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What Are The Symptoms Of Low Blood Sugar In Dogs?

Diabetic Alert Dogs

Diabetic Alert Dogs

Imagine spending your days worrying about the possibility of a low blood sugar drop. You have no idea when it could happen and you know that it could trigger a seizure or even result in a coma. Worst of all, your ability to predict these drops has decreased so much that you're afraid to go anywhere, or do something that might take you too far from treatment. What you just read could be the life of a person with Type 1 Diabetes who has developed Hypoglycemia Unawareness. Being exposed to low blood sugar over and over decreases the body's ability to recognize it, causing fewer and fewer symptoms. These symptoms are the body's way of sounding the alarm. Too many times people with Hypoglycemia Unawareness do not know their blood sugar is low until they wake up on the floor after a seizure or in the hospital. Now, imagine that you had someone with you who knows when there is an low blood sugar drop coming. In fact, they know earlier than you ever would have known, even with a fully functioning hypoglycemia alarm. Think of the possibilities: the feeling of relief of not fearing a drop and having the freedom to confidently go anywhere. Imagine if that someone with you was a dog. There is no doubt dogs can do amazing things that improve our lives. For example, we have discovered that dogs have the ability to smell chemical changes in our bodies when someone's blood sugar starts to get low. We can make the most of this amazing ability with special training designed to forewarn the onset of hypoglycemia crisis. With a simple but telling nudge, a trained dog alerts their person to a low blood sugar drop that they did not know was coming. A quick test, a little sugar, and everyone can go on with their day, no crisis, no emergency, just the wonderful feeling of security and independ Continue reading >>

Your First Vet Visit: Diagnosing Feline Diabetes

Your First Vet Visit: Diagnosing Feline Diabetes

Your first vet visit: diagnosing feline diabetes Your veterinarian can diagnose diabetes with a simple, in-office physical examination of the cat and laboratory tests, which will determine if there is an abnormally high level of sugar in the bloodstream and urine. Your veterinarian may ask if your cat has exhibited any of the following symptoms, indicating a possibility of feline diabetes: Increased thirst Sudden increase in appetite Sudden weight loss (despite an increase in appetite) Increased urination Increased lethargy Understanding your cat's diagnosis The food your cat eats is broken down into glucose during the digestion process. Glucose is the fuel that provides energy needed by the cells of the body to sustain life. As glucose enters the bloodstream, the cat's pancreas secretes insulin. Insulin is a hormone released in small amounts to properly balance the blood sugar (glucose) levels in the blood. Feline diabetes is similar to human diabetes, and occurs when your pet either doesn't produce or is unable to process insulin, a hormone that helps regulate glucose or sugar in the bloodstream. Just like humans, diabetic cats are diagnosed primarily with Type 2 diabetes.The types of diabetes in cats are based on the human classification system. Type 1 Diabetes Type 1 form of diabetes is defined as an absolute insulin deficiency. In this form, the pancreas is not able to produce enough insulin to regulate the glucose in the bloodstream, leading to persistent high glucose levels in the blood. This type of diabetes is very rare in the cat. Type 2 Diabetes Type 2 diabetes, the most common form of diabetes in cats, occurs when the cells in the cat's body don't respond to the insulin that is being provided. As a result, the cat becomes hyperglycemic (high blood sugar), wh 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 >>

Dog Saves Boy’s Life By Waking His Parents Up In The Middle Of The Night

Dog Saves Boy’s Life By Waking His Parents Up In The Middle Of The Night

Living with Type 1 diabetes is complicated, especially if you’re a child. Having to poke your finger, take insulin, and be aware of your blood sugar levels at all times is a lot to take on. Luckily, people have learned that dogs are capable of being trained to alert parents when a child has low blood sugar. This has led to many people adopting them to watch after their kids. For Luke, a young child with Type 1 diabetes, his parents knew that he was too young to recognize the symptoms of low blood sugar. That’s why they decided to adopt their diabetic alert dog Jedi, and it wouldn’t be long before they would be thanking themselves for doing so… Luke was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes when he was two years old. Since he was too young to recognize the symptoms of low blood sugar (a common side effect of the disease,) his parents decided to adopt a diabetic alert dog, who was trained to learn the symptoms. A person’s blood sugar should be between 70-140. Anything below 70 is considered low and anything above 140 is high. Those who suffer from the Type 1 diabetes have pancreases that don’t naturally produce insulin, so they have to take injections to keep their levels within those numbers. Luke and Jedi quickly became inseparable, they did practically everything together. The dog understood his role and happily accepted it. Surprisingly, it wasn’t going to be long before he would be putting his training to some serious use… Recently, while Luke’s parents slept in their bedroom, Jedi started acting strange. His mom recounted the instance in a Facebook post. “This may just look like a dog, a sleeping boy and a number on a screen, but this, this moment right here is so much more. This is a picture of Jedi saving his boy,” her post began. Luke’s mother we Continue reading >>

Chihuahua Blood Sugar Problems

Chihuahua Blood Sugar Problems

What is Hypoglycemia in Chihuahuas? Chihuahuas, like many small breeds, have trouble regulating their blood sugar. The first time my Chi suffered an episode of low sugar, I really did not know what was wrong. He was 7 months old, and had a pretty typical day. Then a short time after playing, he started walking like he was drunk. It was as though he had no control over his legs. He threw up foam and then basically fell over. I was beside myself how we could have been playing one minute and into this scene the next. I have always had at least one dog in my life, and my Chihuahua, Norbit was my first small breed of dog and I was not savvy to the hypoglycemia thing. It was on a Sunday, so we wrapped Norbit up in a blanket and went to the emergency vet. They took one look and said my dog had been poisoned. I said that was really impossible, he literally spent zero time unattended. I knew for certain my dog hadn't chewed on anything but his toys. Then another vet tech on duty said, "He is in sugar shock". She had several Chihuahuas at home herself she had rescued and she said low blood sugar wasn't uncommon in small breeds. She put some Karo syrup on a flat wooden stick and he just stared at it glassy-eyed like he had no idea how to lick. So she put roughly a teaspoon of the syrup in a syringe and while explaining I should never do this at home as he could choke, he gently pushed the syrup right down this throat. He was seriously right as rain in a very short time. It was extremely frightening however and I vowed to do my best that my dog never experienced this again by learning why it happened and what I needed to do to prevent it. What Symptoms Will My Chihuahua Have? In the case of my dog, his low blood sugar was caused by a play session that went on a little too long and Continue reading >>

Why Is Your Dog Aggressive?

Why Is Your Dog Aggressive?

If your dog becomes aggressive, don’t assume it’s a behavioral problem or that he’s just being “bad”. It could mean he’s ill or in pain. Jake was a cheerful, loving dog. The Shih tzu cross was friendly with everyone and enjoyed romps at the local dog park. Then one day, without warning, he became aggressive and bit his person, Meg, when she tried to pet him. Hurt and shocked, she took Jake to the vet where she learned he had a painful ear infection that made him sensitive to touch. With the proper treatment, Jake was soon back to his sociable and affectionate self. Not all dogs are as fortunate as Jake. Every year, thousands of aggressive dogs find themselves in shelters because their families assume they’ve developed behavioral problems that can’t be fixed. Many of these dogs are euthanized because they are deemed untrainable. Whether a dog’s aggression occurs suddenly or develops gradually over time, it’s important to consider the possibility that the cause might be physical rather than behavioral. In fact, more than 50 medical conditions can turn Fido into Cujo. They include injury, arthritis, congential defects, oral problems, ear infections, diminishing eyesight and more. Behaviors arising from such physical problems can include “growling, baring of teeth, and tail tucked between the legs if the dog is fearful,” according to veterinarian Dr. Mark Newkirk. “The tail may also be up or straight out in a dominant position.” Snapping and biting may also occur, depending on the problem. Because we usually associate these postures with anger or fear, it’s natural to assume they spring from behavorial rather than physical causes, especially if there are no other visible symptoms. But before seeking the help of a trainer or behavior specialist, Continue reading >>

Diabetes Mellitus In Dogs

Diabetes Mellitus In Dogs

There are two forms of diabetes in dogs: diabetes insipidus and diabetes mellitus. Diabetes insipidus is sometimes called "drinking diabetes" and diabetes mellitus is also known as "sugar diabetes". Diabetes insipidus is a very rare disorder that results in failure to regulate body water content. Diabetes mellitus is more common in dogs, and is frequently diagnosed in dogs five years of age or older. This is also known as adult-onset diabetes. There is a congenital form that occurs in puppies called juvenile diabetes, but this is rare in dogs. Diabetes mellitus is a disease of the pancreas. This is a small but vital organ located near the stomach. It has two significant populations of cells. One group of cells produces the enzymes necessary for proper digestion. The other group, called beta-cells, produce the hormone insulin. Simply put, diabetes mellitus is a failure of the pancreatic beta cells to regulate blood sugar. Some people with diabetes take insulin shots, and others take oral medication. Is this true for dogs? In humans, two types of diabetes mellitus have been discovered. Both types are similar in that there is a failure to regulate blood sugar, but the basic mechanisms of disease differ somewhat between the two groups. Most dogs with diabetes mellitus will require daily insulin injections to regulate their blood glucose. Type I or Insulin Dependent Diabetes Mellitus results from total or near-complete destruction of the beta-cells. This is the most common type of diabetes in dogs. As the name implies, dogs with this type of diabetes require insulin injections to stabilise blood glucose levels. Type II or Non-Insulin Dependent Diabetes Mellitus is different because some insulin-producing cells remain. However, the amount produced is insufficient, there is a Continue reading >>

Signs And Symptoms Of Canine Diabetes

Signs And Symptoms Of Canine Diabetes

Diabetes in dogs is becoming more of an issue than most people think. Because of the increasing incidence of this, there are a few things that you need to monitor your dog for to know whether or not he might have canine diabetes. These symptoms aren’t specific only to diabetes, but may also signal some other health issues that may need your attention. As always, when in doubt, visit your veterinarian to get a thorough exam. Canine diabetes is a condition in the endocrine system triggered by a deficiency of insulin, or it could also be caused by the body’s inability to respond to this hormone. Studies show that 1 out of every 400 dogs will develop diabetes. This condition could develop as a result of genetics, others have it as an aftermath of other diseases which damaged the pancreas, or it could be a congenital condition. It has also been shown that obesity can be a contributing factor. Although canine diabetes can affect any breed of dog, any age or sex, female dogs are more susceptible and this is especially true when they reach 6 to 9 years old. Some breeds are also more prone to diabetes, particularly Beagles, Samoyeds, and Terriers. There is currently no real cure for diabetes. However, there are some treatments that can be given to manage this disease effectively. Some of them include the administration of insulin injections, oral medication, and managing diet and exercise. Your veterinarian may choose to use any one of or a combination of these treatments. If you happen to notice that your dog has started to drink more water than it normally does, this could be an indicator that they have diabetes. Dogs that drink more water than usual could be showing signs of high blood sugar and they are trying to flush the excess glucose with the water. With excessive wa Continue reading >>

Diabetes In Dogs: Symptoms, Causes, & Treatment

Diabetes In Dogs: Symptoms, Causes, & Treatment

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

Hypoglycemia

Hypoglycemia

The sugar that the brain and other organs use for energy is called glucose and is found in the bloodstream. Glucose is formed during the digestion of foods and can be stored in the liver as glycogen. Hypoglycemia simply means a low blood sugar. When the brain is deprived of the energy that it needs, seizures can occur. Other symptoms of hypoglycemia include weakness, tremors, irritability, lethargy, incoordination, nervousness and hunger. The mechanisms responsible for hypoglycemia are excess insulin from insulin overdose or insulinoma, reduction of hormones needed for maintenance of normal serum glucose, reduced ability of the liver to produce glucose or store glycogen, excessive utilization or reduced nutritional intake. Hypoglycemia is diagnosed based on clinical symptoms of hypoglycemia, blood glucose concentrations that show low blood sugar and the fact that symptoms disappear when glucose is administered to the patient. If the diagnosis is positive for hypoglycemia your vet may want to do further testing to determine the cause of the hypoglycemia. Some of the specific causes of hypoglycemia are: Young dogs - Liver shunts, congenital hypothyroidism, transient juvenile hypoglycemia and glycogen storage diseases Adult onset - insulinoma, liver disease, hypoglycemia of hunting dogs and intestinal diseases that reduce nutritional absorption with weight loss Unassociated with age - bacteremia, hypopituitarism, Addison's Disease, drug reactions and toxin exposure Small breed puppies are particularly susceptible to transient juvenile hypoglycemia because their liver is not able to store sufficient amounts of glycogen. As the name implies, this is transient and usually resolves when the puppy reaches 4 months. Until then feeding small amounts every three hours will usually Continue reading >>

Puppy Hypoglycemia: Low Blood Sugar

Puppy Hypoglycemia: Low Blood Sugar

Hypoglycemia simply means a low blood sugar. Glucose is the form of sugar found within the bloodstream. Glucose is formed during the digestion of foods and it can be stored within the liver in a storage form called glycogen. Most instances of low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) in the puppy are the result of inadequate nutrition; either not enough or poor quality (undigestible) food. Excessive exercise may also cause the body to use up more sugar than is available. What are the symptoms? A puppy with hypoglycemia will lack energy. Glucose (sugar) is the fuel the body burns for energy; without it the puppy is listless. In severe instances, the puppy may even seizure, since glucose is necessary for the brain tissue and muscles to function. These hypoglycemic episodes will cause the puppy to fall over and appear weak or comatose. What are the risks? The risks depend on the severity or extent of the lack of blood sugar. If it is due to lack of food or excessive exercise it can be easily corrected. If however, the underlying cause is more serious, such as liver disease preventing the storage of glucose as glycogen, or intestinal disease preventing the proper digestion and/or absorption of food, then hypoglycemia may be chronic and life threatening. What is the management? If a puppy is listless due to low blood sugar, it is imperative to immediately provide sugar. Karo syrup and honey are excellent sugar sources and should be fed to the puppy. If the puppy fails to respond to sugar, or the hypoglycemic episodes are frequent, then a thorough exam by a veterinarian is in order. It must be determined if the low blood sugar is simply the result of inadequate nutrition or a more severe underlying disease. Continue reading >>

Annabessacook Veterinary Clinic

Annabessacook Veterinary Clinic

Annabessacook Veterinary Clinic 417 Route 135 Monmouth, Maine 04259 (207)933-2165 _____________________________________________________________________________ Diabetes Mellitus in Dogs There are two forms of diabetes in dogs: diabetes insipidus and diabetes mellitus. Diabetes insipidus is a very rare disorder that results in failure to regulate body water content. Your dog has the more common type of diabetes: diabetes mellitus. This is a fairly common disorder and is most often seen is dogs 5 years of age or older. There is a congenital form that occurs in puppies, but this is not common. Diabetes mellitus is a disease of the pancreas. This is a small but vital organ that is located near the stomach. It has two significant populations of cells. One group of cells produces the enzymes necessary for proper digestion. The other group, called beta-cells, produces the hormone called insulin. Simply put, diabetes mellitus is a failure of the pancreas to regulate blood sugar. The Types of Diabetes In humans, two types of diabetes mellitus have been discovered. Both types are similar in that there is a failure to regulate blood sugar, but the basic mechanisms of disease differ somewhat between the two groups. 1. Type I, or Insulin Dependent Diabetes Mellitus, results from total or near-complete destruction of the beta-cells. This is the only type of diabetes known in dogs. As the name implies, dogs with this type of diabetes require insulin injections to stabilize blood sugar. 2. Type II, or Non-Insulin Dependent Diabetes Mellitus, is different because some insulin-producing cells remain. However, the amount produced is insufficient, there is a delayed response in secreting it, and the tissues of the dogs body are relatively resistant to it. People with this form may be treat Continue reading >>

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 >>

3 Things Your Vet Might Not Tell You About Treating Your Diabetic Dog

3 Things Your Vet Might Not Tell You About Treating Your Diabetic Dog

According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, diabetes affects approximately one in every 500 dogs. Chuck, my senior Pug mix, was diagnosed with the disease shortly after I adopted him. He was 10 years old and severely overweight when he came from the shelter. Although I did get his weight down by 25 percent thanks to a lot of walks, all that extra heft undoubtedly contributed to the onset of his disease. (Please don’t let your dogs get fat, it’s so dangerous to their health!) When your dog is diagnosed with diabetes, there is a ton of information to learn. Yet, there are quite a few things you may just take at face value without even thinking to question. Trust me, don’t do that. Always be inquisitive. Here is what I learned by managing Chuck’s diabetes. 1. There are different types of insulin When Chuck got his first insulin prescription, it was for Humulin N. I went to Costco and paid $130 for a bottle that would last a month. Over the next few days, I did some research and discovered Chuck could be moved to Novolin N (a different type of insulin). This is an equally expensive drug, but I finally found it for $24.88 at my local Walmart. Never underestimate the value of shopping around. Pharmacies frequently have contracts with certain drug companies that affect which drugs they sell and how much they cost. When your dog is diagnosed, invest the time into exploring your medication options. When asked, Chuck’s vet didn’t even know there were two insulins (she just jotted down the one she knew about), and it took some independent research on my part to determine Chuck could be safely moved from one to the other (not all animals can or should, so be careful and only do it with medical supervision). 2. You can do blood glucose curves at home When t Continue reading >>

Service Dogs That Can Monitor Their Owners’ Diabetes

Service Dogs That Can Monitor Their Owners’ Diabetes

Hypoglycemia unawareness is a common — and dangerous — condition that can develop in those with type 1 diabetes. This condition means you don’t experience the symptoms most people do when their blood sugar gets too low. Normal symptoms of low blood sugar include sweating, shaking, or confusion. At very low levels, you may experience seizures, or go into a coma if your blood sugar is too low for too long. One of the solutions for this condition is man’s best friend: a diabetes service dog. Dogs have a naturally heightened sense of smell that makes them excellent hunters. Professional trainers have learned to harness these skills by training dogs to recognize certain smells. These could include the fruity smelling ketones a person’s body produces when they are experiencing a hyperglycemic episode when blood sugar is too high, or the unique scent a person gives off during a hypoglycemic episode when blood sugar is too low. A diabetes service dog isn’t a replacement for checking blood sugar levels. However, it is a safeguard for those who experience episodes low or high blood sugar, especially if they do not have warning symptoms. There are several service dog-training programs across the country. Examples include the National Institute for Diabetic Alert Dogs (NIDAD) and Diabetic Alert Dog University. These organizations train a dog to recognize the difference between certain scents. This includes the scent a person releases when their blood sugar is high or low. According to Dogs 4 Diabetics, there are two different levels of service dogs for people with diabetes. Medical response dogs for diabetes are trained to respond to signs that an owner may be experiencing low blood sugar levels, once they have become symptomatic. A diabetic alert dog, on the other hand Continue reading >>

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