Diabetes in dogs occurs when the pancreas cannot produce enough amounts of insulin or the dog becomes insulin resistant. Insulin is an important hormone produced by the pancreas that helps to regulate blood sugar levels. Usually, when the dog eats, glucose is absorbed into the bloodstream. This natural hormone helps to transport glucose from the bloodstream to the cells where it is stored and used for energy. If insulin is not there, glucose cannot move into the cells; hence, it stays in the bloodstream. Too much glucose in the bloodstream can lead to symptoms of diabetes such as increased thirst, frequent urination, weight loss, and increased appetite. Dogs with diabetes can be treated with insulin therapy that is prescribed in combination with a proper exercise and diet program.
What is diabetic coma in dogs?
A diabetic coma in dogs is a life-threatening complication of diabetes that occurs when the blood glucose levels rises too high or falls too low. Dogs with diabetic coma become unconscious, which if left untreated, can be fatal. The prospect of seeing your pet go into diabetic coma can be frightening. Luckily, there are steps you can take to help prevent hypoglycemia or hyperglycemia progressing into a more serious condition like diabetic coma. If your dog becomes unconscious due to diabetic coma, you should take your dog to a local animal hospital, so that a veterinarian can try to balance their blood sugar levels and ensure they regains his full consciousness.
Causes of diabetic coma in dogs
There are various factors which can cause diabetic coma in dogs. High blood sugar, which is also known as hyperglycemia, can cause a diabetic coma. Hypoglycemia or low blood sugar can result in dehydration, which can make your dog lose consciousness. Your dog can also go into diabetic coma if they have diabetic ketoacidosis. Other causes include insulin effectiveness and hyperosmolar nonketotic diabetes.
Diagnosis and treatment
If you notice unusual symptoms in your dog such as fatigue, weight loss, dehydration, or restlessness, you should take him to see a veterinarian. If your dog is unresponsive, you should take him to an animal hospital immediately. You should inform your veterinarian when you started to notice the symptoms, so that they can accurately diagnose your dog. Your veterinarian will also want to know about insulin dosing and timing. The vet will then carry out blood tests, urine tests and biochemical profile to try and identify the cause of coma. To revive your dog, your veterinarian will give him electrolytes like potassium and fluids such as dextrose via intravenous therapy. Once your dog has regained his consciousness, further tests may be performed to try and identify underlying problems like insulin resistance or chronic high blood sugar. While at home, your veterinarian will ask you to closely monitor your dog. He will also ask you to provide your dog with good nutrition and the right amount of insulin therapy.
Disclaimer: Please note that the contents of this community article are strictly for informational purposes and should not be considered as medical advice. This article, and other community articles, are not written or reviewed for medical validity by Canadian Insulin or its staff. All views and opinions expressed by the contributing authors are not endorsed by Canadian Insulin. Always consult a medical professional for medical advice, diagnosis, and treatment.