In order to understand what diabetes is, it is important to understand the components of a normal metabolism.The pancreas is an internal organ that sits between the stomach and small intestine.It secretes digestive enzymes into the intestinal tract, but also secretesthe hormones that regulate blood sugar into the bloodstream.

The pancreas secretes a hormone known as insulin, which allow the cells of the body to utilize the blood sugar circulating in the bloodstream.Through digestion, food (protein and starches) is broken down to glucose (sugar) to be used on a cellular level.Without insulin production, the body can’t utilize the sugar circulating in its bloodstream for energy and starts to think it is starving.With diabetic animals, their bodies don’t produce enough insulin, making the body “blind” to the nutrients it is taking in.Normal digestive processes occur, allowing the breakdown of starch, protein and fat.This leads to an overabundance of sugar in the bloodstream that cannot be utilized properly.The kidneys usually don’t filter sugar into the urine, allowing it to be used for fuel.In diabetics, the kidneys are overwhelmed by the amount of sugar in the bloodstream, and sugar begins to leak into the animal’s urine.Sugar attracts water, pulling more water into the urine, thereby increasing urine production.This increases an animal’s drinking and peeing throughout the day.

The most common things that owners see at home initially are pets that are overweight with a dry haircoat.As the disease progresses, animals begin to lose weight, and begin to eat, drink and urinate more.The urine frequently has a “sticky” feel to it that can be noticed when cleaning up accidents.Diabetes also predisposes animals to urinary tract infections, so the urine may have a strong odor or small amounts of blood in it as well.

The diagnosis of diabetes is by a blood and urine check.On a chemistry panel, the amount of sugar in the blood stream is frequently very elevated.Additionally, in a urine sample, we will see an increase in glucose in the urine.These concurrent findings are consistent with a diagnosis of diabetes.

This entry was posted on Friday, May 3rd, 2019 at 4:49 pm. Both comments and pings are currently closed.