Diabetic Ketoacidosis In Dogs
My dog is diabetic. He has been doing pretty well overall, but recently he became really ill. He stopped eating well, started drinking lots of water, and got really weak. His veterinarian said that he had a condition called “ketoacidosis,” and he had to spend several days in the hospital. I’m not sure I understand this disorder. Diabetic ketoacidosis is a medical emergency that occurs when there is not enough insulin in the body to control blood sugar (glucose) levels. The body can’t use glucose properly without insulin, so blood glucose levels get very high, and the body creates ketone bodies as an emergency fuel source. When these are broken down, it creates byproducts that cause the body’s acid/base balance to shift, and the body becomes more acidic (acidosis), and it can’t maintain appropriate fluid balance. The electrolyte (mineral) balance becomes disrupted which can lead to abnormal heart rhythms and abnormal muscle function. If left untreated, diabetic ketoacidosis is fatal. How could this disorder have happened? If a diabetic dog undergoes a stress event of some kind, the body secretes stress hormones that interfere with appropriate insulin activity. Examples of stress events that can lead to diabetic ketoacidosis include infection, inflammation, and heart disease. What are the signs of diabetic ketoacidosis? The signs of diabetic ketoacidosis include: Excessive thirst/drinking Increased urination Lethargy Weakness Vomiting Increased respiratory rate Decreased appetite Weight loss (unplanned) with muscle wasting Dehydration Unkempt haircoat These same clinical signs can occur with other medical conditions, so it is important for your veterinarian to perform appropriate diagnostic tests to determine if diabetic ketoacidosis in truly the issue at hand Continue reading >>
Diabetic Ketoacidosis Clinical Presentation
History Insidious increased thirst (ie, polydipsia) and urination (ie, polyuria) are the most common early symptoms of diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA). Malaise, generalized weakness, and fatigability also can present as symptoms of DKA. Nausea and vomiting usually occur and may be associated with diffuse abdominal pain, decreased appetite, and anorexia. A history of rapid weight loss is a symptom in patients who are newly diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. Patients may present with a history of failure to comply with insulin therapy or missed insulin injections due to vomiting or psychological reasons. Decreased perspiration is another possible symptom of DKA. Altered consciousness in the form of mild disorientation or confusion can occur. Although frank coma is uncommon, it may occur when the condition is neglected or if dehydration or acidosis is severe. Among the symptoms of DKA associated with possible intercurrent infection are fever, dysuria, coughing, malaise, chills, chest pain, shortness of breath, and arthralgia. Acute chest pain or palpitation may occur in association with myocardial infarction. Painless infarction is not uncommon in patients with diabetes and should always be suspected in elderly patients. A study by Crossen et al indicated that in children with type 1 diabetes, those who have had a recent emergency department visit and have undergone a long period without visiting an endocrinologist are more likely to develop DKA. The study included 5263 pediatric patients with type 1 diabetes.  Continue reading >>
Diabetic ketoacidosis, sometimes called DKA, is a condition caused when you have a high blood sugar level, and not enough insulin in your body to break it down to use for energy. As a result, the body starts burning its stores of fat for energy instead. This process produces by-products called ketones. As the level of ketones in the body increases, it can lead to dehydration and confusion. If not treated, people with ketoacidosis can become unconscious. DKA usually occurs in people with type 1 diabetes. It is rare in type 2 diabetes. The symptoms of diabetic ketoacidosis include high blood glucose, high levels of ketones in the urine, and: quick breathing flushed cheeks breath that smells like sweet acetone (similar nail polish remover) dehydration. DKA is a serious condition that requires immediate assessment. If someone you know has diabetes and becomes confused or unconscious, or has the symptoms listed above, call triple zero (000) for an ambulance. If you have diabetes and you find your blood sugar level is higher than it should be, it’s important that you follow the advice provided by your doctor or diabetes nurse or educator. You may also find it useful to read the advice provided in the article on hyperglycaemia (high blood sugar). Continue reading >>
Print Overview Diabetic ketoacidosis is a serious complication of diabetes that occurs when your body produces high levels of blood acids called ketones. The condition develops when your body can't produce enough insulin. Insulin normally plays a key role in helping sugar (glucose) — a major source of energy for your muscles and other tissues — enter your cells. Without enough insulin, your body begins to break down fat as fuel. This process produces a buildup of acids in the bloodstream called ketones, eventually leading to diabetic ketoacidosis if untreated. If you have diabetes or you're at risk of diabetes, learn the warning signs of diabetic ketoacidosis — and know when to seek emergency care. Symptoms Diabetic ketoacidosis signs and symptoms often develop quickly, sometimes within 24 hours. For some, these signs and symptoms may be the first indication of having diabetes. You may notice: Excessive thirst Frequent urination Nausea and vomiting Abdominal pain Weakness or fatigue Shortness of breath Fruity-scented breath Confusion More-specific signs of diabetic ketoacidosis — which can be detected through home blood and urine testing kits — include: High blood sugar level (hyperglycemia) High ketone levels in your urine When to see a doctor If you feel ill or stressed or you've had a recent illness or injury, check your blood sugar level often. You might also try an over-the-counter urine ketones testing kit. Contact your doctor immediately if: You're vomiting and unable to tolerate food or liquid Your blood sugar level is higher than your target range and doesn't respond to home treatment Your urine ketone level is moderate or high Seek emergency care if: Your blood sugar level is consistently higher than 300 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL), or 16.7 mill Continue reading >>
What Are The Short-term Consequences Of Not Controlling Type 1 Diabetes?
Death. Well, that depends on just how poorly controlled you're talking, but if you mean not treating at all, then you can progress through some serious consequences ending in death over the course of a day or so. Unlike the more common Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus, people with Diabetes mellitus type 1 do not produce insulin on their own, and need an external source of insulin to survive. That is because cells cannot take in sugar from the bloodstream to fuel themselves without insulin, so once the sugar in there is used up the cells have to start breaking down fatty acids to stay alive, but that produces ketones, which are toxic. At the same time, all the sugar that's stuck, unusable, in the bloodstream interferes with kidney function, causing dehydration. Its a combination that leads to Diabetic ketoacidosis, which can kill a person within 24 hours of their first symptoms. Ok, so now lets consider a person who is still taking some insulin, but not really paying attention to their blood sugar. It is still possible for them to undertreat themselves, which can potentially still lead to diabetic ketoacidosis. Or, they can overtreat themselves, causing hypoglycaemia, which if only slight might just make them a little woozy, but if severe can lead to unconsciousness and death if they are not found and treated. Easing up a little more, we can imagine a person who's a bit more careful. They still take their insulin, they check their blood sugars relatively often, but they can be a little forgetful about just how many helpings of dessert they had. Their sugars will run high, but there should be enough getting into the cells to prevent DKA. Most of the consequences of that are going to be long-term, like peripheral vascular disease, kidney damage and retinopathy. In the short term, Continue reading >>
Diabetic Ketoacidosis - Symptoms
A A A Diabetic Ketoacidosis Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) results from dehydration during a state of relative insulin deficiency, associated with high blood levels of sugar level and organic acids called ketones. Diabetic ketoacidosis is associated with significant disturbances of the body's chemistry, which resolve with proper therapy. Diabetic ketoacidosis usually occurs in people with type 1 (juvenile) diabetes mellitus (T1DM), but diabetic ketoacidosis can develop in any person with diabetes. Since type 1 diabetes typically starts before age 25 years, diabetic ketoacidosis is most common in this age group, but it may occur at any age. Males and females are equally affected. Diabetic ketoacidosis occurs when a person with diabetes becomes dehydrated. As the body produces a stress response, hormones (unopposed by insulin due to the insulin deficiency) begin to break down muscle, fat, and liver cells into glucose (sugar) and fatty acids for use as fuel. These hormones include glucagon, growth hormone, and adrenaline. These fatty acids are converted to ketones by a process called oxidation. The body consumes its own muscle, fat, and liver cells for fuel. In diabetic ketoacidosis, the body shifts from its normal fed metabolism (using carbohydrates for fuel) to a fasting state (using fat for fuel). The resulting increase in blood sugar occurs, because insulin is unavailable to transport sugar into cells for future use. As blood sugar levels rise, the kidneys cannot retain the extra sugar, which is dumped into the urine, thereby increasing urination and causing dehydration. Commonly, about 10% of total body fluids are lost as the patient slips into diabetic ketoacidosis. Significant loss of potassium and other salts in the excessive urination is also common. The most common Continue reading >>
What Makes A Person?
I’ve been in mental health treatment since August. I’m currently on my third psychopharmacological drug and am attending therapy. Therapy has mostly helped by making me understand how much I already know, which I had previously grossly underestimated, and by increasing consistency of application of that knowledge. It’s been slow but useful. Drugs have been a lot more interesting. Descartes determined his existence by asserting that he thought. His self was proven because he was capable of performing the action of thought himself. Meanwhile, I have watched chemicals I buy in a bottle change my thoughts. What force does a self have to think, when chemistry can change those thoughts more easily and completely, for good and ill alike, than I can through my will and choice alone? What self remains if chemistry has more impact upon the thoughts within my own mind than my own agency? According to modern understanding, the brain is the house of the mind, which emerges from the soupcon of chemical and electrical impulses that surge through our nervous system. It’s those impulses that allow our thoughts, feelings, and reactions alike. Beyond that is nothing. Dead, unconscious flesh that aims to organize its cells. Unthinking, unfeeling, mindless and selfless. It must be thus, or each cell would seek to preserve its own existence at the expense of the others, and the more complex organism would fail. Because there is no self, no person that minds the smallest parts of our body, we experience a sense of self, a sense of personhood. It is the self-sacrifice of the mindless, ignored by the mind, that allows the illusion of coherent identity in man. Without that systemic, constant march of death, we would not have a complex enough structure to support a brain evolved enough to Continue reading >>
Diabetes With Ketone Bodies In Dogs
Diabetes Mellitus with Ketoacidosis in Dogs Diabetes is a medical condition in which the body cannot absorb sufficient glucose, thus causing a rise the blood sugar levels. The term “ketoacidosis,” meanwhile, refers to a condition in which levels of acid abnormally increased in the blood due to presence of “ketone bodies”. In diabetes with ketoacidosis, ketoacidosis immediately follows diabetes. It should be considered a dire emergency, one in which immediate treatment is required to save the life of the animal. This condition typically affects older dogs as well as females. In addition, miniature poodles and dachshunds are predisposed to diabetes with ketoacidosis. Symptoms and Types Weakness Lethargy Depression Lack of appetite (anorexia) Muscle wasting Rough hair coat Dehydration Dandruff Sweet breath odor Causes Although the ketoacidosis is ultimately brought on by the dog's insulin dependency due to diabetes mellitus, underlying factors include stress, surgery, and infections of the skin, respiratory, and urinary tract systems. Concurrent diseases such as heart failure, kidney failure, asthma, cancer may also lead to this type of condition. Diagnosis You will need to give a thorough history of your dog’s health, including the onset and nature of the symptoms, to your veterinarian. He or she will then perform a complete physical examination, as well as a biochemistry profile and complete blood count (CBC). The most consistent finding in patients with diabetes is higher than normal levels of glucose in the blood. If infection is present, white blood cell count will also high. Other findings may include: high liver enzymes, high blood cholesterol levels, accumulation in the blood of nitrogenous waste products (urea) that are usually excreted in the urine (azo Continue reading >>
Diabetes With Ketone Bodies In Dogs
Studies show that female dogs (particularly non-spayed) are more prone to DKA, as are older canines. Diabetic ketoacidosis is best classified through the presence of ketones that exist in the liver, which are directly correlated to the lack of insulin being produced in the body. This is a very serious complication, requiring immediate veterinary intervention. Although a number of dogs can be affected mildly, the majority are very ill. Some dogs will not recover despite treatment, and concurrent disease has been documented in 70% of canines diagnosed with DKA. Diabetes with ketone bodies is also described in veterinary terms as diabetic ketoacidosis or DKA. It is a severe complication of diabetes mellitus. Excess ketone bodies result in acidosis and electrolyte abnormalities, which can lead to a crisis situation for your dog. If left in an untreated state, this condition can and will be fatal. Some dogs who are suffering from diabetic ketoacidosis may present as systemically well. Others will show severe illness. Symptoms may be seen as listed below: Change in appetite (either increase or decrease) Increased thirst Frequent urination Vomiting Abdominal pain Mental dullness Coughing Fatigue or weakness Weight loss Sometimes sweet smelling breath is evident Slow, deep respiration. There may also be other symptoms present that accompany diseases that can trigger DKA, such as hypothyroidism or Cushing’s disease. While some dogs may live fairly normal lives with this condition before it is diagnosed, most canines who become sick will do so within a week of the start of the illness. There are four influences that can bring on DKA: Fasting Insulin deficiency as a result of unknown and untreated diabetes, or insulin deficiency due to an underlying disease that in turn exacerba Continue reading >>
Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) happens when your blood sugar is high and your insulin level is low. This imbalance in the body causes a build-up of ketones. Ketones are toxic. If DKA isn’t treated, it can lead to diabetic coma and even death. DKA mainly affects people who have type 1 diabetes. But it can also happen with other types of diabetes, including type 2 diabetes and gestational diabetes (during pregnancy). DKA is a very serious condition. If you have diabetes and think you may have DKA, contact your doctor or get to a hospital right away. The first symptoms to appear are usually: frequent urination. The next stage of DKA symptoms include: vomiting (usually more than once) confusion or trouble concentrating a fruity odor on the breath. The main cause of DKA is not enough insulin. A lack of insulin means sugar can’t get into your cells. Your cells need sugar for energy. This causes your body’s glucose levels to rise. To get energy, the body starts to burn fat. This process causes ketones to build up. Ketones can poison the body. High blood glucose levels can also cause you to urinate often. This leads to a lack of fluids in the body (dehydration). DKA can be caused by missing an insulin dose, eating poorly, or feeling stressed. An infection or other illness (such as pneumonia or a urinary tract infection) can also lead to DKA. If you have signs of infection (fever, cough, or sore throat), contact your doctor. You will want to make sure you are getting the right treatment. For some people, DKA may be the first sign that they have diabetes. When you are sick, you need to watch your blood sugar level very closely so that it doesn’t get too high or too low. Ask your doctor what your critical blood sugar level is. Most patients should watch their glucose levels c Continue reading >>
What Is Diabetic Ketoacidosis?
Diabetic ketoacidosis is a serious condition characterized by high blood sugar (hyperglycemia), low insulin, and the presence of moderate to large amounts of ketones in the blood. It's a medical emergency that requires treatment in a hospital. If not treated in a timely fashion, ketoacidosis can lead to coma and death. While diabetic ketoacidosis (or DKA) is much more common among people with type 1 diabetes, it can also occur in people with type 2 diabetes, so ketone monitoring is something everyone with diabetes should understand. Diabetic Ketoacidosis Symptoms Signs and symptoms of ketoacidosis include: Thirst or a very dry mouth Frequent urination Fatigue and weakness Nausea Vomiting Dry or flushed skin Abdominal pain Deep breathing A fruity breath odor What Are Ketones? Ketones, or ketone bodies, are acidic byproducts of fat metabolism. It's normal for everyone to have a small amount of ketones in the bloodstream, and after a fast of 12 to16 hours, there may be detectable amounts in the urine. As is the case with glucose, if blood levels of ketones get too high, they spill over into the urine. An elevated level of ketones in the blood is known as ketosis. People who follow low-carbohydrate diets often speak of ketosis as a desirable state — it's evidence that their bodies are burning fat, not carbohydrate. But the level of ketosis that results from low carbohydrate consumption isn't harmful and is much lower than the level seen in diabetic ketoacidosis. When Should Ketones Be Monitored? Ketone monitoring is less of a concern for people with type 2 diabetes than for those with type 1 diabetes. This is because most people with type 2 diabetes still make some of their own insulin, making diabetic ketoacidosis less likely to develop. Nonetheless, people with type 2 d Continue reading >>
Diabetes Complications In Dogs And Cats: Diabetes Ketoacidosis (dka)
Unfortunately, we veterinarians are seeing an increased prevalence of diabetes mellitus in dogs and cats. This is likely due to the growing prevalence of obesity (secondary to inactive lifestyle, a high carbohydrate diet, lack of exercise, etc.). So, if you just had a dog or cat diagnosed with diabetes mellitus, what do you do? First, we encourage you to take a look at these articles for an explanation of the disease: Diabetes Mellitus (Sugar Diabetes) in Dogs Once you have a basic understanding of diabetes mellitus (or if you already had one), this article will teach you about life-threatening complications that can occur as a result of the disease; specifically, I discuss a life-threatening condition called diabetes ketoacidosis (DKA) so that you know how to help prevent it! What is DKA? When diabetes goes undiagnosed, or when it is difficult to control or regulate, the complication of DKA can occur. DKA develops because the body is so lacking in insulin that the sugar can’t get into the cells -- resulting in cell starvation. Cell starvation causes the body to start breaking down fat in an attempt to provide energy (or a fuel source) to the body. Unfortunately, these fat breakdown products, called “ketones,” are also poisonous to the body. Symptoms of DKA Clinical signs of DKA include the following: Weakness Not moving (in cats, hanging out by the water bowl) Not eating to complete anorexia Large urinary clumps in the litter box (my guideline? If it’s bigger than a tennis ball, it’s abnormal) Weight loss (most commonly over the back), despite an overweight body condition Excessively dry or oily skin coat Abnormal breath (typically a sweet “ketotic” odor) In severe cases DKA can also result in more significant signs: Abnormal breathing pattern Jaundice Ab Continue reading >>
What Is The Dumbest Reason You Have Seen For Someone To Go To The Hospital?
I kid you not. I was a junior doctor at a busy London A&E department, where queues were piling up of people waiting to be seen. There was an array of the usual presentations, including the breathless asthmatic, a couple of chest pains, renal colics, nausea and vomiting and so on as expected. What I never expected, was this young woman who had waited almost 3 hours to be seen, who presented with what was essentially a papercut. She was wearing smart office attire, and reported to have nicked her finger on a filing folder at her office, sustaining a superficial cut of about 4cm length. After wondering how this case had gotten past the triage nurse, I asked if the cut was painful. “Not so much now”, the woman said. I asked if she'd washed it at all. “Yes,” she told me. Then I asked what her concern was. She articulated to me that her worry was to catch an infection since the cut was so long, and she didn't want to risk having her finger amputated or anything drastic as such. With all the calm I could possible muster, after reassuring the woman that she wouldn't be needing any amputations, I explained that this was not an emergency. She did not have to wait the 3 hours to be seen, nor taken up emergency department time and resources, and that basic first aid would have been sufficient. She apologised, thanked me and left with a fresh Band-Aid on her finger. Continue reading >>
As fat is broken down, acids called ketones build up in the blood and urine. In high levels, ketones are poisonous. This condition is known as ketoacidosis. Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) is sometimes the first sign of type 1 diabetes in people who have not yet been diagnosed. It can also occur in someone who has already been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. Infection, injury, a serious illness, missing doses of insulin shots, or surgery can lead to DKA in people with type 1 diabetes. People with type 2 diabetes can also develop DKA, but it is less common. It is usually triggered by uncontrolled blood sugar, missing doses of medicines, or a severe illness. Continue reading >>
What Are Ketone Bodies And How Are They Related To Diabetes?
What are ketones? The human body normally runs on glucose that’s produced when the body breaks down carbohydrates. But when your body doesn’t have enough glucose or insulin to use the glucose, your body starts breaking down fats for energy. Ketones are byproducts of this breakdown. Those with type 1 diabetes are especially at risk for making ketones. Ketones can make your blood acidic. Acidic blood can cause a serious condition known as diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA). Because the presence of ketones is often one of the signs that a person needs medical help, those with diabetes are often encouraged to check ketones in urine or blood regularly. Ketone levels can range from negative or none at all to very high levels. While individual testing may vary, some general results for ketone levels can be: negative: less than 0.6 millimoles per liter (mmol/L) low to moderate: between 0.6 to 1.5 mmol/L high: 1.6 to 3.0 mmol/L very high: greater than 3.0 mmol/L Call your doctor if your ketones are low to moderate, and seek emergency medical attention if your ketone levels are high to very high. What are the symptoms of ketone buildup? If you have diabetes, you need to be especially aware of the symptoms that having too many ketones in your body can cause. Examples of early symptoms of ketone buildup include: a dry mouth blood sugar levels greater than 240 milligrams per deciliter strong thirst frequent urination If you don’t get treatment, the symptoms can progress. The symptoms that occur later can include: confusion extreme fatigue flushed skin a fruity breath odor nausea vomiting stomach pain trouble breathing You should always seek immediate medical attention if your ketone levels are high. What causes ketones to build up? Ketones are the body’s alternate way of fueling. T Continue reading >>