloodstream. If your dog has diabetes mellitus, his pancreas isn’t properly regulating his blood sugar. When your dog’s blood sugar isn’t properly balanced, he’ll likely eat, drink and urinate excessively, as well as lose weight. Most dogs develop Type I diabetes, also referred to as insulin-dependent diabetes because the pancreas does not produce any insulin. Type II diabetes is also called non-insulin-dependent diabetes because the pancreas is secreting insulin -- however, not in sufficient quantities to meet the dog’s needs. Insulin Helpers If your dog has Type I diabetes, there’s no avoiding the fact he’ll require insulin. If he has the more uncommon Type II diabetes, he’ll likely need insulin or an oral medication to stimulate insulin production. However, there are supplements that may help control his blood sugar. Dr. Shawn Messonnier of PetCareNaturally.com says that the herb gymnema may help increase insulin production and improve its effectiveness. He also says the minerals chromium and vanadium may be useful in helping to Continue reading >>

Hypoglycemia - Low Blood Sugar

Hypoglycemia - Low Blood Sugar

What is Hypoglycemia (Low Blood Sugar)? 1. The brain requires glucose (blood sugar) for normal functioning, and unlike many other organs, the brain has a very limited ability to store glucose. As such, the brain is the organ that is most affected when blood sugar gets too low. 2. Low blood sugar can cause seizures 3. Puppies - especially small breed puppies - are particularly susceptible to low blood sugar because their liver is not able to store sufficient amounts of glycogen, as compared with older dogs. 4. Hypoglycemia can be a life-threatening - even fatal - condition, and is known to be a cause of canine seizures. The occurrence of symptoms depends on how far, and how fast, the blood sugar has dropped 5. Treating Hypoglycemia (Low Blood Sugar): During an attack of hypoglycemia your goal is to stay calm, to bring the blood glucose back to a safe level, to continue to observe your dog. You can contact your veterinarian if you feel you need to. These are general guidelines for treating hypoglycemia. Ask your veterinarian for information that is specific to your dog. Severe hypoglycemia: If your dog is severely hypoglycemic, especially if it is having seizures or unconscious, you must give Haggen-Dazs vanilla ice cream immediately. Carefully rub small amounts of ice cream on the inside of the cheeks and gums. Do not put a lot of liquid in the dog's mouth, and be sure the dog does not choke. Do not stick your fingers inside the teeth of a dog that is having seizures - you may get bitten. Then, call your veterinarian if you feel you need further guidance. If your dog continues to be unconscious your dog should be taken to the veterinary emergency room immediately. Moderate hypoglycemia: Haggen-Dazs plain vanilla ice cream should be given, either alone, or combined with f Continue reading >>

Pets With Diabetes: Hypoglycemia

Pets With Diabetes: Hypoglycemia

Signs Treatment Asymptomatic Hypo Be Prepared (how to carry a sugar supply) Exercise and hypo. Nigel Goes Hypo Hypo Humor References The most serious side effect of too much insulin is hypoglycemia, or low blood glucose. Hypoglycemia can be a life-threatening, even fatal condition. Classic signs of hypoglycemia lethargy (lack of energy) weakness head tilting "drunkedness" - wobbling when walking, unbalanced hunger restlessness shivering ataxia - usually lack of muscular coordination, but maybe changes in head and neck movements disorientation stupor convulsions or seizures coma The occurrence of signs depends on how far the bg drops and on how fast the blood glucose drops. Owners of diabetic cats have also reported observing these signs sleepiness unable to wake the cat easily when it is sleeping. vomiting glassy eyes - it may look like it is staring into space laying, sleeping, or curled up in an unusual location of the house meowing, crying, yowling, or vocalizing in a way that is unusual for your cat some cats get aggressive drooling coughing Owners of diabetic dogs have also reported observing these signs sweating - check the nose and the paw pads. lip smacking or licking getting physically "stuck" in a place where the pet normally could get itself out (for example, behind a partially closed door that a pet would usually nudge open.) Some animals are asymptomatic at very low bg values. This means they do not show any of the usual signs of hypoglycemia even though their bg is very low. Read experiences of three pets who have had episodes of asymptomatic hypoglycemia. Be Prepared Always have corn syrup or sugar available. Corn syrup works well because it is a very pure sugar, and it is liquid. In the U.S. "Karo" is a brand name of corn syrup and you'll often see this Continue reading >>

Hypoglycemia

Hypoglycemia

Hypoglycemia is what every diabetic fears -- very low blood glucose. Since the brain requires glucose for fuel at every second, it's possible to induce coma, seizures,brain damage[1][2][3] and death by letting blood glucose drop too low. Because the brain is almost totally dependent on glucose to make use of oxygen[4], it is somewhat like having severe breathing problems. Though the causes and mechanisms are different, in both cases the brain does not have enough oxygen, and similar symptoms and problems can occur. It is caused by giving too much insulin for the body's current needs. The blood glucose level at which an animal (or person) is dangerously hypoglycemic is fuzzy, and depends on several factors.[5] The line is different for diabetics and non-diabetics, and differs between individuals and depending on exogenous insulin and what the individual is accustomed to. The most likely time for an acute hypoglycemia episode is when the insulin is working hardest, or at its peak; mild lows may cause lethargy and sleepiness[6]. An acute hypoglycemic episode can happen even if you are careful, since pets' insulin requirements sometimes change without warning. Pets and people can have hypoglycemic episodes because of increases to physical activity. What makes those with diabetes prone to hypoglycemia is that muscles require glucose for proper function. The more active muscles become, the more their need for glucose increases[7]. Conversely, there can also be hyperglycemic reactions from this; it depends on the individual/caregiver knowing him/herself and the pet's reactions. According to a 2000 JAVMA study, dogs receiving insulin injections only once daily at high doses[9] are more likely to have hypoglycemic episodes than those who receive insulin twice daily. The symptoms Continue reading >>

Give Me Some Sugar! Canine Low Blood Sugar–symptoms And Treatments

Give Me Some Sugar! Canine Low Blood Sugar–symptoms And Treatments

There is a dog blood-glucose disorder that goes by three names: Canine Hypoglycemia , Exertional Hypoglycemia and Sugar Fits. These names refer to one single condition: cells in your canine’s body aren’t receiving the needed amount of glucose. Your dog’s energy is derived from glucose that is supplied by the blood, but with Canine Hypoglycemia, blood glucose levels lower than 70 mg/dL should be cause for concern and are considered increasingly dangerous, of course, as the numbers go down. The normal level is 70-150 mg/dL. Different factors enter into the cause, but if you suspect your beloved family member might be diabetic, it’s important to have your canine-cutie diagnosed properly, and quickly, since untreated hypoglycemia can, ultimately, result in seizure/coma and death. Symptoms Of Canine Hypoglycemia: Disorientation or confusion Trembling lip Seizures (dogs 4 or over are more prone) Weakness-shakiness-dizziness Anxiety Lack-luster personality/lethargy/depression Prevention/Treatment: Obviously, the goal is to raise your pet’s blood-sugar level or maintain normal sugar levels; and this can be achieved in several ways: Feed your pet smaller, more frequent meals. There is a food supplement known as PetAlive GlucoBalance which aides in pancreatic and liver functions. Smaller meals, plus the PetAlive, can potentially correct the problem, but a blood test from your pet’s vet is required to properly determine if this regime-change will have made a difference. Treats should be avoided, at this time, unless permitted by your dog’s doctor. If you suspect your canine’s blood sugar is low, visiting the vet is crucial. The vet will, automatically, check blood-sugar levels. If necessary, a form of glucose will be fed intravenously -directly into the bloodstream Continue reading >>

Hypoglycaemia In Treated Diabetic Dogs

Hypoglycaemia In Treated Diabetic Dogs

One of the most important complications seen in diabetic dogs on insulin treatment is an unduly low blood glucose level, called hypoglycaemia. Situations that may lead to hypoglycaemia are: Your dog receives the normal dose of insulin but has not received its normal quantity of food - it does not eat, vomits up the meal or has diarrhoea. Your dog is abnormally active, leading to abnormally high energy (glucose) use. Your dog accidentally receives a dose of insulin that is too high. Signs of hypoglycaemia (low blood sugar) hypoglycaemia can be fatal, so it is extremely important that you recognize these signs, which are often subtle in the early stages: restlessness trembling or shivering unusual movements or behaviour - some animals become very quiet and stop eating. muscle twitching What to do If any of the above signs are present, you will have to react quickly. Provide food immediately. If your dog refuses to eat, administer a glucose solution immediately. Glucose solution can be made from glucose powder and tap water. (It is wise always to keep a small amount of glucose solution ready for use.) One gram of glucose per kilogram body weight should be given (1 teaspoon per 5kg). Administer the solution carefully into the cheek pouch. Only do this if you are sure that your pet can swallow. Give the solution very slowly to avoid choking. A clean syringe is useful for administering glucose solution. The size of the syringe used is dependent on the size of your dog - 5ml, 10ml or 20ml. If your pet is unable to swallow normally, rub the glucose powder into the gums (especially under the tongue). BE CAREFUL THAT YOU ARE NOT BITTEN. As soon as recovery is evident, give your dog a small amount of food. Then keep an eye on your dog for several hours to ensure that the signs do Continue reading >>

Low Blood Sugar In Dogs

Low Blood Sugar In Dogs

Hypoglycemia in Dogs The medical term for critically low levels of sugar in the blood is hypoglycemia, and it is often linked to diabetes and an overdose of insulin. The blood sugar, or glucose, is a main energy of source in an animal's body, so a low amount will result in a severe decrease in energy levels, possibly to the point of loss of consciousness. There are conditions other than diabetes that can also cause blood sugar levels to drop to dangerous levels in dogs. In most animals, hypoglycemia is actually not a disease in and of itself, but is only an indication of another underlying health problem. The brain actually needs a steady supply of glucose in order to function properly, as it does not store and create glucose itself. When glucose levels drop to a dangerously low level, a condition of hypoglycemia takes place. This is a dangerous health condition and needs to be treated quickly and appropriately. If you suspect hypoglycemia, especially if your dog is disposed to this condition, you will need to treat the condition quickly before it becomes life threatening. Symptoms Loss of appetite (anorexia) Increased hunger Visual instability, such as blurred vision Disorientation and confusion – may show an apparent inability to complete basic routine tasks Weakness, low energy, loss of consciousness Anxiety, restlessness Tremor/shivering Heart palpitations These symptoms may not be specific to hypoglycemia, there can be other possible underlying medical causes. The best way to determine hypoglycemia if by having the blood sugar level measured while the symptoms are apparent. Causes There may be several causes for hypoglycemia, but the most common is the side effects caused by drugs that are being used to treat diabetes. Dogs with diabetes are given insulin to help Continue reading >>

Diabetic Shock In Dogs

Diabetic Shock In Dogs

A diabetic shock occurs when a dog with diabetes has low blood sugar. This condition may manifest through seizures, unconsciousness, coma and may also be fatal. The diabetic shock often occurs due to a reaction to an insulin overdose, so it's important to administer the insulin only in the recommended doses. However, a diabetic shock may also occur when the dog fails to eat at normal hours or when he exercises for too long. Causes of Diabetic Shock A diabetic shock occurs in dogs that are diagnosed with diabetes, and indicates a condition determined by a low level of glucose in the blood or hypoglycemia. The condition may be caused by: An overdose of insulin, if you administer too much or the prescribed dose is too high Excessive exercise that will cause a decrease of the glucose levels in the blood If the dog skips a meal, this will result in an immediate drop in the blood sugar; even a one-hour delay of the meal may result in low levels of glycemia Excitement may also lead to a diabetic shock Symptoms of Diabetic Shock Not all dogs that have a diabetic shock develop symptoms. However, if your pet has symptoms, these may include: General state of weakness Lethargic behavior Lack of interest in playing Excessive sweating, visible on the nose and the paw pads Sudden collapse Unusual tilting of the head The dog may be hungry and ask for treats or food The dog may fail to coordinate his movements Seizures, in more advanced cases Excessive drooling Vomiting Coma How to Respond to Diabetic Shock When you notice that your diabetic dog displays some of the symptoms that are specific for a diabetic shock, you will have to act immediately, to prevent death. You will have to administer sugar to your dog, so that the levels of glycemia will become normal again. Give 2 to 3 Tbsp. o Continue reading >>

Diabetic Seizures In Dogs

Diabetic Seizures In Dogs

Seeing your dog have a seizure can be pretty scary, especially the first time this happens. If the seizure is caused by diabetes complications, the good news is that future seizures can be prevented by controlling the dog's diabetes. Why Seizures Happen Any seizure—in a dog or a human—is caused by a kind of electrical storm in the brain. If a dog has diabetes, her body doesn't produce the right amount of insulin for control of blood sugar levels. Insulin is produced by the pancreas, and diabetes can be caused by too much or too little. Very low blood sugar levels can interrupt the normal functioning of the brain, leading to a diabetic seizure. Hypoglycemia and Hyperglycemia Problems relating to diabetes in dogs usually stem from a state of either hypoglycemia or hyperglycemia. A hypoglycemic dog has very low blood sugar and may experience a seizure as a result. In diabetic dogs, hypoglycemia commonly occurs when an insulin dose is given without sufficient food for the dog's body to utilize the insulin properly. The opposite diabetic state, hyperglycemia, occurs when the dog's blood sugar levels are extremely high. Although hyperglycemia does not typically cause seizures, this is a serious state in which the dog may become depressed, weak and anorexic. Hyperglycemia can cause a dog to become comatose. Seizure Prevention If your dog is diabetic, seizure prevention primarily involves preventing a state of hypoglycemia. Use insulin that is formulated specifically for dogs—Novolin, Vetsulin and Caninsulin are some of the most commonly used forms of canine insulin. Monitor your dog's blood glucose regularly to make sure the insulin dosage is correct and having the desired effect. Monitor your dog's feeding and exercise patterns, if possible with a regular daily schedule Continue reading >>

Symptom Checker - Panting And Shaking In The Dog

Symptom Checker - Panting And Shaking In The Dog

If your generally healthy dog suddenly appears to take a funny turn and begins acting oddly, panting or breathing heavily and shaking or tremoring, this can be very concerning for the owner, who may not know what is amiss or what to do next. Just as people can be taken ill rather suddenly on occasion for various reasons, so too can dogs, and panting, shaking and shivering are all very generalised indications of something being wrong. In this article, we will look into panting and shaking in combination in more detail, what can lead to this happening, and what you should do. Read on to learn more about panting and shaking in dogs. More about panting and shaking Panting and shaking in combination may come on suddenly or develop over a period of time, and knowing when the problem started can help you to narrow down the potential causes. If your dog has already been diagnosed with any form of ongoing health condition, it is wise to talk to your vet in-depth about what you can expect from this, and if symptoms or funny turns including panting and shaking can be expected, and what to do about it. In combination, shaking and panting can be caused by or be indicative of a whole range of potential conditions, from heart problems to overheating and a whole range of other things besides. Some of the most common causes of panting and shaking are covered below. Panting on its own If your dog is hyperventilating, gasping for air or panting heavily but is not tremoring and shaking, this can be indicative of simple exertion that will ease off when your dog calms down. First of all, take them to a shaded area, keep them calm and give them some water to see if the panting eases up on its own. Heat stroke If your dog has overheated badly, such as by taking part in high energy exercise on Continue reading >>

Caring For Dogs With Diabetes

Caring For Dogs With Diabetes

The first things I wanted to know when my dog was diagnosed with diabetes were: Did I cause it? Will she die? And - can I handle the day-to-day care? Fortunately, the answers that I found were: No, I didn't cause it. No, she won't die right now. Many dogs live a normal life with the disease. And yes, I could handle it. Over time I learned how to care for my dog and help her stay active and healthy. If your dog has diabetes, you too can easily care for your pet with help from your veterinarian and support from your friends and family. Diabetes mellitus is one of the most common hormonal disorders in dogs. Statistics show that one in 400 dogs develop diabetes. So you and your diabetic dog are not alone - many other pet owners are helping their dogs stay healthy and live normal lives with this disease. Types of Diabetes Most diabetic dogs have diabetes mellitus (pronounced MEL-uh-tus). In diabetes mellitus, the pancreatic islet cells that produce insulin are destroyed during episodes of pancreatitis or when the immune system attacks them (a form of autoimmunity). Dogs with diabetes mellitus usually require shots of insulin to help their bodies use the energy from the food they eat. Diabetes insipidus means that either the body is not making enough of the antidiuretic hormone (ADH) that controls water regulation in the kidneys, or that the kidneys cannot respond to ADH. Diabetes insipidus is very rare in dogs; this article addresses only diabetes mellitus in dogs. What is Diabetes Mellitus? Diabetes mellitus is the inability of the body to properly use the energy from food. The disease is caused by a deficiency of insulin, a hormone that regulates how the cells absorb and use blood sugar. Insulin is produced by the pancreas, a gland in the endocrine system. The pancreas ser Continue reading >>

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