Case of the Month
November 2011 Case of the Month
Jaidee is a very cute 7 year old female chihuahua. She presented to Care Animal Hospital with a recent history of weight loss and excessive urination/drinking (abbreviated PU/PD). Samples were submitted for blood work and urinalysis and revealed: 1) very high blood glucose or ‘blood sugar’ and 2) glucose present in the urine. With Jaidee’s history and lab results, she presented with the classic case of Canine Diabetes.
Canine Diabetes, or Diabetes mellitus (DM), is a common condition seen in veterinary medicine. Dogs only get insulin-dependent diabetes (Type 1 diabetes in humans) and results in a decrease of insulin production by the pancreas. Insulin is needed to help all cells of the body to use glucose for energy. When normal insulin production is decreased, or absent, these cells cannot get the energy needed to perform normal bodily functions.
Dogs with DM develop large appetites and lose weight because all the glucose consumed in their food cannot be used. They will also typically drink a lot of water and consequently urinate much more often because high amounts of glucose in the blood will start to overload the kidneys and spill into the urine. These dogs will then get very thirsty.
The concept of treatment for DM is simple: administering insulin injections every day to replace the insulin not being produced by the body. However, the reality of treating dogs with DM can be very difficult at times. These dogs need to be kept on a strict schedule every single day and usually require several visits with the doctor to determine an accurate insulin dose and for routine maintenance of diabetes.
As for Jaidee, she is doing wonderfully since her initial diagnosis was made. She is back to her normal drinking habits and has stopped losing weight. She needs to have daily insulin injections for the rest of her life, but her owners say that she is not a complainer and is enjoying her life as she always has.