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Old 10-05-2009, 09:59 PM
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Default Re: Isabella Kelly (Diabetes Mellitus & Cushing's Disease)

Glucose or sugar is always present in the blood - we need it to survive. And when insulin is handy, it gets moved into the cells and used for fuel.

When there isn't any insulin or not enough insulin, glucose piles up in the blood and at about 180 mg/dl, it starts getting flushed out into the urine. So with a diabetic dog you will see glucose/sugar in the urine any time the amount in the blood exceeds that 180 threshold. Normal blood sugar for dogs and people is about 80-130.

This is why diabetic dogs are very thirsty - the body is trying to get rid of that excess sugar.

When there hasn't been any insulin for a long time, the body is starving and it is forced to turn on itself to produce fuel to stay alive. That process of breaking down the body's stores produces ketones.

Ketones are dangerous because they are very acidic and as they pile up, they turn the blood acidic. It's a toxic reaction that can be fatal.

And the way to get rid of ketones is to give the body insulin so all that sugar floating around goes into the cells instead of flushing out through the urine and the body doesn't have to turn on itself.

Fortunately even with blood sugar at 300 to 400 ketones are a rare occurrence. Usually they show up after sustained very high blood sugar.

Every once in a while I see a dog who throws ketones at lower levels but not too often.

It is very important to get veterinary treatment for anything more than trace amounts of ketones on a urine test - the vet will give fluids and IV insulin to get the blood sugar down right away.

Hope that makes some sense.

Natalie
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