How to prevent diabetes mellitus in dogs and cats

Diabetes Mellitus (Dm) in Dogs & Cats

Diabetes mellitus is a heterogeneous condition in canine rather than single disorder. This metabolic disorder characterized by high level of glucose in blood and changes in carbohydrate lipid and protein metabolism which are caused by reduction in insulin secretion and/or in insulin action.

Insulin is required for the cell to absorb glucose. Insulin is produced by pancreas in response to the amount of glucose in blood stream.

How to prevent diabetes mellitus in dogs and cats
How to prevent diabetes mellitus in dogs and cats

In canine Dm, unused glucose builds up in the blood stream leads to hyperglycemia, DM is a multifaceted disease and remains a humbling challenge for clinician and researcher. In man, diabetes is classified as type 1, insulin dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM) and type 2,  non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus ( NIDDM). This classification has not proved very useful in veterinary medicine since nearly all dogs with diabetes mellitus required insulin therapy regardless of the underlying etiology.

So, classifying diabetes mellitus into primary and secondary causes is of more use clinically in the dog.

In secondary diabetes which is caused by peripheral insulin resistance there is initially a compensatory increase in insulin secretion, but after a period of time the islets cells become exhausted, the beta cells are destroyed and their function is permanently lost.

Clinico-pathologic features of DM in dogs and cats include fasting hyperglycemia, hypercholesterolemia, increased livers enzyme (ALP and ALT), neutrophilic leukocytosis, proteinuria, increased urine specific gravity and glycosuria.

Clinical signs as is man, include polydipsia, polyuria and weight loss, associated with hyperglycemia and glucosuria. Initial sign of DM is unnoticed, however anorexia, lethargy, vomiting and dehydration may be observed in canine diabetes mellitus. Onset of diabetic cataract also observed. It involves several factors such as osmotic changes in lens, glycosylation of structural proteins and a decreased concentration of antioxidants.

Diabetes typically occurs in dogs between 5-12 years of age and is uncommon under 3 years of age.

DM is complex disease to treat, as it is a multi-organ affecting problem. Primary goal of diabetes mellitus treatment is maintenance of patient’s blood glucose levels as close to normal as possible i.e. 100 mg/dl.

This can be achieved by proper insulin administration, diet, regular exercise regimens, oral hypoglycemic drugs and avoidance or control of concurrent illness that may complicate the animal’s diabetic state.

The IU-40 pork lente ( Porcine Zinc insulin suspension) has been the first choice recommendation for dogs.

Lente insulin is a suspension of insulin in buffered water that is modified by addition of Zinc Chloride.

The essential of good management of diabetes mellitus in dog require daily routine that involve diet, insulin administration and regular controlled exercise and nevertheless the understanding of the owner.

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