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What Are The Side Effects Of Insulin In Dogs?

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About Us

The Origin of Dogs for Diabetics Dogs for Diabetics (D4D) is the seminal organization to research, train and place Medical Assistance Diabetic Alert Dogs with insulin-dependent diabetics to assist them in managing their insulin therapy. Its dogs are scent-trained to recognize the chemical changes in blood sugar in order to provide an alert prior to the onset of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), a debilitating condition that is a side-effect of insulin therapy. D4D traces its roots back to 1999, when its founder, Mark Ruefenacht, a Type I diabetic, had a pivotal experience with Benton, a guide dog puppy in training. While traveling on business to New York City, Mark had a serious problem with hypoglycemia. The dog aggressively aroused him from an incoherent state, and caused him to recognize his condition and treat it before he was completely incapacitated. This incident led Mark to explore the idea that assistance dogs could be trained to use their phenomenal sense of smell to detect and alert on hypoglycemic episodes in diabetics. Five Years of Research Mark pioneered a five-year research project that eventually become D4D. During this period, he worked with other dog trainers in disciplines ranging from search and rescue, bomb and drug detection to cancer detection protocols. Mark was able to couple his professional experience in forensic science with years of experience with Guide Dogs for the Blind of San Rafael (GDB) to develop the training protocols now used to train dogs in this unique scent-detection effort. In 2003, Armstrong, a yellow Labrador Retriever, was donated to Mark, by GDB, to be trained to detect and alert on hypoglycemia. After it was determined that the scent discrimination training process was successful, Armstrong was tested with other Type 1 diabe 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 >>

How To Care For A Dog With Diabetes

How To Care For A Dog With Diabetes

How To Care For A Dog With Diabetes 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. Why Dogs Get Diabetes Type 1 diabetes, the form of the disease that strikes the young, is actually quite rare in companion animals when they reach middle-age or senior years. Your dog is much more likely to develop Type II (adult-onset) diabetes around middle age or in his senior years, as a result of a lifestyle that has led to decreased production of insulin or the inability of his body to use it efficiently. Obesity is far and away the biggest reason pets become diabetic. You can help your dog stay trim by feeding him a portion controlled, moisture rich species-appropriate diet consisting primarily of a variety of unadulterated protein sources, healthy fats, veggies and fruit in moderation, and specific nutritional supplements as necessary. Your pet has no biological requirement for grains or most other carbs. Carbs, which can be as much as 80 percent the ingredient content of processed pet food, turn into sugar in your pet’s body. Excess sugar in dogs leads to diabetes. Another lifestyle-related reason pets develop diabetes, one that often goes hand-in-hand with poor nutrition, is lack of phy Continue reading >>

Diabetes Mellitus In Dogs

Diabetes Mellitus In Dogs

Diabetes mellitus is a common illness in dogs. It is caused by either a decreased production of insulin or decreased functioning of the insulin. Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas that helps glucose move from the blood stream into the cells of the body where it can be used for energy. What causes diabetes in dogs? There appear to be many factors that can contribute to the development of diabetes in dogs. Genetics plays a role. Some diabetes may be immune-mediated. This means the dog's immune system works against the pancreas as it tries to produce insulin. What dogs are most at risk of developing diabetes? Dogs of any age can develop diabetes, but most are between 7 and 9 years old. Females appear to be at increased risk. Certain breeds appear to be more at risk, including Samoyeds, Australian terriers, miniature schnauzers, pugs, and miniature and toy poodles. Dogs who have had multiple episodes of pancreatitis also appear to be more likely to develop diabetes mellitus. What are the signs and symptoms of diabetes in dogs? Most dogs with diabetes will have increased thirst and urination. Although the appetite is usually good or increased, there is often weight loss. Some dogs, however, may become obese. In some cases, blindness due to cataracts may be the first indication to an owner that there is a problem. Cataracts would appear as cloudy eyes with vision loss. Several diseases often occur in conjunction with diabetes mellitus, including Cushing's disease (hyperadrenocorticism), urinary tract infections, hypothyroidism, acute pancreatitis and cancer. The presence of these diseases can complicate the diagnosis and effective treatment of diabetes. Dogs may develop a serious complication of diabetes known as ketoacidosis. In this emergency condition, the blood Continue reading >>

Diazoxide For Veterinary Use

Diazoxide For Veterinary Use

Diazoxide is a potassium channel activator commonly used in veterinary medicine to treat hypertension and insulinoma. What Is Insulinoma? Insulinoma is a malignant tumor in the pancreas that produces an excessive amount of insulin, which leads to hypoglycemia, or a very low blood sugar concentration. The condition is most commonly found in medium to large breed dogs between eight and twelve years old. Ferrets are also at high risk for developing insulinoma, however, cats are not. Signs and Symptoms of Insulinoma Typical signs and symptoms of insulinoma include fainting, collapse, general weakness, noticeable weakness in the hind limbs, muscle tremors, loss of coordination, increased appetite, nervousness, shaking, dilated pupils and in some cases, blindness. The hallmark of insulinoma is found in the patient’s blood test, which will produce a normal to high serum insulin level, while at the same time producing a very low blood glucose reading. Treating Insulinoma Symptoms With Diazoxide Diazoxide is effective at raising blood glucose levels by slowing down or inhibiting the release of insulin from pancreas. Careful monitoring of the patient should be performed to prevent hyperglycemia from developing. Diazoxide does not treat the tumor itself, only the hypersecretion of insulin from the pancreas. Diazoxide Precautions Diazoxide is effective in the treatment of hypoglycemia due to insulinoma and safe for use in the veterinary field, but some animal patients should not receive this medication if potential risks outweigh benefits. Animals with a known allergy or hypersensitivity to this drug or thiazide diuretics should not receive treatment with diazoxide. Diazoxide can be used with caution in animals suffering from other serious health conditions like congestive heart Continue reading >>

Insulin Shock In Dogs

Insulin Shock In Dogs

An insulin shock is due to high levels of insulin in the blood, which also cause extremely low blood sugar. The condition may occur in dogs that suffer from diabetes and are under insulin treatment, but may also be seen in dogs that have a pancreas disorder. An insulin shock may be extremely dangerous and even fatal, so it’s important to prevent it or notice its symptoms, so that the dog can get help. Causes of Insulin Shock An insulin shock is often seen in dogs with diabetes. Diabetes in dogs is caused by a deficiency of insulin in the body. The treatment is made up of insulin shots that are administered either daily or several times per week. If the dose is too high or the dog receives more insulin than the vet prescribed, this can lead to an insulin shock. This is often a result of human error. Other possible causes of an insulin shock may include: A pancreatic disorder A tumor affecting the pancreas A genetic disorder Symptoms of Dog Insulin Shock The insulin shock will cause low blood glucose and a decreased body temperature. The dog will display a few symptoms such as: Shaking and tremors Slow heart rate Pale gums Cold limbs Lethargy Drooling Seizures Coma, only in severe cases Diagnosing an Insulin Shock in a Dog Since the insulin shock requires emergency treatment, there is no time for a diagnosis procedure, so the vet will establish if the dog has an insulin shock judging by his symptoms. A quick blood test may be performed to detect if there are low levels of blood sugar. If your dog is diabetic, you can detect hypoglycemia with your blood glucose testing kit. Insulin Shock Emergency Treatment A dog with insulin shock should receive emergency treatment, which you can administer at home. The dog should receive sugar, corn syrup, honey or maple syrup. Rob the Continue reading >>

Pancreas Removal's Side Effects In Dogs

Pancreas Removal's Side Effects In Dogs

There are two types of pancreatectomy in dogs, partial and full. In a partial pancreas removal surgery, only the diseased portion of the organ is removed; the remainder functions, but not as well. In the rare full pancreatectomy, the entire pancreas is removed. The pancreas has the jobs of producing insulin and producing enzymes for digestion -- so the dog with a fully removed pancreas will instantly develop type 1 diabetes. Type 1 Diabetes in Dogs In type 1 diabetes, insulin levels fluctuate wildly, making them difficult to regulate. When the pancreas is removed in a full pancreatectomy, the dog becomes an instant type 1 diabetic. He must be given digestive enzymes and have multiple insulin injections every day for life. This type of diabetes can be regulated in the dog but takes constant supervision and multiple trips to the veterinarian to get the insulin levels adjusted properly. Partial Pancreatectomy in Dogs The partial removal of the pancreas can sometimes result in pancreatic insufficiency, which is the result of having lowered insulin and digestive enzyme levels in the body. This is known as type 2 diabetes. The pancreas still functions and produces enzymes and insulin, but doesn't produce enough of them. In this case, enzymes are supplemented in the diet, and certain levels of insulin are injected and maintained. This condition is easier to regulate than with a full pancreatectomy. Side Effects and Symptoms After pancreas removal, the dog experiences extreme thirst, hunger and malnourishment, unable to properly process food. He loses weight rapidly while still trying to eat. He has high glucose levels, he's lethargic and vomiting, and suffers from dehydration and weakness, often leading to coma. Cataracts are common, along with liver disease and nervous system Continue reading >>

An In-depth Look: Insulin Resistance In Diabetic Patients: Causes And Management

An In-depth Look: Insulin Resistance In Diabetic Patients: Causes And Management

Insulin resistance can occur secondary to many diseases in dogs and cats. The most common causes of insulin resistance in dogs are hyperadrenocorticism, bacterial infections, hypothyroidism, and diestrus. In cats, the most common causes are acromegaly; hyperadrenocorticism; renal, hepatic, or cardiac insufficiency; bacterial infections; hyperthyroidism; and use of diabetogenic drugs. Common mechanisms of insulin resistance include decreased insulin-receptor concentration, decreased receptor affinity, and defects in the postreceptor pathways. Management of insulin resistance includes a thorough search for an underlying cause and dietary changes. Insulin resistance is a condition in which a normal amount of insulin causes a subnormal response in blood glucose levels.1,2 Insulin resistance progresses to overt diabetes mellitus (DM) when the existing insulin-producing beta cells cannot compensate for the insulin resistance, thus allowing hyperglycemia to occur.1 Insulin resistance should be suspected in a dog or cat when more than 2.2 U/kg per injection of insulin is required to maintain adequate glycemic control.1,3 In addition, insulin resistance in dogs and cats should be considered in the presence of persistent, marked hyperglycemia throughout the day, despite insulin doses of more than 1.5 U/kg per injection.2,3 The differential diagnosis of insulin resistance is quite extensive, and some of the possible diseases cause previously subclinical diabetic patients to become clinically diabetic, whereas other possible diseases exacerbate preexisting DM.2 In dogs, the most common causes of insulin resistance are hyperadrenocorticism, bacterial infections, hypothyroidism, and diestrus.2 In cats, the most common causes are acromegaly; hyperadrenocorticism; renal, hepatic, or ca 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 >>

Diagnosing And Treating Diabetes In Pets

Diagnosing And Treating Diabetes In Pets

Courage, a 10-year-old Dachshund with a graying muzzle, is usually fast on her feet—active and frisky despite her age. But soon after Thanksgiving, her family—siblings Michael and Donna and their parents—noticed Courage, or “Curry” for short, was drinking more water than usual, urinating more often and moping around the house. Two days later, at the ASPCA Animal Hospital (AAH), Curry was diagnosed as diabetic. Curry’s symptoms are common among pets with diabetes, a disease that occurs when a body does not make enough or respond normally to insulin, a hormone manufactured by the pancreas that controls blood sugar levels. The precise frequency of diabetes in dogs and cats is not known and can vary depending on the breed, but it is seen in both species. In dogs, diabetes is more common in females; in cats, it’s slightly more common in males. “Most diabetic dogs are similar to humans with Type 1 diabetes; their pancreas is unable to make enough insulin,” explains Dr. Louise Murray, vice president of AAH. “In dogs, the most common causes are a dysfunctional immune system that damages the pancreas, or pancreatic injury that occurs due to an inflammatory condition called pancreatitis.” Dr. Murray says canine diabetes can also occur as a side effect of medication, particularly steroids. It can also result from certain diseases like Cushing’s or an excess of certain hormones, which sometimes happens when a dog is not spayed. Diabetes in felines, on the other hand, is more similar to Type 2 diabetes in humans. Its most common causes in cats: obesity and an excess of carbohydrates in the diet, which exhaust the pancreas. It can also occur in cats with pancreatitis or who are given steroids. Feline diabetes can be reversible with insulin administration, a hi 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 >>

Why Can’t I Control My Dog’s Diabetes?

Why Can’t I Control My Dog’s Diabetes?

I get lots of questions about diabetes in dogs. Here’s a recent one. My Miniature Schnauzer has diabetes, but he is 170s one week and then 330s the next. Any feedback on what is going on? We are giving him four units of insulin now, which was increased from three units. Cheryl Diabetes mellitus, commonly known simply as diabetes, is a disease of blood sugar regulation. Dogs with diabetes suffer from chronically high blood sugar, which can lead to increased thirst, increased urination, weight loss, immune system compromise, and a host of other issues. In dogs, diabetes usually occurs when the pancreas produces insufficient insulin. Diabetes therefore usually is treated with synthetic insulin. There are many types of insulin available for dogs. Diabetes is a famously frustrating condition. Because every dog responds differently to insulin, an initial dose is calculated. The dog’s response is measured, and the dose is adjusted as necessary. Several rounds of adjustment can be necessary before stability (known as regulation) occurs. But some dogs, such as Cheryl’s, are especially hard to regulate. Their blood sugars can vary significantly from day to day despite no changes in insulin protocols (a blood sugar of 170 is basically normal; 330 is unacceptably high). Several steps are recommended in such situations. Be regular in your administration of insulin. Confirm with your vet that your injection technique is good, and then administer it at exactly the same time every day. Improper insulin administration is a leading cause of difficulties in regulating diabetes. Check for a concurrent disease that might be interfering with insulin treatment. For instance, bladder infections are common among diabetics, and they also interfere with regulation of the disease. Schnauzers Continue reading >>

Apoquel For Itchy Dogs And Cats?

Apoquel For Itchy Dogs And Cats?

For years veterinarians have used steroids to treat pet allergies. We put on our detective caps to try to figure out if the allergy is from fleas, from food, or due to atopy (aka hay fever). We eliminate any possible source of allergies. We treat the treatable. We use flea meds. We try antihistamines. We institute bathing regimes. We add in omega-3 fatty acids. And we might even try elimination diets or test the pet for specific allergic triggers like grasses and pollens and such. Nonetheless, when a flare up occurs we typically reached for steroids when we need a “rescue” medication. A vet would really need to be in a tough spot to give steroids to a diabetic dog or cat. Steroids are notorious for causing insulin resistance. I’d rather walk through a snake pit than give steroids to a diabetic pet. Well, that’s a touch dramatic, but you get my point. Luckily there aren’t too many snake pits in my neighborhood! Thankfully, we now have two rescue drugs for allergy flare ups! Zoetis initially launched Apoquel 2 years ago but then it went on back order. It was so eagerly anticipated that the company couldn’t keep up on production. Little vet clinics like mine didn’t actually get the drug until last year. Even now, I’m only allotted 2 bottles of 2 of the sizes each month. I still only have a handful of pets on the drug because it would be just plain mean to start a pet on the drug then run out! I initially told my clients who got it from not to tell my other clients that they got it from me since I had such a limited supply. I reserved it for only my itchiest patients! Pets who respond usually respond quickly if it is going to work. It has peak plasma concentrations in an hour. Several of my clients with itchy pets have told me it is a “miracle” drug! And Continue reading >>

Insulin Overdose

Insulin Overdose

Tweet Taking too much insulin can lead to hypoglycemia. This can become particularly serious if your insulin dose was significantly more than it should have been. If you are worried that you have overdosed on insulin, take ample fast-acting carbohydrate immediately and seek advice from your health team, or the out-of-hours service at your local hospital, if applicable. Symptoms of an insulin overdose The list of symptoms below are symptoms of hypoglycemia which can result from an insulin overdose: Depressed mood Drowsiness Headache Hunger Inability to concentrate Irritability Disorientation Nausea Nervousness Personality changes Rapid heartbeat Restlessness Sleep disturbances Slurred speech Pale skin Sweating Tingling Tremor Unsteady movements Tweet Type 2 diabetes mellitus is a metabolic disorder that results in hyperglycemia (high blood glucose levels) due to the body: Being ineffective at using the insulin it has produced; also known as insulin resistance and/or Being unable to produce enough insulin Type 2 diabetes is characterised by the body being unable to metabolise glucose (a simple sugar). This leads to high levels of blood glucose which over time may damage the organs of the body. From this, it can be understood that for someone with diabetes something that is food for ordinary people can become a sort of metabolic poison. This is why people with diabetes are advised to avoid sources of dietary sugar. The good news is for very many people with type 2 diabetes this is all they have to do to stay well. If you can keep your blood sugar lower by avoiding dietary sugar, likely you will never need long-term medication. Type 2 diabetes was formerly known as non-insulin-dependent or adult-onset diabetes due to its occurrence mainly in people over 40. However, type 2 Continue reading >>

Insulinoma: How Not To Anger The Beast

Insulinoma: How Not To Anger The Beast

Tonya E. Boyle Brown, DVM, DACVIM Port City Veterinary Referral Hospital, Portsmouth, NH Insulinoma is a relatively uncommon condition in our canine and feline patients. Insulinoma is more common in dogs than cats, but it is important to remember that it does still occur in our feline patients. Key points of this article Whenever a patient is presented with a blood glucose below 60, seizing or not, with or without possible reason, draw a blood sample for insulin:glucose ratio before administering dextrose. Once dextrose therapy is initiated, the opportunity to get this blood sample may not present itself again without consequences. If an insulinoma is suspected, give the smallest amount of dextrose to control the clinical signs – do not let the glucose numbers influence your medical therapy of the patient. If clinically normal, a blood glucose of 47 may be very adequate for the patient. Prognosis is significantly improved with the addition of glucocorticoid therapy to medical management and may be implemented after surgical intervention or with dietary modification, if surgery is not an option. Pathology The etiology of insulinoma remains unknown. The effects of growth hormone locally (levels not measurable in serum) on insulinoma cells is suspected. Canine pancreatic islets of Langerhans are composed of 70% beta cells, perhaps explaining why insulin-secreting beta cell neoplasia is the most common pancreatic endocrine neoplasia in dogs. The majority of insulinomas are found histologically to be carcinoma, with adenoma being a rare histological finding. Usually located in one of the limbs of the pancreas and not within the body, insulinomas are usually solitary tumors. The metastatic rate hovers around 50%, with regional lymph nodes and the liver being the most co Continue reading >>

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