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What Are The Symptoms Of Low Blood Sugar In Dogs?

We Train Diabetes Assist Dogs To Help People With Type I Diabetes.

We Train Diabetes Assist Dogs To Help People With Type I Diabetes.

Diabetes Assist Dogs are trained to monitor smells in the air for a specific scent on the human breath that is related to rapidly dropping or low blood sugar levels. They are then trained to “alert” the person with diabetes, usually by touching them in a significant way such as pawing or nudging them. This alerts the person to check his or her blood sugar level. It also informs them that they should get something to eat to prevent hypoglycemia, or their blood sugars getting to a dangerous level. The canine partner can also be trained to retrieve juice or glucose tabs, get an emergency phone, or get help from another person in the house. Diabetes Assist Dogs wear a backpack identifying them as an assistance dog. This backpack has pockets where medical information, a sugar source, and emergency contact information can be stored. This provides an extra safety net in case the person with diabetes is unable to get help in time. Anyone finding the person unconscious or acting abnormally would know it may be a medical emergency and know how to get help. How can a dog detect low blood sugar? The dogs are evaluated throughout “puppy-hood” for a willingness to work and a sensitive nose. Once we have identified their interest in smells, they begin scent training. A person experiencing hypoglycemia produces a particular scent, found on the breath, due to chemical changes in their body. All people produce the same scent when they have low blood sugar. Our training methods are similar to those used to train drug sniffing or search and rescue dogs trained to find people. Due to the generosity of supporters like you all of our assistance dogs are provided to clients free of charge. LEARN MORE AND APPLY FOR A DIABETES ASSIST DOG Continue reading >>

Hypoglycemia In Dogs

Hypoglycemia In Dogs

Overview Hypoglycemia is often referred to as “low blood sugar.” When your dog’s body is deprived of sugar, its main source of energy, his ability to function declines and, in severe situations, loss of consciousness or even death can result. Low blood sugar is not a disease itself; rather, it is a symptom of an underlying disease or problem. There are many causes of hypoglycemia. Puppies, especially those under 3 months of age, have not fully developed their ability to regulate their blood glucose (sugar) levels. Hypoglycemia can be brought on when puppies are introduced to other stress factors such as poor nutrition, cold environments, and intestinal parasites. Toy breeds are especially susceptible to this problem. Hypoglycemia can also be brought on by fasting combined with rigorous exercise, or by Addison’s disease. Dogs treated for diabetes mellitus are at risk, as well as dogs with severe liver disease, tumors of the pancreas, or portosystemic shunts. Symptoms If your pet is hypoglycemic, you may notice the following symptoms: Muscle twitches Trembling Incoordination Unusual behavior Blindness Unconsciousness If your dog is suspected of being hypoglycemic, your veterinarian will perform a thorough physical exam, take a complete history, and may recommend diagnostic tests that could include: Measurement of blood glucose levels (sugar levels in the blood) Chemistry tests to evaluate kidney, liver, and pancreatic function A complete blood count (CBC) to rule out blood related conditions Electrolyte tests to ensure your pet isn’t dehydrated or suffering from an electrolyte imbalance Urine tests to screen for urinary tract infection and other disease, and to evaluate the ability of the kidneys to concentrate urine A thyroid test to determine if the thyroid gl Continue reading >>

Genetic Welfare Problems Of Companion Animals

Genetic Welfare Problems Of Companion Animals

Poodle (all types) Diabetes Mellitus Related terms: Canine diabetes mellitus, DM, Diabetic Ketoacidosis VeNom term: Diabetes mellitus (VeNom code: 658). Related conditions: Cataract, Pancreatitis, Hyperadrenocorticism Outline: Diabetes mellitus is a hormonal disorder that occurs when there is a failure to adequately control blood sugar levels. Dogs that have the condition are unable to use blood sugar as an energy source for the cells in their body as they would normally, and therefore the level of sugar in the blood increases. The most common signs of diabetes mellitus are excessive thirst and urination with weight loss. The onset of diabetes mellitus occurs most commonly in middle aged or older dogs. Left untreated, diabetes mellitus can lead to complications including a severe illness called diabetic ketoacidosis where the body begins to break down body tissue, such as fats and muscle, to use as a source of energy in place of blood sugars. This process produces toxins that can cause dehydration, nausea and vomiting and can be life-threatening if left untreated. Diabetic dogs are generally reliant on dietary management and daily injections of the hormone insulin for the rest of their lives. There is evidence of a genetic basis for the development of diabetes mellitus, and Poodles have been shown to be at increased risk of the condition compared with the general dog population. Summary of Information (for more information click on the links below) 1. Brief description Diabetes mellitus is a hormonal disorder which results in high levels of sugar (glucose) in the blood. Glucose is an important source of energy in the body. In animals that are diabetic, the cells in the body are unable to absorb glucose properly, and this leads to an increase in the blood. In dogs, the m 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 >>

Blood Glucose Curves Help Keep Diabetic Pets On The Straight And Narrow

Blood Glucose Curves Help Keep Diabetic Pets On The Straight And Narrow

Diabetes is not one of those diseases that you get to set it and forget it; it requires constant monitoring and evaluation of the insulin dose to give us control of the disease and decrease its symptom and side effects. After a few decades, people with unregulated (uncontrolled) diabetes tend to end up with retinal problems, blood vessel damage, kidney problems, etc. Because of their shorter life spans, dogs and cats with unregulated diabetes don’t usually face the same long-term consequences it causes in human diabetics. Normally their short life spans cause us grief, but in the case of a diabetic sometimes that short span can be a boon. Pets who are unregulated diabetics will have symptoms that can be irritating, like urinating frequently (“I want in, I want out, I want in, I want out…oh hey, can I come in now?”) or urinating in inappropriate places, such as your new couch or your bedroom pillow. They also can have symptoms that threaten their health, like too much weight loss. Our primary goal with diabetic dogs and cats is to give them a good quality of life: their body weight is stable, they don’t have to hover over the water dish all day, and their potty habits are normal in that they prefer to pee outside rather than on the couch. Accurate monitoring of your pet's diabetes can help to maintain a good quality of life for both you and your pet. After all, who wants to curl up and watch a movie on a pee-soaked couch? Exactly how does monitoring help us to accomplish this higher quality of life? By regulating their blood sugar (glucose) levels. Normal blood glucose levels in dogs and cats are similar to those in humans, about 80-120 mg/dl (4.4-6.6 mmol/L). Animals whose blood glucose levels are in this range will look and act normal. Fortunately for us, the Continue reading >>

Low Blood Sugar (hypoglycemia) (cont.)

Low Blood Sugar (hypoglycemia) (cont.)

A A A Common causes of low blood sugar include the following: Overmedication with insulin or antidiabetic pills (for example, sulfonylurea drugs) Use of medications such as beta blockers, pentamidine, and sulfamethoxazole and trimethoprim (Bactrim, Septra) Missed meals Reactive hypoglycemia is the result of the delayed insulin release after a meal has been absorbed and occurs 4-6 hours after eating. Severe infection Adrenal insufficiency Liver failure Congenital, genetic defects in the regulation of insulin release (congenital hyperinsulinism) Congenital conditions associated with increased insulin release (infant born to a diabetic mother, birth trauma, reduced oxygen delivery during birth, major birth stress, Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome, and rarer genetic conditions) Insulinoma or insulin-producing tumor Other tumors like hepatoma, mesothelioma, and fibrosarcoma, which may produce insulin-like factors What follows are expansions on the points noted above and should be incorporated within those points (such as cancer, diabetes drugs, organ failures). Most cases of hypoglycemia in adults happen in people with diabetes mellitus. Diabetes has two forms, type 1 (loss of all insulin production) and type 2 (inadequate insulin production due to resistance to the actions of insulin). People with type 1 diabetes must take insulin to control their glucose level; if they skip meals or have a decreased appetite without changing their insulin dose, they may develop hypoglycemia. Insulin is also used to treat some people with type 2 diabetes. If a person with type 1 diabetes accidentally takes too much insulin, or a person with type 2 diabetes accidentally takes too much of their oral medications or insulin, he or she may develop hypoglycemia. Even when a diabetic patient takes medi Continue reading >>

Symptoms Of Hypoglycemia (low Glucose) In Dogs

Symptoms Of Hypoglycemia (low Glucose) In Dogs

How Hypoglycemia Affects Dogs Hypoglycemic dogs typically exhibit symptoms of weakness, tiredness, exercise intolerance and lack of coordination. From reports made by people with this condition, it is safe to say that hypoglycemia at a minimum causes dogs to feel poorly and to be distressed and uncomfortable. Severe cases can cause the dog to suffer much more physical pain and no doubt emotional distress, as well. Seizures are one of the most common symptoms of hypoglycemia. Symptoms of Hypoglycemia Hypoglycemic dogs can display a range of symptoms. Sometimes, these are episodic, meaning that they come and go - or wax and wane - over time. Other times, the symptoms are persistent rather than intermittent. Owners of dogs with hypoglycemia may notice one or more of the following clinical signs in their pets: Lethargy; listlessness Depression Weakness Lack of coordination (ataxia) Hind-end paresis (mild or incomplete paralysis of the rear legs; posterior paresis) Staggering; wobbly gait Muscle twitching; tremors (muscle fasciculations, especially of the facial muscles) Nervousness; restlessness; anxiety Exercise intolerance Abnormal, bizarre behavior Hunger; increased appetite Poylphagia (excessive ingestion of food) Weight gain Formation and excretion of an abnormally large amount of urine (polyuria) Excessive thirst and excessive water intake (polydipsia) Vision abnormalities; blindness Collapse; recumbency Convulsions Seizures (seizures are one of the hallmark signs of hypoglycemia in dogs; they tend to be episodic) Coma; loss of consciousness Persistent crying Reduced activity level Decreased nursing Respiratory distress Weight loss Low heart rate (bradycardia) Dogs at Increased Risk Hunting dogs are predisposed to developing low blood sugar as a result of the extreme Continue reading >>

Why Is My Dog's Blood Glucose Level Abnormal ?

Why Is My Dog's Blood Glucose Level Abnormal ?

Why Is My Cat's Blood Glucose Level Abnormal ? To see what normal blood and urine values are for your pet, go here For an explanation of causes of most abnormal blood and urine tests go here To see how tests are often grouped, go here Ron Hines DVM PhD Lots of my articles are plagiarized and altered on the web to market products and services. There are never ads running or anything for sale with my real articles. Try to stay with the ones with in the URL box or find all my articles at ACC.htm. Your Pet's Blood Sugar Level Glucose , GLU Your pet’s blood sugar level (glucose level) needs to remain in a narrow corridor or bad things begin to happen. Glucose (dextrose is a form of glucose) is the primary fuel that runs your pet's body (Fatty acids can also provide some fuel energy). Without sufficient blood glucose (=hypoglycemia), cells cannot live very long. With too much blood glucose (the common cause being diabetes mellitus) the body begins to rely on fats rather than glucose to meet its energy needs (=ketoacidosis). If blood glucose remains high in your pet; with time, urinary tract infections, decreased disease resistance, kidney failure, nerve-related weakness (neuropathies) and eye damage can occur. Why Your Pet’s Blood Glucose Level Could Be Too High (hyperglycemia) : Stress and excitement – especially in cats and toy dog breeds is the most common cause of a single high reading. When your pet's lab glucose values are repeatedly high in a non-stressed situation, diabetes mellitus and Cushing’s disease are the most common causes. Corticosteroid tablets or injections, acute pancreatitis, IV fluids containing dextrose or a blood samples collected too soon after eating (post-prandial blood sample) can all cause the glucose level to be high. Glucose levels can b Continue reading >>

Diabetes In Dogs

Diabetes In Dogs

Diabetes most commonly affects middle aged, overweight female dogs. It is caused by a lack of insulin, a hormone that is produced by the pancreas which is essential for glucose metabolism. The pancreas becomes damaged by either inflammation, or the dog’s own immune system attacking it. The result is a shortage of insulin producing cells in the organ, which is irreversible. Consequently, diabetic dogs are very unlikely to go into remission. SIGNS OF DIABETES IN DOGS One of the most obvious symptoms of diabetes in dogs is increased thirst. However, there are other medical conditions that can also cause your dog to drink more than usual, such as kidney or liver disease or Cushing’s Disease. Your vet will run some tests to check for diabetes; they will look for higher than normal levels of glucose in his blood and urine. TREATMENT OF DIABETES Because diabetes in dogs results from a lack of insulin, the treatment is to supplement that insulin with injections of the hormone. The first step is to work out how much insulin your dog needs. He will be admitted to hospital and given a measured dose, and then his blood will be checked at regular intervals to assess his response. When the amount of insulin he needs has been calculated, you can then continue to treat him at home. It’s not difficult to learn how to give insulin injections, and the needles are so fine that your dog will barely notice them. It’s important that your dog’s energy needs are kept constant. This means that he is given the same amount of exercise, because more or less than usual will affect how much insulin he needs. Similarly, his food intake should also be the same from day to day, both in quantity and the timing of his meals. If you can do this, then it will be easier to keep his blood glucose wi Continue reading >>

Diabetes In Dogs

Diabetes In Dogs

Illustration of a dog's pancreas. Cell-islet in the illustration refers to a pancreatic cell in the Islets of Langerhans, which contain insulin-producing beta cells and other endocrine related cells. Permanent damage to these beta cells results in Type 1, or insulin-dependent diabetes, for which exogenous insulin replacement therapy is the only answer. Diabetes mellitus is a disease in which the beta cells of the endocrine pancreas either stop producing insulin or can no longer produce it in enough quantity for the body's needs. The condition is commonly divided into two types, depending on the origin of the condition: Type 1 diabetes, sometimes called "juvenile diabetes", is caused by destruction of the beta cells of the pancreas. The condition is also referred to as insulin-dependent diabetes, meaning exogenous insulin injections must replace the insulin the pancreas is no longer capable of producing for the body's needs. Dogs can have insulin-dependent, or Type 1, diabetes; research finds no Type 2 diabetes in dogs.[1][2][3] Because of this, there is no possibility the permanently damaged pancreatic beta cells could re-activate to engender a remission as may be possible with some feline diabetes cases, where the primary type of diabetes is Type 2.[2][4][5] There is another less common form of diabetes, diabetes insipidus, which is a condition of insufficient antidiuretic hormone or resistance to it.[6][7] This most common form of diabetes affects approximately 0.34% of dogs.[8] The condition is treatable and need not shorten the animal's life span or interfere with quality of life.[9] If left untreated, the condition can lead to cataracts, increasing weakness in the legs (neuropathy), malnutrition, ketoacidosis, dehydration, and death.[10] Diabetes mainly affects mid Continue reading >>

Hypoglycemia In Small Breed Dogs Such As The Shih Tzu

Hypoglycemia In Small Breed Dogs Such As The Shih Tzu

Hypoglycemia or low blood sugar can be a common problem in small breed dogs especially in Shih Tzu puppies that are smaller than the average size. It only takes one lost puppy to realize just how real and devastating this condition can be. I had just such a case recently, which cause stress and sadness to the puppy buyer and raised questions in my mind. In my case, a perfectly healthy, playful but tiny Shih Tzu puppy was Vet checked just a day before she was due to go to her forever home. Visitors to our home played and interacted with the puppy. Within 4 days, of being in her new home, the puppy was dead. How could this happen? Hypoglycemia was the most likely diagnosis and confirmed by the new puppy owner’s veterinarian. What is Hypoglycemia? Hypoglycemia occurs when the sugar level in the puppy’s blood drops rapidly and can be fatal if not treated immediately. While this is rare in most Shih Tzu puppies, it can happen, and anyone who adopts or purchases a puppy should be aware of the symptoms and ways that it can be prevented. Larger breed dogs are not as susceptible to hypoglycemia. The most common times that this occurs is usually between birth and about 4 months of age but can occur later in tiny Tzu dogs that have not eaten in a while or have other underlying problems. When very young puppies experience low blood sugar, it is called Juvenile hypoglycemia and is the result of an imature body system that has not fully developed the ability to regulate the blood sugar or glucose concentration coupled with a higher than normal requirement for glucose. When glucose or sugar levels drop in the blood, there is less energy for the brain which causes neurological signs such as tremors, discoordination, and eventual coma. This occurs rapidly, and anyone who is contempl 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: That Dog-gone Low Blood Sugar

Hypoglycemia: That Dog-gone Low Blood Sugar

This column is going to be a little different, because instead of explaining something about diabetes, I’m going to tell a story about some recent events in my own life with diabetes. I have had type 2 diabetes since 1991. I was already a diabetes educator when I diagnosed my own diabetes, and soon told my doctor about it. Because I had severe side effects with oral medications, I have used insulin from the first year. After doing multiple injections for several years, I got an insulin pump, and have managed my diabetes with a pump ever since then. As a diabetes educator, I have seen all the major diabetes complications in my patients, so I am highly motivated to prevent complications in myself. Therefore, I have done intensive management from the beginning, trying to keep my blood sugar as close to normal as possible. Of course, it’s nearly impossible to do this perfectly. So at times, I have low blood sugar, or hypoglycemia. On the day this story begins, I was lying on my bed. A little circular thought was running around my brain, saying, “I don’t feel so good…. I wonder what’s happening to me…. I really don’t feel good…. I wonder what this is…. I don’t feel good…. I wonder…..” Round and round this thought went, repeating itself over and over. Suddenly, I felt a cold, wet nose and a fuzzy snout against my neck. My dog, Yoda, was pushing against my neck. He is small – only about 11 pounds – but he was pushing with all his might. Finally, it occurred to me that he wanted me to get up. I stood up, still not feeling so good and wondering what was happening to me. Yoda pushed against the back of my leg. A drop of sweat dripped off the end of my nose. That drop of sweat broke through my circular wondering with a fact: Sweat dripping off the e Continue reading >>

Signs Of Hypoglycemia In Chihuahuas

Signs Of Hypoglycemia In Chihuahuas

Hypoglycemia is also known as low blood sugar. This condition occurs when the glucose in the blood suddenly drops below normal levels, according to Go Pets America. Many toy dog breeds have hypoglycemia, including toy poodles, Yorkshire terriers, and Chihuahuas. Recognizing the symptoms of hypoglycemia can make the difference between life and death. Margret Casal, DVM, PhD, of the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine explains that the brain uses only glucose for energy. Low glucose levels in the blood cause neurologic symptoms, such as trembling and disorientation. Some of the other symptoms of low blood sugar in Chihuahuas include a lack of coordination and muscle spasms. Hypoglycemic dogs are often cold and trembly and have difficulty standing and walking. They act weak, tired, and lethargic and may not want to eat even when food is offered. Dogs sometimes develop a bluish tinge or other discoloration around their gums or on their skin. These symptoms are the warning signs of hypoglycemic shock. If the dog's brain is deprived of glucose for long enough, the dog will become progressively weaker and more lethargic. Some dogs go into convulsions or seizures from low blood sugar. The animal may fall to the floor and jerk in uncontrollable muscle spasms. Dogs in seizures often lose control of their bladder or bowels. Hypoglycemic dogs can also lose consciousness or slip into a coma. The Epi Guardian Angels canine epilepsy website warns that death from sugar shock occurs quickly if the dog's blood sugar drops far enough and fast enough. Hypoglycemic attacks usually occur when the dog has not eaten for a long time. They can also happen if the dog becomes overly excited or stressed. The Chihuahua Club of America recommends feeding toy-breed dogs 3 or 4 tim Continue reading >>

Hypoglycemia In Chihuahuas

Hypoglycemia In Chihuahuas

All pet owners need to know the basics of animal care in order to ensure a healthy life for their pet and themselves. One of the common problems owners of small toy breed dogs needs to know about is hypoglycemia. Hypoglycemia is the scientific term which means “low blood sugar“. You are probably aware of this phenomenon in people with diabetes and the condition is quite similar in dogs. Low blood sugar levels can be quite dangerous in dogs because glucose (sugar) is needed by the brain to operate properly. When glucose levels drop too low, serious consequences can follow. In dogs, hypoglycemia is especially an issue for toy breeds like the Chihuahua. This is because Chihuahuas have been bred to be small, so they have a naturally low body mass. The small body mass means that they cannot store sugar properly, there is simply not enough body fat. So, a responsible dog owner needs to be aware of the serious risk of hypoglycemia in these small breeds. Beyond the natural tendencies to hypoglycemia, there are several, preventable causes. The modern dog food diet, like much of the modern diet for people, tends to be high in grains. Grains get converted by the body into sugar. So, a diet high in grains means the body is working overtime trying to store sugar. This leads to the body crashing afterward because of the high sugar levels and greater hunger. This creates a vicious cycle where the body is simply unable to regulate a steady level of glucose. The ultimate result of this is obesity. Hand-in-hand with a high-grain diet comes disorders of the pancreas. When the body has high levels of sugar because of the diet, the pancreas has to work overtime to produce insulin. Eventually, it wears down and can no longer keep up. The result is diabetes, in which case regular insulin Continue reading >>

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