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 >>
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 >>
Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) is a serious problem that can occur in people with diabetes if their body starts to run out of insulin. This causes harmful substances called ketones to build up in the body, which can be life-threatening if not spotted and treated quickly. DKA mainly affects people with type 1 diabetes, but can sometimes occur in people with type 2 diabetes. If you have diabetes, it's important to be aware of the risk and know what to do if DKA occurs. Symptoms of diabetic ketoacidosis Signs of DKA include: needing to pee more than usual being sick breath that smells fruity (like pear drop sweets or nail varnish) deep or fast breathing feeling very tired or sleepy passing out DKA can also cause high blood sugar (hyperglycaemia) and a high level of ketones in your blood or urine, which you can check for using home-testing kits. Symptoms usually develop over 24 hours, but can come on faster. Check your blood sugar and ketone levels Check your blood sugar level if you have symptoms of DKA. If your blood sugar is 11mmol/L or over and you have a blood or urine ketone testing kit, check your ketone level. If you do a blood ketone test: lower than 0.6mmol/L is a normal reading 0.6 to 1.5mmol/L means you're at a slightly increased risk of DKA and should test again in a couple of hours 1.6 to 2.9mmol/L means you're at an increased risk of DKA and should contact your diabetes team or GP as soon as possible 3mmol/L or over means you have a very high risk of DKA and should get medical help immediately If you do a urine ketone test, a result of more than 2+ means there's a high chance you have DKA. When to get medical help Go to your nearest accident and emergency (A&E) department straight away if you think you have DKA, especially if you have a high level of ketones in Continue reading >>
The initial symptoms of diabetic ketoacidosis can develop quite suddenly and will continue to get worse if not treated. Early symptoms In the early stages, the main signs of diabetic ketoacidosis are: passing large amounts of urine severe thirst feeling sick tiredness abdominal (tummy) pain shortness of breath You may also develop other symptoms of dehydration, such as a dry mouth. If you have your own device or kit to measure your blood sugar and/or ketone levels, you may notice that the levels of both of these are higher than normal. Advanced symptoms Left untreated, more advanced symptoms can develop, such as: rapid heartbeat (tachycardia) rapid breathing, where you breathe in more oxygen than your body actually needs (hyperventilate) vomiting a smell of ketones on your breath, which can smell like pear drops or nail varnish remover confusion drowsiness or loss of consciousness (coma) In some cases, life-threatening complications of diabetic ketoacidosis can also develop. When to seek medical advice If you think you or your child are experiencing early symptoms of diabetic ketoacidosis, and self-testing shows you have a high blood glucose and/or ketone level, you should immediately contact your diabetes care team or GP for advice. If this isn't possible, call NHS 24 on 111. If you or someone in your care appears to be experiencing more advanced symptoms, go immediately to your nearest accident and emergency (A&E) department . Back to top Continue reading >>
What Was A Choice You Made That Completely Changed Your Life?
I gave up pitching myself to everyone out there. When I graduated from the university, I had no clue what to do next. As well as thousands of young graduates who have to move to the next stage of their lives, I had to decide where to live, how to make money, and ultimately what direction to move in… I had no idea what decisions would let me not screw up my life. I was still looking for the passion and was still trying to understand what excites me the most. The only thing I felt passionate about was blogging. However, I realized that it wasn’t likely to let me make a living within the first year or two. Another thing I knew is that I have always wanted to be self-employed and run my own business. I had a decent amount of ideas that seemed great to me… however, I had no dedicated team and not enough savings to sustain a startup… Unfortunately, it didn’t seem feasible to launch a business. I had too many questions and no answers at all. I faced a few dilemmas and appeared to be not ready to solve them. Eventually, I kept blogging on a regular basis and as most people out there I decided to look for a job. The next month was all about pitching - every single day I sent resumes to dozens of different companies and tried to convince the editors of the authoritative outlets that my writing is worth sharing. No success. Neither companies were sending me job offers, nor anyone found my articles interesting enough. Over that month I received 37 job rejections and sent 78 unanswered emails asking to feature my articles on different publications and websites. At that point, I realized that my strong unwillingness to work in the corporate sector and my overall uncertainty about the field I want to work at were not likely to help me land a nice job. Moreover, frankly speak Continue reading >>
Diabetes With Ketone Bodies In Cats
Diabetes Mellitus with Ketoacidosis in Cats The term “ketoacidosis” refers to a condition in which levels of acid abnormally increased in the blood due to presence of “ketone bodies.” Meanwhile, diabetes is a medical condition in which the body cannot absorb sufficient glucose, thus causing a rise the blood sugar levels. 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. Typically, the type of condition affects older cats; in addition, female cats are more prone diabetes with ketoacidosis than males. 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 cat'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 cat’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 (azotemia), low sodium levels 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 >>
Symptoms And Detection Of Ketoacidosis
Symptoms These symptoms are due to the ketone poisoning and should never be ignored. As soon as a person begins to vomit or has difficulty breathing, immediate treatment in an emergency room is required to prevent coma and possible death. Early Signs, Symptoms: Late Signs, Symptoms: very tired and sleepy weakness great thirst frequent urination dry skin and tongue leg cramps fruity odor to the breath* upset stomach* nausea* vomiting* shortness of breath sunken eyeballs very high blood sugars rapid pulse rapid breathing low blood pressure unresponsiveness, coma * these are more specific for ketoacidosis than hyperosmolar syndrome Everyone with diabetes needs to know how to recognize and treat ketoacidosis. Ketones travel from the blood into the urine and can be detected in the urine with ketone test strips available at any pharmacy. Ketone strips should always be kept on hand, but stored in a dry area and replaced as soon as they become outdated. Measurement of Ketones in the urine is very important for diabetics with infections or on insulin pump therapy due to the fact it gives more information than glucose tests alone. Check the urine for ketones whenever a blood sugar reading is 300 mg/dl or higher, if a fruity odor is detected in the breath, if abdominal pain is present, if nausea or vomiting is occurring, or if you are breathing rapidly and short of breath. If a moderate or large amount of ketones are detected on the test strip, ketoacidosis is present and immediate treatment is required. Symptoms for hyperglycemic hyperosmolar syndrome are linked to dehydration rather than acidosis, so a fruity odor to the breath and stomach upset are less likely. How To Detect Ketones During any illness, especially when it is severe and any time the stomach becomes upset, ketone Continue reading >>
Can Diabetes Kill You?
Here’s what you need to know about the life-threatening diabetes complication called diabetic ketoacidosis. Diabetic ketoacidosis is one of the most serious complications of diabetes. Symptoms can take you by surprise, coming on in just 24 hours or less. Without diabetic ketoacidosis treatment, you will fall into a coma and die. “Every minute that the person is not treated is [another] minute closer to death,” says Joel Zonszein, MD, professor of medicine at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City. Diabetic ketoacidosis occurs when your body doesn’t produce enough insulin. (Diabetic ketoacidosis most often affects people with type 1 diabetes, but there is also type 2 diabetes ketoacidosis.) Without insulin, sugar can’t be stored in your cells to be used as energy and builds up in your blood instead. Your body has to go to a back-up energy system: fat. In the process of breaking down fat for energy, your body releases fatty acids and acids called ketones. Ketones are an alternative form of energy for the body, and just having them in your blood isn’t necessarily harmful. That’s called ketosis, and it can happen when you go on a low-carb diet or even after fasting overnight. “When I put people on a restricted diet, I can get an estimate of how vigorously they’re pursuing it by the presence of ketones in the urine,” says Gerald Bernstein, MD, an endocrinologist and coordinator of the Friedman Diabetes Program at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. RELATED: The Ketogenic Diet Might Be the Next Big Weight Loss Trend, But Should You Try It? But too many ketones are a problem. “In individuals with diabetes who have no or low insulin production, there is an overproduction of ketones, and the kidneys can’t get rid of them fast enough,” sa Continue reading >>
The Emedicinehealth Doctors Ask About Diabetic Ketoacidosis:
A A A Diabetic Ketoacidosis (cont.) A person developing diabetic ketoacidosis may have one or more of these symptoms: excessive thirst or drinking lots of fluid, frequent urination, general weakness, vomiting, loss of appetite, confusion, abdominal pain, shortness of breath, a generally ill appearance, increased heart rate, low blood pressure, increased rate of breathing, and a distinctive fruity odor on the breath. If you have any form of diabetes, contact your doctor when you have very high blood sugars (generally more than 350 mg) or moderate elevations that do not respond to home treatment. At initial diagnosis your doctor should have provided you with specific rules for dosing your medication(s) and for checking your urinary ketone level whenever you become ill. If not, ask your health care practitioner to provide such "sick day rules." If you have diabetes and start vomiting, seek immediate medical attention. If you have diabetes and develop a fever, contact your health care practitioner. If you feel sick, check your urinary ketone levels with home test strips. If your urinary ketones are moderate or higher, contact your health care practitioner. People with diabetes should be taken to a hospital's emergency department if they appear significantly ill, dehydrated, confused, or very weak. Other reasons to seek immediate medical treatment include shortness of breath, chest pain, severe abdominal pain with vomiting, or high fever (above 101 F or 38.3 C). Continue Reading A A A Diabetic Ketoacidosis (cont.) The diagnosis of diabetic ketoacidosis is typically made after the health care practitioner obtains a history, performs a physical examination, and reviews the laboratory tests. Blood tests will be ordered to document the levels of sugar, potassium, sodium, and oth 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 >>
DKA is usually signaled by high blood sugar levels. The important fact to remember is that without enough insulin, the body cannot burn glucose properly and fat comes out of fat cells. Diabetic Ketoacidosis (DKA) – a condition brought on by inadequate insulin – is a life-threatening emergency usually affecting people with type 1 diabetes. Although less common, it also can happen when you have type 2 diabetes. DKA is usually, but not always, signaled by high blood sugar levels. The important fact to remember is that without enough insulin, the body cannot burn glucose properly and fat comes out of fat cells. As a consequence the excess fat goes to the liver and glucose builds up in the bloodstream. The liver makes ketoacids (also known as ketones) out of the fat. Before long, the body is literally poisoning itself with excess glucose and ketoacids. What causes DKA? A lack of insulin usually due to: Unknown or newly diagnosed cases of type 1 diabetes Missed or inadequate doses of insulin, or spoiled insulin Infection Steroid medications An extremely stressful medical condition DKA is rare in type 2 diabetes – but can develop if someone with type 2 diabetes gets another serious medical condition. Examples of medical conditions associated with DKA in type 2 diabetes are severe infections, acute pancreatitis (inflammation of the insulin producing organ, the pancreas), and treatment with steroids. Symptoms of DKA include: Nausea, vomiting Stomach pain Fruity breath – the smell of ketoacids Frequent urination Excessive thirst Weakness, fatigue Speech problems, confusion or unconsciousness Heavy, deep breathing How do you know if you have DKA? Check your blood or urine for ketones. And if the test is positive, you will need immediate medical care. Treatment includes agg 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 Are Symptoms Of Diabetic Ketoacidosis?
Diabetic ketoacidosis is a serious complication typically faced by people with type-1 diabetes, which occurs when body starts running out of insulin. This condition can leave the patient in coma or even death if not treated immediately. Diabetic ketoacidosis occurs when body is lacking lacking insulin to allow sufficient glucose to enter cells. Therefore the body absorbs energy by burning fatty acids and in turn produce acidic ketone bodies. Blood containing high levels of ketone bodies can cause serious illness. Diabetic ketoacidosis is itself a symptom of undiagnosed type-1 diabetes. Other symptoms of diabetic ketoacidosis include: 1. Dehydration 2. Vomiting 3. Nausea 4. Blurred vision 5. Fatigue & sleepiness 6. Frequent urination 7. Rapid heartbeat 8. Unusual smell on the breath (similar to that of pear drops) 9. Confusion and disorientation 10. Hyperventilation or deep laboured breathing 11. Coma The symptoms of diabetic ketoacidosis usually develop over a 24-hour period if blood glucose levels are and remain very high (hyperglycemia). 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 >>