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Diabetes mellitus is a diseased state by which the body suffers from either an absolute shortage of insulin (Type I), or from an incorrect response from the cells to the insulin that is being produced, a condition termed insulin resistance (Type II). Both of these conditions will prevent the muscles and organs from converting glucose to energy, and will result in excessive amounts of glucose in the blood, which is also referred to as hyperglycemia.
Diabetes is a disorder of carbohydrate, protein, and fat metabolism caused by an absolute or relative insulin deficiency. Metabolism refers to how the body digests and uses food for growth and energy, and this process is largely dependent on a sufficient amount of insulin in the body.
Insulin is a hormone that is produced in the pancreas, releasing into the cells in response to the digestive conversion of proteins into glucose in the bloodstream. Much of the food that is ingested is broken down into glucose, a type of sugar in the blood and one of the body's main sources of energy. Appropriate insulin function will trigger the liver and muscles to take up glucose from the blood cells, converting it to energy.
Diabetes, a common condition for humans, is also relatively common in domestic animals like dogs. Type I diabetes is the more severe form of the disease, as it is dependent on daily insulin injections for maintaining blood sugar balance (insulin dependent diabetes mellitus – IDDM).
An affected dog will be hungry a lot of the time, since glucose is not making it to the brain; glucose levels in the brain are too low for the brain to register that it is receiving food. Because insulin is not giving the muscles and organs the signal to convert glucose to energy, the excess glucose in the blood will be carried out of the body in urine instead of being used for energy, and there will be a concurrent lack of energy. There is also increased thirst as a result of the increase in urine. The liver is adversely affected by this condition, as are the eyes and kidneys.
At heightened risk are obese dogs and female dogs. While many cases of diabetes are seen in older dogs, it can occur at any age.
Development of Ketoacidosis – metabolic acidosis caused by the breakdown of fat and proteins in the liver in response to insulin deficiency
Other symptoms include:
The product of metabolism of fat; may also be referred to as bodies of ketone or ketone bodies
The group of processes that involve the use of nutrients by the body
An in-depth examination of the properties of urine; used to determine the presence or absence of illness
A hormone created by the pancreas that helps to regulate the flow of glucose
A gland that aids in both digestive and insulin functions
Low amounts of glucose in the blood
Any product that is derived from but less in value than another product from the same source.
The time period in which a female is receptive to male attention
Elevated levels of glucose in the blood
A condition of the body in which pH levels are abnormally low.