Pet of the month – April – Molly

by admin on April 2nd, 2019

Category: Pet of the Month, Tags:

Pet of the Month is Molly the Dachshund who has just recovered from a severe bout of diabetic ketoacidosis.

What is Diabetes Mellitus (Sugar Diabetes)?
Most of the food that animals eat is turned into sugars to provide energy for the body. The sugar in the blood then needs to get into the cells of the body to help them work. A hormone called insulin, which is produced by the pancreas (an organ in the tummy near the stomach), helps the sugar to get into the cells. Diabetes develops when the body does not produce sufficient insulin. Insulin regulates blood sugar levels, and when the insulin levels are too low, blood sugar (glucose) levels increase, resulting in diabetes. Diabetes is a potentially life threatening illness, but fortunately it is one which we are able to treat successfully in the majority of cases.

Diabetes occurs most commonly in older dogs, and in middle-aged overweight cats. Some dogs and cats develop diabetes when they are younger, because they have a genetic predisposition for the condition.

What are the signs of Diabetes?

  • Increased thirst
  • Increased frequency and/or volume of urination
  • Possible increased appetite
  • Possible weight loss
  • Possible smelly urine – because of the presence of ketones (see below) or infection
  • Possible lethargy/tiredness

How is Diabetes treated?

Diabetes is best treated with insulin. In most cases, insulin is administered as an injection under the skin twice a day.

Ketoacidosis is a potential complication of Diabetes. In cases of uncontrolled diabetes, toxic (poisonous) metabolites (natural break-down chemicals) are produced which can lead to illness, lethargy, coma and death.

In Molly’s case we believe that her diabetes became unstable when she came into season, due to her altered hormonal levels, and we hope to spay her at an appropriate time in the near future.

Following intensive care Molly has substantially improved and her diabetes is being more effectively controlled with the use of a Flash monitoring system (Freestyle Libre).

A flash glucose monitoring system measures sugar (glucose) levels continuously throughout the day. It can help your diabetes team see:

  • if sugar levels are going up or down
  • how sugar levels change over time
  • the past 8 hours so you can see what happens overnight

Flash does not actually measure blood sugar levels. It measures the amount of sugar in the fluid under your skin, called interstitial fluid. Interstitial fluid sugar readings are a few minutes behind your blood sugar levels.

The measurements can help your vet team make decisions about treatment and any adjustments you need to make.

A flash system is made up of:

  • a sensor which is stuck to the body (about the size of a £2 coin)
  • a reader – a small device you use to scan the sensor to see your pet’s sugar levels

You can also use a smartphone app to scan the sensor.

Sensors usually last for 14 days.



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